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. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the monkey on my back. That nagging feeling that creeps its way into my thoughts whenever I’m online. It’s the pressure in my stomach I feel whenever I’m out with friends.
“Why don’t we have a Facebook page yet?” says a colleague.
“Ten Reasons Why Your Company Needs to Have a Blog!” shouts the email.
“Uncle Frank just found a new client on Twitter. Why aren’t you Tweeting?” asks my mom. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a convert. For months now I have been shaking my head. I didn’t get Twitter. Who wants to know what everyone in the world is doing right now? How about Now? Now? Not me. But during my research for this article I saw the light. I’m not about to say that Twitter would be my first choice for a social marketing platform for every travel agent, but the potential is obvious and for the most ambitious of you, worth a hard look.
Twitter is often referred to as “micro-blogging.” Twitter allows friends, family, and co–workers to communicate through the exchange of short messages. The writer will post a short update, called a “tweet”. Each message must be 140 characters or fewer. URLs can be embedded in a post, and many use http://www.tinyurl.com/ to shorten the length of the URL. Twitter posts the message to your profile and then sends the message to your “Followers”. Messages can not be edited, but can be deleted. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen up! We’ve all heard the phrase “What’s old is new again.”
Live audio is all the rage now. It’s the mash-up of old school and new school. First off the block was Clubhouse, now comes Live Audio Rooms from Facebook.
Tune in for a quick low-down on these 2 popular platforms. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, if that is not an attention-grabbing title, I don’t know what is. But bear with me because there is a lesson to be learned and it is a good one. And I promise all links will be completely suitable for work.
I have long championed owning your own sandbox when it comes to an online presence. There are many travel agencies that rely on cookie-cutter websites provided by their host, franchise, or consortia. There are even some who have foregone a website and are relying on Facebook for their online presence. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. Read the rest of this entry »
As travel begins to resume, I thought it might make sense to look at some basic strategies to help us all recover. Remember when Facebook was the place you went to tell your friends what you ate for lunch? Social media has become much more than just a place to connect with friends. It is now a full-blown powerhouse for businesses of every stripe. But you already knew that right?
Every user is a potential customer, and to make sure you place your best foot forward, every engagement matters. So, how do you maximize that engagement? Here are seven tips. Read the rest of this entry »
Things change! Did 2020 prove that or what? And the travel industry is about to undergo a significant shift in 2021 and beyond in the way it works. There will be challenges. There will be wins, and losses. I was having dinner with an agency owner the other week and we were discussing (and maybe arguing) how the industry must adapt to a changing travel world that is yet to be defined. Here’s what we came up with! Read the rest of this entry »
Do you find that as the recovery of travel ramps up, that some social marketing tactics seem old and out of touch with the times?
Over the last year, so much has changed in the ways that people consume marketing that savvy travel pros are turning to new ways to stand out in the noisy social marketing space.
Let’s explore 3 creative ways to get noticed, so that fans and clients are excited in this new era. We’ll dive into the 3-A’s to amplify your brand: Ads, Audiences, and Audio.
“Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, “Greenroom,” last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned (MSFT.O) LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products.” Source
Technology has empowered customers in ways we never would have imagined ten years ago. Heck, we probably could not have imagined it last week. With the touch of a few buttons, customers can have all the information they want at their fingertips and often “know” more than we might about a particular destination—and that’s alright.
Also, they also can decimate a business with a few taps on their phone with a negative review, or worse. This scenario is even harsher for smaller agencies with fewer reviews—the negative ones will stand out!
Keeping up with technology isn’t easy. As a business owner, you need to think about not only managing your reputation but how to get the attention of potential clients and keep them interested enough to make them want to continue interacting with you.
So, what can you do to increase the number of customers engaging with you and your agency? Read the rest of this entry »
By now, you probably heard about the current squabble between Facebook and Apple. If not, here’s the background. So, why should a battle between tech giants impact the travel industry? Well, it doesn’t directly, but it might significantly affect your marketing and further reinforce the need to own your own sandbox. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel will return soon, spurred by an increasing number of people vaccinated or simply willing to hit the road after so many months of being shut-in. If your clients haven’t yet made a road trip, that may be first on their agenda, and then as countries open up, that first airline ticket purchase. Already countries like Costa Rica, Belize, Poland, Croatia, and Iceland are accepting arrivals. Is it safe to travel now? That is such a personal question it is unanswerable in the abstract. Everyone has to decide for themselves when they are ready. Certainly, we have seen busier airports and destinations in Mexico are already seeing increases in the number of tourists visiting. But for each of us, the decision to travel absolutely must be a personal choice when your clients and their traveling companions are confident and willing. Read the rest of this entry »
With the dominance of social media marketing, you might think that sending an old-fashioned email might be akin to a letter, right? Wrong!
