Social media excels at relationship building at a very personal level. To effectively use any of the social media platforms as a vehicle for pulling leads through the sales funnel, it is important to develop a very subtle and deft approach to your conversational skills. A constant stream of travel offers or direct sales pitches is far too awkward an approach. Instead, tenor your conversations to being helpful to others and providing information and assistance they need. In so doing, your expertise will be apparent and you are likely to be in the running for consideration the next time your readers consider travel.
A good example of a conversational approach to lead generation is Twitter Chats which use a common hashtag allowing anyone following the tag to participate in the conversation. Typically a user will initiate the conversation and the hashtag and communicate the Twitter Chat event to their followers who will in turn hopefully communicate it to others. You can start your own Twitter Chat or join in one established by other compatible accounts.
Article continues below
This 365 Marketing and Sales Tip is provided free to the travel agent community by:
Your participation in a Twitter Chat has the goal of providing you with visibility to people who are likely to appreciate your contributions to the Chat, recognize your expertise and then utilize your services at a later date. Thus, choose Chats where you have a natural affinity and something to offer others. A quick Google search on the term “finding Twitter chats” will lead you to many such possibilities.
When participating, remember the Chat is a conversation about a topic in which those present have an interest-they are not there to learn about you or your company. Thus, you must slowly earn your place in the group by being helpful, engaging and interesting. For example, as an avid dog lover with lots of information about pet adoption and grooming advice you may have chosen #CatvsDog, described below from http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/:
#CatvsDog….Why Cats and Dogs are different….Fridays…..4:00 – 6:00 PM GMT
Participating on a regular basis in the #CatvsDog Chat will provide you with the opportunity to share pet photos and discuss your animal friends and make new acquaintances of your own. If your contributions are of sufficient merit in terms of their interest, humor and insight, you will eventually draw new followers out of the Chats. Opportunities may also present to direct message some participants to assist them with issues eventually leading to a stronger relationship and perhaps a new client.
Naturally, you can also frequent Twitter Chats directed at Travel such as #CLU which Tweetreports.com describes as a “Fun Twitter chat about cruises: themed cruises, cruise mishaps, and more.” However, you will find Travel related Chats teaming with competitors and, in my opinion, less conducive to your lead generation efforts. Nevertheless, they are great places to pick up tips and gain insight into what is on the mind of both consumers and other travel professionals.
Each social media platform has its own lead generation possibilities. The key is to familiarize yourself with the particulars of one or two platforms with which you have a natural affinity and a willingness to learn the particulars well. Choose topics where you can shine as an expert, carry your expertise with humor and grace and hold your travel marketing to an incidental effort.
To learn more, sign onto your Twitter account and place #twitterchats in the search field!