Going in to 2016, it’s no surprise that most travel agents have social media included in their marketing plan. Using social media to promote your business can be lucrative if you know what to do to make the most of it.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of what was the reach on this post or did that pin drive clicks to your web site, but it’s important to look at the big picture and double check those big social media best practices. You have to remember that social media is not a short-term game. It takes time and commitment as well as a specific goal in mind.
Here are my top social media best practices to keep in mind…
Complete Your Profiles: Fill out your profiles completely, using keywords that your audience as well as search engines would use to find you. Show your personality, link to your web site and blog regularly, and make sure people can connect with you easily. Facebook has a new service business search feature rolling out soon that has the potential to be very beneficial for travel agents, and having your profile filled out completely will be a big factor. Check out the details in this video.
Post Quality Content: When you post anything on social media, take the time to consider whether the content is relevant, has quality components, and will give your audience a reason to want to keep following you. It doesn’t have to be “all business” or “all travel” – as a matter of fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t. Just make sure it’s all relevant for your ideal clients. Share links to articles they will find helpful or interesting, inspirational quotes, things they will find funny, and of course, lots of travel inspiration!
Play the Long Game: Social media marketing results don’t happen overnight. It can take months of consistent and focused activity to get the outcomes that you want. Don’t expect it to happen straight away. Be consistent and post regularly to the platforms you are active on. Disappearing for long periods of time may make it look like you’ve gone out of business and you certainly don’t want that!
Engage Influencers: When someone comments on your posts, make sure you are engaging with them. Consider it an opportunity to start a conversation! Ask a follow up question, and leave a comment in reply. Your followers will appreciate knowing you are paying attention to them and are interested in what they had to say.
Avoid Time Wasters: When you get on social media its very tempting to start looking at memes, talk to your friends and family, play Candy Crush or Words With Friends, and pretend you’re working. We’ve all be there and done that, but it’s a big no-no, right?
Do Unto Others: If you want people to comment and share your information, be sure that you do the same for other people. Look for other businesses or people who market to your same audience but is not direct competition. Work together to promote each other.
Pay for Promotion: You don’t have to drop a ton of money on ads, but consider doing some paid advertising strategically from time to time. Whether it is to get more targeted followers on your page, to build your email marketing list or get the word out on a special offer that is available, there are inexpensive options available for laser targeted Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ads that can make a huge difference in your results (Twitter and LinkedIn offer ads too, but in my experience they didn’t perform as well for travel professionals).
Add Value: Don’t just like and tweet things without adding something to the conversation that is important. The more value you can add to social media discussions, the more people will want to get to know you and follow, friend, and like you.
Using social media to promote your business is a great way to get more visitors to your website and make more sales. But, you have to be willing to be committed to taking the time to do what it takes to reach your goals. Avoid pretending to work on social media while you’re really just socializing. Set specific goals, develop tactics to reach the goals, and you will be successful.
Lori Hardegree is a social visibility expert with TheVisibilitySolution.com and is the creator of the Visibility Marketing System, a proven step-by-step program to show you exactly how to stop being the best kept secret in the travel industry and start attracting new clients easily and consistently. Click here to download a free copy of her “99 Ways to Attract New Clients” checklist and receive weekly marketing and visibility strategies right to your inbox!