Part three of our series on building a digital presence for travel companies looks at social media to build brand awareness and attract and engage customers.
Social media is pivotal to your business’ identity. It is where many of your existing and target customers spend their time online. Your social platforms play substantial roles in the travelers’ research journey and relationship-building with your business.
Going forward, treat your social media profiles as spaces where you can:
- Be a source of travel inspiration
- Boost brand reach through sharing content and engaging an audience
- Establish your credibility
- Build a travel community
- Direct traffic to your website through calls-to-action
- Offer customer service support
- Market your products and drive sales
- Maximize SEO
Part Three: Contents
Are you using your social media platforms to their full potential? Here is a checklist of points to focus on and develop your travel company’s digital presence:
- Work out your strategy
- Identify your ideal traveler
- Choose the right platforms
- Optimize your profiles
- Create great content
- Use your social analytics
- Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
Building A Digital Presence: Social Media For Travel Companies
1. Work Out A Strategy
The first thing to do is establish a decisive social media strategy. Identify your goals – what are you trying to get out of your social media presence? What kinds of resources can you dedicate to building your presence? What skills do you need to make this happen?
An important element to think about at this point is who will be in charge of implementing this strategy? It might be worth hiring a social media or community manager to do this. They can set up campaigns and monitor KPIs to drive success and meet goals.
2. Identify Your Ideal Traveler
Who are the people you want to reach and sell your tours or travel product to? Which generation do they fall into, and what are they interested in aside from travel? Is your business having the same conversations online as they are, and do your values align?
Create a profile of this ideal traveler, and think about how they might interact with your brand on social media. Are they going to be more engaged by the user-generated content on your profile, or find the link to your complete destination guide more useful?
Figuring this out will help you to move forward on the platforms more intentionally and with better results.
3. Choose The Right Platforms
The more platforms you are on, the better your reach, right? The truth is, this isn’t the approach you should take.
Not only is it going to cost you resources and time, but your efforts can also go to waste if it’s not where your ideal travelers hang out.
Generally speaking, the following five platforms can work for your business in the following ways:
Facebook – large reach; great for building a community. Engage travelers with videos, images, client content, and promotional material. Encourage followers to interact with and share your content. Also ideal for customer service.
Instagram – perfect for travel as it’s widely used as a source of inspiration through hashtags and location tagging. It is also a great place to collaborate with travel influencers and bloggers who get traction on the platform.
Share lots of visuals of your beautiful destinations. Make the most of Stories where brands get one-third of the 500+ million daily views. Beat the IG algorithm, keep your content top of the screen, and reach your audience in a highly engaging format they love.
Youtube – feature your products and travel team. Allow travelers to get to know you better and sneak a peek at what you have to offer.
Twitter – good for providing updates and customer service. Also valuable for staying on trend and engaging with your customers on relevant industry news.
LinkedIn – a place to network with the industry and create and nurture strategic business partnerships.
4. Optimize Your Profiles
Fill in all your relevant business details on your social media pages, including your contact information, website URL, description of what you do, company logo, and eye-catching content.
Your profiles should be an extension of your website and give your social media visitors a snapshot of your company and what it offers.
Don’t forget to include CTAs and utilize the Book Now button to drive traffic to your website. Ultimately, you want people going through to discover your product, get in touch, and even make bookings.
5. Create Great Content
Great content is the foundation of a brilliant and successful social media profile. Are you using the space to inspire and entertain? Depending on who your ideal traveler is, some ideas for content to share or create include:
- Photos and videos of destinations and attractions
- Travel recommendations and links
- Polls and surveys about places your audience may want to travel to
- Customer reviews and stories
- Travel specials and packages
- Links to your blog posts
- Travel guides
If you are not sure where to begin with content creation, keep a lookout for our final piece in the series, where we will share tips to do this.
6. Use Your Social Analytics
If you are using business profiles for your social media, you will get access to analytics. Monitor different metrics like your click-through rates, post engagement rates, and views.
Use these to help you understand whether your strategies are working and whether you are reaching your goals.
7. Collaborate With Travel Partners or Influencers
Partnering up on social media, whether it’s with another brand or an influencer, extends your reach to the other’s audience as well as your own. It can have an amazing impact on brand awareness and promote your products and services.
Working with an influencer also adds to your credibility, as their followers will accept that the influencer trusts your business, thereby elevating your status.
Coming Up: The Final Installment
In the final of our four-part series, we explore content production and where to share it online to boost your digital presence.
In case you missed parts one and two, catch up here. There is an intro on why it’s critical to have a digital presence, where clients expect to find and interact with you online, as well as a guide on must-have travel website features.