If you are a travel and tourism business creating brand recognition, it is absolutely imperative for you to use social media marketing. Gone are the days when travelers relied on paper guides and agents to plan and book their vacations. In fact, most travelers today are relying more and more on the internet to make purchasing decisions. With social media users reaching billions of people each month (and no, that is definitely not an exaggeration, it’s a real statistic), ignoring social media would be like ignoring TV as a marketing tool in the 1960s!
Engaging travelers on social media will grow your travel and tourism brand name even if you’re a startup, and increase the number of potential travelers who are interested in what you are offering. The best part is that the investment you make is relatively small, and the output for that investment -when the marketing plan is done right- is exponential. Here are five great tips to get you started:
Research has shown that travelers are now using their phone to make a large percentage of their research and booking for trips. This means that if your site isn’t mobile friendly – responsive as the website developer say, you are already losing customers.
People may be attempting to visit your website today and leaving immediately when the website looks off on their phone or mobile device.
It also means that part of your budget should go into mobile marketing. TV, print and radio are important and effective for some brands, but sticking to them will limit the markets you can reach. If you want to find the Netflix addicts that don’t watch cable, and iPhone fanatics that would not be caught dead listening to the radio, mobile marketing is the way to go. You will be effortlessly reaching the influential, youthful, Millennial demographic that can grow into a long term customer relationship.
Most social media outlets have realized their potential as marketing tools and now offer advertising opportunities for businesses. By far the most popular and effective one is Facebook, which reaches billions of people every month (and even every day!) and advertises only to people who have shown an interest in your type of product or specific interests that you have identified in your ideal customer. You can pay as little as $5 or invest thousands, it all depends on what you need and what you’re selling.
Other social media giants that offer advertising include Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. With a large percentage of the world population actively using at least one of these outlets, not using them for your travel and tourism branding is a huge mistake.
Setting up a blog is a great way to drive traffic into your website, and get people excited about your brand. This is true whether you offer tours, gear, or clothes. By blogging about traveling you can practice some non-invasive advertisement. That is, instead of having a huge ad pop on someone’s screen, you can get them excited to go to a place/try new technology/have an experience, and then subtly tell them that you can provide it. It’s like the jedi mind trick of the travel industry.
One perfect example of this is a favorite of mine, Intrepid Travel’s Blog. Focused on small and unique tours, their blog talks about destinations, food, and culture. One small sentence about their tours at the end of each article is all they need to drive traffic into their site.
Bonus tip: This is also a great way to boost your SEO ranking.
With constant information being streamed through different media all the time, it is important to stand out. How do you do this? One way is to have a personality that shines bright like a diamond. Allow the essence of your company & brand shine through with your language and word choices. What that personality is should reflect your business and the image that you wish to give, but it should be consistent and, more than anything, engaging.
Having a personality will make potential customers feel like they can easily engage with and relate to your brand. They will begin to like and trust you as a person, not only the tourism packages that you sell They will stop seeing you as someone who is trying to sell them something, and will instead see you as someone that is offering an opportunity. Potential customers should feel that, even if they don’t buy the product, they are getting something out of interacting with your brand on social media- whether that is useful information, insight knowledge, beauty or a few laughs. Having a unique personality and sharing your perspective makes your brand more recognizable and marketable, thus earning you more business.
One of the most important aspects of a successful travel marketing campaign is to have flawless social media profiles on every outlet. Remember everything is visual in today’s world, so if your brand isn’t immediately appealing to the eye, people will not spend a second listening to what you have to say. Besides your logo and banner (which should, of course, be incredible), the content you post also affects your brand name. Step one is set up. Take the time to make sure you are represented with a clean, clear and inviting brand on the social media platforms you will be using.
Make sure that every picture you post on your Instagram page will make people want to follow you- even if they’re not yet interested in your brand. Top 9 together should tell a story that not only invites in a follower but represents all the gorgeous aspects of your travel and tourism company. Your Pinterest boards should have engaging names as well as images, and your Facebook and Twitter accounts should post useful information and witty status updates. If you have a Youtube channel, or an account in another video outlet like Vimeo or SnapChat, use it to take people through experiences and adventures linked to your brand. If you have a social media platform set up, take the time, invest the money to make it look amazing and represent your travel company completely.
When you embrace the powers of the internet and social media as a marketing tool, the travel industry opens up to you. Get more bookings with less effort, let the established marketing go the distance for you.
Listen to what marketplace trends are telling you and start making this a major marketing strategy for your travel and tourism brand. It’s easy, relatively inexpensive, and very effective. What’s there to think about? Just incorporate social media marketing into your business outreach strategy today.
Need help with branding? If you’re looking for a luxury travel and tourism marketing company that can help skyrocket your business to the top, give us a shout!