Would you respond to an accountant with an email firstname.lastname@example.org? How about a doctor with email@example.com? Perhaps a criminal defense lawyer—firstname.lastname@example.org? Didn’t think so! If I asked why, I am guessing that their email did not portray the level of professionalism you would normally expect. So why do we hold ourselves to a different standard?
While we have discussed the free email versus the owned domain email address thing several times on TRO; lately I have been seeing travel agents inserting a “middle name” into their Facebook profiles–John TheTravelGuy Frenaye, John TravelingDude Frenaye, and I have three words— just stop it!
Facebook has two type of profiles. A profile belongs to a person and is their personal little sub-domain on Facebook. A page belongs to a business and is typically used for information, marketing, engagement, and sales. The difference between the two is critical.
Think of the two as your home (profile) and a business (page). Before someone comes into your home, they need to knock (friend request). Before they are allowed into your home, you need to open the door (accept request). And once they are in, depending on how close of a friend they are, they may be able to have free reign of the house—or just parts (privacy settings).
A store is different. People can come in and browse without any special permission. If they like the store, they will probably interact with you—and perhaps ultimately buy something. Unless they misbehave, throwing them out is difficult.
People that come into your home should know what you do for a living—if not, there should be clues for them. Maybe you leave a travel trade magazine laying around, your collection of knick-knacks from all over the world. Maybe your bathroom is wallpapered in maps. On your Facebook profile, leave those clues as well. Post images from your trips. Certainly put your profession (and contact info) in the “about me” section. But just as you would not push your profession on someone in your home—don’t do it on Facebook.
Your page is the place to get all markety and salesy. Talk about your clients. The trips you plan. Highlight the places you have been and the experience you have gained. Brag a little and market yourself and your agency. Throw out the occasional special promotion. Engage the people who like your page with conversation.
People who like your page, like it because there is some interest in travel. But it is not necessarily so on your profile. Personally, I cringe at the thought of doing travel for family and friends—without a doubt something will go wrong and I will be to blame!