I recently attended a supplier workshop and during their presentation they touched on social media. We watched a video on social media and then had a 15 minute break. During the break the chatter amongst agents was about the video we just saw and how they don’t understand all the platforms out there, how most felt intimidated by using social media for their businesses. I could not help but feel really disheartened by all those comments.
Being a millennial, social media is organic for me. It is a part of my life professionally and personally. It literally is my newspaper, social calendar, postcards, Rolodex, photo album, and the pulse of my daily life. What I really like about social media is that for travel, I feel it’s such a great fit. Looking at pictures of different destinations and seeing people’s posts of their travels is one of the main reasons I am on social media. I don’t know many other outlets where you can truly inspire such a large network to travel in such a quick and easy way.
The other cool thing about social media is that there are so many platforms and options, if a person takes their time, they can find one or two that truly fit their needs. There is no need to embrace them all. If you are on every app or website that some industry partners tell you “must” be on, then I think it loses the value for agents.
If you are on most of the social media sites but don’t use them frequently, then you are not getting an engaged audience and it will become a chore. Have you ever met someone and thought, this person is all business, but who are they really? That is the best way I can explain social media. It’s a place where you can really showcase who you are as a business and as an individual. Share those intangibles that makes you, you. Finding the right social media platform can definitely help you reach many more potential clients.
The key is finding the site or sites that you really enjoy and will be easy to use throughout the day. If anyone ever wants some suggestions, I will be more than happy to share some of my favorite apps/sites out there.
I thank all our supplier partners for trying to share the importance of social media, but as travel consultants we should also help each other since most of us don’t have a social media department to handle things. Social media is fun and a very handy tool; and as an industry we are both fun and sociable. We can tie our long-term success to our desire to share—so why not be social?
Mary Jo Salas is a 3-year veteran of the industry working for Alamo Travel Group. Alamo is a full service agency with government, business and leisure travel divisions based in San Antonio, Texas. Mary Jo specializes in honeymoons, family vacations, and couples’ getaways and also serves as the Southwest Chapter Vice-President for ASTA.