Did you know that, on average, internet users spend up to two hours a day on social media? Of course, to get your brand some of this valuable screen time, you need to be active and visible on the platforms.
It takes work to build up a profile and ensure that your business stays front of mind. You can’t simply set up a profile and expect followers to flock in. That is why it is important to have a social media marketing strategy in place, to define your goals and provide a framework to work from.
Why Should You Use Social Media For Marketing
Social media is a different beast to other channels of marketing, such as email or keeping a blog. You get to engage and interact with people on a one on one level. Therefore, you can use these platforms to build relationships with existing and potential clients, as well as build on your brand awareness.
Don’t rely on social media as your only marketing channel though. Rather use it in conjunction with others, as part of an overall strategy to achieve your goals.
Which Platforms To Use
While it is never a good idea to rely on one platform to do all the work, some channels work better for certain functions than others.
Most of the people you are going to want to engage with are on Facebook, so it is a good place to start developing your social media marketing strategy. You can easily share content and video, engage with fans, run competitions, and promote your latest travel products on it.
It is also a great platform if you decide you want to try out paid advertising.
This platform is visual, so it is one of the best places to fill the feeds of potential clients and travelers with inspiration for their next adventure. Share beautiful images and videos of your tour or travel products on Instagram to let people know what it is that you do.
Travel companies can use YouTube to compile travel guides, videos of their tours, explanation videos, vlogs, etc. Overall, the platform is second to Facebook in terms of active users, making it an ideal place to help travelers discover more about your travel business.
Pinterest is where people go to search and save ideas. Unlike Instagram and Facebook which reflect someone’s present day, this platform mirrors future aspirations. For example, where a person would like to travel to, what tours they would like to go on while they are there, what they would like to eat, etc.
Therefore, if you want to help people achieve their travel dreams, make sure to include the platform in your social media marketing strategy.
Laying The Groundwork For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Having a social media marketing strategy means identifying exactly what it is that you want to get out of these platforms. In other words, start by identifying the marketing objectives you want to achieve.
It could be to see engagement with travelers. Interacting with them by responding to their comments can help to let them know that there is a very real person behind a brand. In a saturated online environment, travelers seek personalization for their travel experience.
Alternatively, you might want to use social media as a tool to drive traffic to your website, putting you one step closer to realizing a booking.
Social media can also be used to increase bookings. Running a great promotion and want to push up sales? Post the details on your profiles and use a CTA to motivate action.
Mark Out A Calendar
Marking out a calendar with past and planned social media posts helps you to keep organized. By doing this, you can keep track of the content you publish, as well as ensure that you post consistently to drum up a presence on the respective platform. All in all, having a calendar is a vital tool in your social media marketing strategy.
Build Up A Content Library
Set aside some time to brainstorm a few ideas for your upcoming social media posts. Putting together a few ideas in one session will save you the stress of having to come up with something on the spot at a later date. Slot these into your calendar so that you know exactly when to post them.
Automate Where You Can
Once you have a calendar marked out and some future posts lined up, there are online tools, like Hootsuite, which you can use to automate posting for you. This means that you can schedule future dates and times for your social media posts to automatically be published.
Even though you don’t have to physically do the publishing, remember to check the notifications and engage with the people who interact on your post. The whole point is to be social, after all!
Listen To What People Are Saying About Your Brand (Or A Topic)
You might have heard of Google Alerts. While it does not monitor social media, you can use a social listening tool to track mentions of your business or a specific topic on certain social platforms in the same way that Google Alerts monitors the internet.
Why do you want to do this? Well, people might not always tag your travel business in the comments they make, and a tool like this will alert you to mentions you want to track.
Say, for example, a client posts a less than glowing review of your travel product on social media but doesn’t tag you in it. You would want to know about this so that you can look into the matter and help resolve the issue.
This type of tool can also be used to monitor specific keyword mentions on social. Perhaps you offer meditation retreats in Bali and want to be part of public conversations involving this keyword so you can offer your expertise to potential clients.
Ultimately it can direct you to the social media conversations you want to be involved in.
At the end of the day, putting together a great social media marketing strategy will help you to build relationships with potential clients and increase brand awareness. Remember that, at the heart of social media, is interesting and relevant content that travelers want to read, see, and engage with.