Tunnel or Funnel? How to Earn Social Fans | TravelResearchOnline

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Tunnel or Funnel? How to Earn Social Fans

You know what it’s like to drive thru a tunnel; dark, dank, and twisty. While in this tunnel the only possibilities are to carry on straight ahead. There’s no option for a detour, or to add any more passengers along the way.

Are your marketing efforts like a tunnel; no detours, no new clients?  Same tactics, same clients, same results.

Now let’s think about a funnel.

In a marketing scenario when you think about a funnel, you can add new graphics, new client lists and create new ads. You can mix and match till you get the results you want that help you move people thru the sales process.

Marketing Funnel

If you think about the traditional marketing funnel it starts by creating awareness (suspects), inspiring interest (prospects), creating desire (leads) and then the action happens when the sale is made or relationship is solidified with a new customer/client. (I’ll bet you already know that it’s not as easy as the picture below; clients don’t just drop into our hands.)

© Can Stock Photo / vaeenma

Social Marketing Funnel

In social marketing, things get even more twisty-turney and interesting! You have so many more options to create awareness, interest and desire. Plus, the process doesn’t end with the sale!  Even after the sale you have so many more opportunities to engage and turn your clients into brand advocates. Each stage of the marketing funnel includes a variety of social and online marketing opportunities.

Let’s explore some of these options in your social marketing funnel.

  1. Social Ads. The excitement grows and changes daily.
    1. The newest social ad option is Trip Consideration. With this option you can target Facebook users who are in the early trip planning stages based on behaviors exhibited on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll target people who have shown general travel intent but have not yet expressed intent for a specific destination. For example, people who browse several travel sites but only land on the homepage of those sites.  (source)
    2. Split testing ads has been available for awhile and are great for testing your ad creative to see which works better for your audience.
    3. Dynamic creative ads are a cool tool that gives you the option to add up to 10 images/videos, 5 headlines, 5 text blocks, 5 link descriptions and 5 CTA buttons. Facebook then mixes and matches your assets to find the best combination that appeals to your unique audience.
  1. Lead Magnets. Whether you’re creating lead generation ads or trying to drive social fans to your website, a outstanding lead magnet is crucial. Consider creating:
    1. A downloadable packing guide
    2. Destination tip sheet
    3. Top 10 list
    4. the possibilities are endless.
  1. Video is Vital. Imagine your clients delight if they can see you in a destination! Imagine your clients delight if they can join your live-streaming video, ask questions and join the conversation. Imagine your clients delight when you share your top travel tips with them. What an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and personality! Here’s some tips to prep for your next live-stream video.
  2. Unlikely Uniqueness. Whatever type of unique content you produce will give you bonus points on your SEO and in the minds of clients and prospects. Here’s some winning unique content to consider.
    1. Blog! Here’s why you’ll want to include this in your plan.
    2. Infographic
    3. Grow your social reach with these tips.
    4. E-book
    5. Email blasts/e-newsletter. Do you still need this?
    6. Photos
    7. Photo quotes. What makes them so shareable?
    8. Podcasts
    9. Print articles; newspaper or magazine
    10. Quiz or survey
    11. Webinar
    12. Landing pages
    13. Microsites

As you increase your marketing exposure by creating awareness, then inspiring people to think outside the box you’ll find your funnel will begin to fill with prospects.

Turning these prospects into clients happens when their desire to travel grabs hold of them. Once you’ve turned them into clients, your job has only begun. Your marketing efforts continue even after they’ve traveled as you turn them into brand advocates. These brand advocates are the ones that will like, comment, and share your social content. They’re the people who will tell their friends!

This type of loyalty keeps your funnel full. It also keeps you out of that proverbial tunnel where no new clients enter. Building your funnel begins with the combination of social and traditional marketing.


Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing & communication for the travel and tourism industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially. Connect online for access to free social media resources.

When you ‘like’ her Facebook page you’ll have access to the latest social media news just for travel pros!

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