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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week, we had a large boat show in our town and one of my favorite restaurants posted a photo with some sailing social media influencers who were in town grabbing a burger on their Facebook page. I was interested so I clicked on the image to enlarge it and got a surprise! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

As I have said, I am a huge fan of technology and embrace each new evolution as much as I can. Facebook—check. Podcasting—check. Blogging—check. Twitter—check. Snapchat—un-checked…sorry, just can’t wrap my head around it. And since the local newspaper is all but dead as far as advertising goes, I look online. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Facebook is changing things up, pay attention

OK, I am not ready to admit defeat and abandon Facebook; but there is plenty of reason to be cautious. I know I have been an ardent advocate for Facebook (and other social media platforms) for years and still feel they are an integral and perhaps critical part of any marketing plan for any agency. However, we also need to remember that the sandbox we have been invited to play in DOES belong to Mark Zuckerberg and at any time, he is able to take his ball and go home.  Or, in this case, change up the rules a bit. If you are relying solely on Facebook—you need to be concerned. If you rely on it heavily—then keep a watchful eye! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

With 2.13 billion users, Facebook is the largest social media platform and is a place that cannot be ignored for business promotion and growth..despite what the kids say today.

Are you using all the tools available on Facebook to grow your travel agency? Video streaming…or Facebook Live anyone? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Nothing tells the story of travel better than images. In particular—video! Think about it, what allows clients to picture themselves immersed in a vacation better? Is it your descriptive words like “luxury surroundings” or “pristine beaches”? Probably not. Now, give them some pictures and the immersion goes a little deeper. Before the days when online galleries were the thing, I used to loan my clients CD-ROMS of images to enable them. Today, of course, it is video and Facebook is in the process of launching a new feature tailor made for travel professionals. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

You probably know that fewer than 10% of your followers on Facebook are going to see any of your business page posts. The organic reach on Facebook continues to decline. The Facebook algorithms are getting more restrictive yet many business page owners are surprised by their low engagement rates. The surprise partly stems from their experience with their personal Facebook profile which always generates commentary and “Likes”. However, the algorithms controlling the visibility of personal posts are completely different from those controlling business pages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Give your Facebook marketing a boost!

Wondering how you might encourage more engagement with your Facebook social media postings? With good content and a few marketing dollars, you can do it. As an experiment, TRO spent $20 to boost the posting below on its Travelhoppers page to a Facebook audience of people who:

  • like travel; and
  • who read Conde Nast; and
  • who read Travel + Leisure.

​The results, as you can see, were quite outstanding! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

One of the questions I have been asked the most by entrepreneurs who attend my webinars and trainings on Facebook is “How did you get a quote request form onto your Facebook page?” I’m asked often enough that you will find a lesson dedicated to this topic in my Facebook Accelerator course. I’d like to share that lesson with you here today.

The important thing to know here is that it’s not just a form you can embed on Facebook; you can embed ANY web page in a Facebook tab. It could be your home page, your “about us” page, a sales page for one of your products or programs, a form people can fill out to be added to your email marketing list… the possibilities are endless! The good news is that it’s quick and easy to do, too. Now for all of you who are thinking “Yeah, maybe for you, but I’m not ‘techy’ like you are!” I want you to put those doubts aside. I PROMISE you that this is something you can do. It’s click, click, click, paste a link, and save. Not too bad, right? You can do that! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

5 Tips for Facebook Ads that Get Real Results!

Are you using Facebook Ads in your business? Most travel professionals I speak with WANT to use Facebook Ads, but they aren’t always sure they are getting a good return on investment from them.

Today I’ve got 5 tips for you to create Facebook Ads that get noticed… and get results. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Fascinated, yet foiled by Facebook again

I had another topic in mind for this column; but then this morning as I was browsing quickly on Facebook I realized that I needed to change focus.

I try to limit my time on social media during the business day, but I do manage several pages and groups so I feel the need to check it a couple of times.  Here are the four steps I try to take: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Raise Your Visibility With Facebook Live

Have you seen Facebook Live yet? It’s a (relatively) new feature on Facebook that lets you broadcast LIVE video over Facebook using your mobile phone. For a long time this cool feature was only available for verified users and the media, but it is now rolling out to everyone and can be an amazing tool for marketing your business. You can “go live” now on your personal page, your business page and as of this week… in Facebook groups, too!

Video is the type of content that often drives the most engagement over Facebook. It’s also a great way to increase that “know, like, and trust” factor that we are all looking to build with potential clients, right? They get to see your smiling face and hear your voice; it makes for a much deeper connection than just reading your posts. This takes it up a notch further. Right now Facebook Live content is showing higher in the newsfeed of your Facebook friends and fans than any other content. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Does Facebook Know You are a Travel Expert?