When it comes to keeping clients and prospects engaged with your agency — email marketing is king.
New tech comes and goes daily it seems. Google+…out. Tik Tok…in. Snapchat…who knows. But you know what is always “in?” Email.
Maintaining an email list is no longer something nice to have, but it is imperative if you want to grow your travel business, and here are four reasons why. Read the rest of this entry »
We all saw the memes* last week of Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, right? Off topic, this is my favorite; but they were good and I started to think of how our news cycle and, in fact the election, was largely guided by memes and decided I needed to have one of my own. So here it is. Read the rest of this entry »
Back when I first started shooting video, I used to stare at the keyboard (procrastinating). I’d then search online for what other people were doing (time-suck). And then, I left my desk to get glammed up thinking inspiration would come to me from my make-up bag! (NOT!)
After 40 minutes, I still had nothing anywhere close to video content. Nada! Zilch!
Does that sound familiar?
The other day a travel pro asked me, “Why even bother shooting video… it takes so much time! Who’s watching travel & tourism videos now anyway?”
I’m thinking about containers and contents lately. We all love great containers. Last year, I went to a local shop and purchased a new hummingbird feeder crafted by an artist somewhere near Asheville. Instead of the plastic parts found on a standard retail feeder, this one has a very unique red bottle as a container. It is decorated with copper tubing from which the hummingbird drinks and metal flowers are soldered onto the copper. It is a real work of art, and I enjoy it tremendously.
I’m pretty sure the hummingbirds, however, care more about the content in the bottle. If I put something less to their liking in the bottle, it doesn’t matter how attractive the container. Not only will they not drink from it, they will eventually quit coming to that particular bottle. Birds are quick learners. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you ready to give up on social ads?
Maybe you don’t feel like your ads are generating any interest. Well, you’re not alone; 62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Miss Their Targets.
Stop wasting your time and effort creating ads that fail!
But wait… why even look at this if social ads fail so often? Here’s the deal: out of all of the B2C companies using social media, 97% of them use Facebook! It matters! It works! Let’s explore 3 steps to get you on the road to fail-proof ads today. Read the rest of this entry »
2020 may be the worst of times for the travel industry, but some advisors still are having a pretty good year—thanks to new niches, new marketing and even new offices.
In Pennsylvania, for example, president Jennifer Doncsecz and the team at VIP Vacations are celebrating a record year in destination weddings that had the phone ringing through the pandemic.
They moved all but five of the 100 groups that were on the books for 2020 to 2021—and then booked even more every single month during the Covid crisis. By July and August, they were booking 25% more groups than in the same two months of 2019. Read the rest of this entry »
What type of coverage is needed? How to choose the right travel insurer?
Costa Rica announced on October 2nd, 2020 that all residents from all the states of the United States will be authorized to visit Costa Rica starting on November 1st.
In an effort to reactivate the country’s economy and maintain a controlled risk of infections due to COVID-19, Costa Rica has established new entry requirements to ensure that visitors are and feel safe.
One of these requirements is that travelers must have travel insurance to enter Costa Rica. The coverage must include medical and extended stay related to COVID-19. Read the rest of this entry »
Working in travel in this COVID environment is difficult in so many ways. There’s the slowdown in bookings, the uncertainty of when this will end, and the seemingly constant stream of bad news about the virus.
If you spend too much time on social media, it’s even worse. The barrage of posts from friends and colleagues about new cases, infectivity rates, or studies by this group or that one, can spiral you into a COVID depression. Not only is it dizzying, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t.
Let’s take the airline industry for example. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you still wearing your hair the way you did after high school?
Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every single day?
While there’s comfort in sticking to habits and styles that work, the thing I’ve found in this pandemic is that trying something new and different works NOW.
Who would have thought that our industry would be turned upside down? Read the rest of this entry »
Our contributor, Steve Frankel, is one of the first travel advisors to complete a five-course certificate program in Epidemiology taught by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
According to CNN, which developed this graphic, April Fool’s Day had a special meaning this year: It was about the date that European Union redoubled its efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic, and the United States shifted its focus to “rebuilding the American economy and restoring our quality of life.” Read the rest of this entry »