If you have not heard of the term “social media” in the past three years, it is time to come out from the rock you have undoubtedly been living under. While social media is in a constant state of evolution, one thing is certain—it is here to stay. You can take that to the bank! Most travel professionals are using social media in some form; yet most are also misusing it. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at what works and what doesn’t. If you are in Boston for the Home Based Travel Agent Forum next week, be sure to catch my panel discussion for more ideas. But for now, I want to discuss the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to social media.
Since Facebook seems to be the 900-pound gorilla, let’s start there. The number one mistake many travel professionals make is not engage their audience. You must think of Facebook as a virtual storefront.
Just because you have a location (on the street or on the information superhighway) does not guarantee any modicum of success. Would you ignore someone that walks into your store? Do you expect to be ignored when you patronize a business? So, why do many travel professionals ignore their Facebook fans?
You see it all the time. Pages will beg for fans—as if the larger number is the only measure of a successful Facebook page. Sometimes they get them; and often they ignore them. What happens when you walk into a store and no one acknowledges you? I don’t know about you, but I turn around and walk out. With very few exceptions, there is usually an alternate way to make my purchase or get my information.
Engage, engage, engage! Talk to your fans! How are you today? How about the way the Yankees choked again this year? Do you believe the Lions are undefeated? This guy walks into a bar and says “ouch!” You get the idea. No one wants to be ignored—do not make this mistake!
Are you guilty? Do you have some tips to create engagement? Please share the wealth and leave a comment!
And for my next column, (cover your ears Mike Marchev) forget about selling.