- People buy from brands they trust, which is why customer reviews, post referrals on social media have become a critical marketing aspect of travel marketing.
- There are many social media management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social etc that are easily accessible.
- To build a successful marketing brand you need to stay active on social media and be consistent in posting authentic and positive posts and comments.
Over the last decade, social media has had a huge impact on travel, and it is here to stay, reported by Travel Market Report.
People buy from brands they trust, which is why posts and referrals from friends and acquaintances, as well as customer reviews seen on social platforms, have become critical aspects of travel marketing.
A strong and consistent social media presence can help travel advisors build their brand and increase sales.
Here are five top tips from travel advisors who are successfully marketing their brand and products on social media.
The most important thing to remember when marketing your company on social media is to be yourself.
And to demonstrate your genuine desire to assist people in making their travel dreams come true.
“My primary strategy is authenticity.
I want to stay true to who I am and what I am capable of doing for clients. I post about places I’ve visited and those about which I know a lot.
When I travel, I share my experiences with others.
Potential customers must have trust in me and a sense that I can help them plan an amazing trip for them with local recommendations,” says Michelle Shrader, owner of InteleTravel affiliate Adventures Tours & Travel.
Exclusive Travel Partners’ Lesley Sawhook agrees: “Your brand is your identity.”
First and foremost, you must be able to demonstrate to potential customers who you are and what distinguishes you from competitors.
You must show who you serve and how you assist them.”
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are just a few examples.
But which platforms are the most suitable for your travel agency?
Most people still prefer Facebook, but TikTok is gaining popularity among younger travelers.
“You really need to choose the platform that works best for you to start developing your social media brand,” says Stacey McEwen CTA DS, Vacations Unlimited, Travel Planners International-Platinum Agent.
“I primarily use Facebook. That’s where the majority of my clients and the people I book are.
Demographics play a huge part in choosing the best platform for your business, and for me, Facebook has been a great connection point with both clients and potential clients,” says Shrader.
“My business has always been about relationships. When someone asks for a travel advisor, my friends on the platform can tag me.
Then it becomes a referral and a new Facebook connection.
When clients see me feature their trip in a post, they will comment, their friends will see it, or they may tag a friend who is interested in a similar trip.
I’ve had a lot of success on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok,” says Sawhook.
“We tried Twitter but didn’t find it as easy to grow or engage with our travel audience.
TikTok has also been huge for me and our business this year. I started it in October of 2020 and have grown to over 230,000 followers.”
Consistency is one of the most important and time-tested foundations for marketing a business through social media.
“I’ve discovered that my content must be consistent,” says Sawhook.
“I always do my own voice overs, stay current with trends, use good music, and use hashtags.
Recently, Instagram and Facebook have begun to promote Reels, and we have seen great success with them as well.
To reach my target audience, I will distribute the same video across multiple platforms.
Social media has been a game-changer for me and our business,” Sawhook continues.
“When a video goes viral, we receive over 2,000 inquiries for a destination in a 24-hour period.
Our company name has spread, we are known as a reliable travel company, and our sales have increased dramatically as a result of social media.
In this day and age, social media is our storefront, and we must be available to our customers on a daily basis.”
According to Shrader, “consistency is essential on any social media platform in order to remain relevant. Daily posting is required.”
You never want someone looking up your company to discover that you haven’t posted anything since 2019!
To keep things interesting, I alternate between destination posts, informational posts, and funny travel posts.”
To assist with scheduling, monitoring, and analytics, social media management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, MeetEdgar, Sendible, and Sprout Social are easily accessible.
In response to negative developments in travel, it can be tempting to express oneself boldly on social media. However, do not do it. Post only positive information.
“I see a lot of travel professionals who will post negative things,” Sawhook advises. “That is an absolute no-no for me.
If prices have risen due to a storm, Disney has raised prices, flights have been canceled, and so on.
That is not something I intend to highlight on social media.
My social media goal is for prospective clients to find me, trust me, and book with me.
They are not looking for negative travel experiences.
Some advisors also post travel deals, but more are avoiding it these days.”
“I avoid posting hot deals and promotions because it feels too salesy for me; it doesn’t fit who I am,” Shrader says.
“I want people to know that I can plan that trip on their bucket list or one they thought was out of reach.
I never want them to think that I only offer cheap vacations.”
Choosing the right group(s) to reach your target audience, particularly on Facebook, allows you to greatly expand your reach among consumers who are predisposed to the particular type of travel or niche that you sell.
Your name and travel brand become known to many more prospective travelers by posting new content and commenting/liking/sharing other people’s posts.
“I love Facebook groups,” says McEwen.
“I now have two, and they allow for more direct and better communication with current and potential clients.
They allow me to be creative and have fun while connecting with travelers.”
All of the suggestions in this article can be carried out in-house by travel advisors with a consistent investment of time and effort.
Those who have mastered the fundamentals of social media may want to move on to the next step of running Facebook ads to reach a larger audience.
But first, research the best strategies on Google or speak with a marketing consultant.
Above all, in the world of social media, slow and steady wins the race.
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Source: Travel Market Report
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