Making social networking work for your agencyOctober 17th, 2009 . by John Frenaye
If you have been reading Travel Research Online for a while, you know that we have made a strong effort to provide tools, insight, and actionable advice for agents to improve their business. A good portion of our content is written by agents, so when you are reading an article, it is really coming from someone who has been in your shoes.
This year, one of the big buzz phrases has been “social networking.” You know—Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the rest. Many of our readers are using social networking and the top complaint I have read in online forums (yes, yet another social networking tool) can be summed up in one word—HOW? Just how do you go about making money, increasing sales or building your brand with these tools?
Right now, many people are stumbling along and finding their way—some methods work and others don’t. There is no doubt that what works for you may not work for others. Since the whole social networking phenomenon is so new, there are very few best practices available for the travel industry. But, here at TRO, our goal is to provide you the tools to get your job done. I follow many different blogs and I have identified the leaders in social networking and have put together what I feel are some of the best tips for making social networking work for you. Just remember, none of these are travel tools. They are business tools—and after all, aren’t you a business?
- 50 Ideas for using Twittter for business
- 32 Ways to use Facebook for business
- Using LinkedIn as a small business owner
- YouTube marketing –11 terrific ways to promote your business on YouTube
- How to use video to promote your small business
- How to produce “Business Quality” online video on a small business budget
- Ten rules for driving traffic using forums
But you cannot simply rely on social networking to get the job done. At least I would not put all my eggs in that one basket just yet. Traditional marketing is still very important. When you have news to send out, are you sending out press releases? You do know that the rules have changed for press releases in an Internet 2.0 world don’t you? Hopefully you are also utilizing a newsletter company such as AWeber (my choice and favorite) or Constant Contact to keep in touch with your clients and prospects. Well, here are some resources for you on press releases and email newsletters.