You may not think that travel marketing and media are the most copasetic couple on the red carpet, but in reality social media marketing is in the process of revolutionizing the travel industry. Social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., are places where people love to post about their new and exciting experiences. Travel is of course a favorite new experience. Therefore the logical next step is for marketers to harness the power of social media to entice people with travel experiences. Think of it, once users have been primed with the latest travel pictures from their high school rivals or college roommates; hit them with a pop-up ad for a one-week getaway to the Caribbean, Disney World or an Alaskan Cruise.
Reading a recommendation or a review on social media from a trusted friend (or a cold-hearted rival) could very easily get one thinking about ways to create one’s own memories, photo albums and life-altering experiences. Whether we follow in a friend’s footsteps to experience a similar retreat in paradise or make plans to surpass a rival’s travel escapades (because we are sick & tired of reading so many great things about their adventures – ALL IN CAPS); travel social media has the potential to be a driving force for boosting your travel business!
Three Innovative Uses for Travel Social Media Marketing
1. Use Social Media for Customer Service
One of the most important ways travel social media impacts your business is through the opportunity it creates for instant, responsive, comprehensive and transparent customer service. When quality customer service representatives can instantly answer questions, concerns, complaints and follow up with customers, your business builds a reputation for professionalism that gets communicated by the customers you have helped. When you direct your customers to your Facebook page for instance, they will have the ability to connect through Messenger when they have questions or concerns. And they will receive almost instantaneous responses to their questions and concerns during whatever time frame you set for customer service hours. This is vital because people increasingly expect responses to their questions and especially to their complaints.
Remember to prepare for negative press, reviews, concerns and feedback. It is inevitable that you won’t please everyone. Be prepared to respond to these negative reviews. Prepare your customer service staff for any situation and train them regularly how to respond to specific complaints and situations with kindness and value. Don’t take negative reviews lightly. When you handle these situations with professionalism, courtesy and transparency you can often win over even your disgruntled customers. And in doing so you create a positive travel social media reputation that gets shared through Social Media channels!
2. Use Social Media Sharing Programs
Everyone benefits from positive reviews on social media and elsewhere. Savvy travellers themselves are aware of the premium attributed to great reviews. We recommend you take advantage of the incredible role of social media in tourism marketing by offering benefit programs for those willing to share their experiences and positive reviews about your business brand in their social media posts and yours. Especially millennials are very good about reading reviews and gathering information from their peers’ travel experiences.
Many millennials are technologically savvy enough to know the in’s and out’s of posting, hashtagging and reviewing their travel experiences. Most of these millennials are not only aware of but expect some kind of compensation or benefit from their social media reviews. Therefore it is smart for businesses to provide a sharing program with benefits for these savvy young travelers. It becomes a win-win in which, for instance at a hotel, they receive a free drink at the bar or coffee from the barista or points toward a free night, while your hotel gets their positive reviews out to their social networks. You will only get those extra shares from your customers if you incentivize their efforts.
You can’t require a positive review, but that’s okay because what you want are interesting and truthful posts. Ask for posts that include interesting photos or videos. Ask them to provide posts that are relevant to your brand and industry and that have a unique hashtag. Ensure that they tag you in their post so that your business gets exposure to their networks!
Getting ahead of the curve with this kind of media sharing program can be relatively inexpensive to your bottom line but can pay big dividends in the long term with the quality of your reviews and your social media presence.
3. Use Social Media to Highlight Travel Experiences
Whatever your travel business does, you provide an essential cog in the array of experiences that people enjoy and share through travel social media. You can capitalize on these social media posts to highlight your business and the ways that you enhance travellers’ experiences. If your business relies on tourism and travel for a good portion of your income and sales each year then you need to highlight the many ways that your business enhances peoples’ fabulous experiences on their travels.
Use social media listening to keep track of trends and cater your offerings, your incentives and your content on your website, blog, and social media to the needs, interests and wants of your identified demographic. If you rent kayaks your target audience will be looking for very different experiences and incentives than what the ice cream shop around the corner will highlight. Still you can see how all kinds of businesses will benefit from highlighting, through travel marketing and media, the great experiences and opportunities afforded to their customers.
The role of social media in tourism marketing cannot be understated. When it comes right down to it, using social media sites like Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as sources for your created content is a fantastic way to offer people valuable information with your brand recognition. Your bike store can create snaps at the bike park for Snapchat, or Livestream content about biking trails in your area, create a downloadable map to the main attractions in your city free with bike rentals, make a YouTube video on fixing flat tires, etc.
Identifying your specialties and providing useful information about them is a great way to increase brand awareness and your online visibility. By helping to prepare tourists for a fantastic experience in your city and ways to get questions answered and give feedback as well as ratings you can grow your business through the magic of social media.
You may not be up to running your travel business and creating content and platforms for your content that will increase your social media presence. That’s cool because that is where our expertise can help your business grow.
Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe!
We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. And we are experts at social media. Visit us today at www.zo.agency