Facebook has been hard at work making some changes lately (no big surprise there, right?), but the good news is that some of them will be a great addition for service-based businesses such as travel professionals. You’ll want to check out this new Facebook update and make sure your business is ready to take advantage of this new opportunity to increase your visibility to new potential clients! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

“I have a Facebook page, but I can’t get anyone to like or comment on anything!” is something I hear often from travel professionals. They know that social media can help build their business, but they can’t quite seem to get things moving on their page. I can relate. I spent YEARS with a Facebook page that might as well have had crickets chirping in the background. Fast forward to today, and we have an active and engaged community of over 22,000 fans on our page and Facebook drives a lot of traffic (and bookings) for the agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Three Ways To Grow Your Facebook Page Without Ads

“How do I get more fans on my Facebook page?” is probably one of the questions I hear from travel professionals most often. Of course the easy answer is “with Facebook ads”, but not every agent is ready to take that leap yet, and even if they are using paid advertising, everyone appreciates some free options as well.

There are countless ways to grow your Facebook fan page, but I have three favorites that are easy to implement and can start working for you right away. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Facebook’s Custom Audience feature  is one of the more interesting innovations the social media platform has introduced. If you are willing to summon the courage to upload your client list to Facebook, the Custom Audience system will match your clients with their own user list. You can then create ads to reach only the Custom Audience intersecting the two lists. Facebook indicates your list will be hashed and encrypted prior to the upload process so, in theory, your actual data is not transferred to Facebook. However, Facebook can then match the hashed data against their own lists to build your Custom Audience. Read the rest of this entry »

White Sand Travel – reading more into Facebook

Are you a bride? Getting married? No! Well, the truth is, neither am I but I sure feel like it. As a Romance Travel Designer, I talk to a lot of couples who are overwhelmed with the planning and decisions that comes with wedding and honeymoon planning. As an entrepreneur, I can identify because I feel just like a bride – I have tons of decisions to make, a mountain of information to sift through and a plethora of tools to choose from.

Last month, I felt like I had garnered a lot of information about running a successful Facebook advertising campaign and did so with some decent results. Woohoo, this is certainly going to help me reach millions of people, I can “set it and forget it” and just move on to the next big thing on the agenda, right? Well, not so fast Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Facebook boosts

Every business owner knows the importance of social media. You must have a presence, even if it is a small one. Facebook is my main social media avenue, but I also have a Twitter account. Even though I do not use Twitter, I was able to set up my Facebook account to automatically Tweet posts to my Twitter account so it appears active. This has allowed me to have a Twitter presence without ever logging in. Visit http://www.facebook.com/twitter for details on how to do this. Read the rest of this entry »

Did you watch the Super Bowl?  Well, you will no doubt hear all the analysis about the call of the Head Coach for the Seahawks – did he make the right call? Should they have run the ball instead of throwing?  Not making the right call can cost you all that you have worked hard for!

It’s all well and good you think, that’s the Super Bowl but what about my travel business? What Super Bowl plays and travel have to do with each other? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

I don’t claim to be a social media guru. In fact, I usually distrust anyone who uses the moniker (or similar).  But, I have learned a few things in my years working various social sites, and I will gladly share a lesson or two.

First – the big mistake businesses make in using social media is to chase the latest gimmick.  Like anything in life, success in social media is the result of consistent, persistent effort.  There are no shortcuts.  What the gurus sell may result in more followers; however, it won’t result in more sales.  And isn’t that the goal? Read the rest of this entry »

One of the “perks” in writing Travel Agent Diaries is the chance to try a new thing under the premise of having something to write about. In theory, at least, it feels right to experiment with some new marketing technique or office product in real time and then write about the experience. We can all learn something together and it might be interesting. Having an article deadline is not much different from having an item on a to-do list. It’s there staring you in the face—a figurative punch to get-‘er-done. This month I was planning to write about my ventures into social media advertising – especially Facebook. Unfortunately, the punch didn’t come soon enough and I didn’t start the process in time to write about it for this column. I’ll save that story for next time, but in the meantime, I will report on a couple of other fun things I’ve done with Facebook this past month. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Are you tired of everyone online and off telling you need to learn more about Facebook and how to leverage its marketing power?  Do you feel drained that so many people are raving about business social media and that it is a great way to source new business and then retain your current customers?  Are you also frustrated knowing ‘they’ are right and not knowing where to start?  After some personal experience following, learning, listening, and then listening some more to many experts, I thought I would share some insights into getting started with your own travel business social media strategy, specifically with Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »