Social media is one of the most popular marketing platforms for tour operators.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of these online platforms where travelers window shop for tours, attractions, and travel destinations. Many travelers nowadays depend on social media for ideas on where to go and what to do there.
Customers want to know the kind of experience they’ll get before making the final decision of booking their holiday. By building your name on various social platforms, your tour or attraction business stands a better chance of influencing these decisions and hence driving more sales.
Before beginning your social media tours marketing, knowing the benefits you can tap here will drive you to maximize on the opportunities.
Here are a few advantages of using social media to promote your tour packages:
- Increase brand awareness: Social media gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand in front of a large audience. As you post images on Instagram and share tweets on Twitter that portray your brand personality, potential customers get to know who you are. Your uniqueness comes out and pulls in new clients who may not have known about your brand otherwise.
- Boost Google ranking: If your business can be easily found on this coveted search engine’s results page, you have made it. So how does social media help your business to become more visible on Google? Having several active social accounts linked to your website means more links leading to your business. This, as a result, boosts your ranking.
- Increase engagement: There are many ways potential clients and your current customers can engage with your tours and attraction company. For example, commenting, sharing, and liking your posts. By engaging with clients on social media, you also discover more about their needs and desires. You can then tailor-make your tour packages to meet these needs.
- Drive more sales: At the end of the day, this is the goal of your business, to get more bookings. Most social media platforms have features that can make this easier to achieve. You can include a call to action that triggers browsers to act on their interest and book your tour packages right on your social page. And even if users don’t make a booking immediately, the interaction they get with your brand creates a lasting memory that will bring them back to you when they are planning their next getaway.
Select The Right Platforms
Now that you know the importance of having an online footprint on social platforms, focusing on 2 to 3 platforms, to begin with is a good strategy. This gives you enough time and resources to understand and maximize what each platform offers. Later on, you can gradually expand to other sites and increase your reach.
So how do you select the ideal platform for your social media tours or attractions marketing? Answering the following questions can steer you in the right direction:
- Who is your target audience?
- On which social platform is your audience mostly found?
- Which network best aligns with your brand?
- What is your marketing objective?
Every social media network has its predominant purpose and attracts a certain kind of audience. Based on these variations, it’s important to understand the different platforms and see what each has to offer your tours or attractions company.
That’s why we’re giving you more details here on each of these social networks.
Let’s dive in.
This is the king of social media. Reports show that Facebook has more than 2.32 billion monthly active users. Out of this number, about 71% visit the platform multiple times daily.
These numbers show that there’s a huge population you can potentially reach on Facebook to sell your tours and activities. And even though organic reach may be harder to get, one can still make use of paid advertisements.
Facebook is particularly great for increasing brand engagement through comments, likes, and shares. You can post different kinds of content for your tour business to trigger engagement. This includes videos, photos, notes, or even linking to your blog posts. Having a variety of options to pick from makes it ideal especially when beginning your social media marketing.
Stories and live streams are also unique features on Facebook that tour operators can utilize to showcase their packages. Attraction companies can post real-time videos of travelers enjoying the various experiences they offer. This feature helps create more authentic content that potential customers can rely on to make their booking decisions.
As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is ideal for building a community. You can create a fan page or a group for your customers where they share their experiences and express their needs. Having this kind of open forum may give you more valuable insight into your audience. You can make improvements to your company based on this kind of open feedback.
Instagram is all about photos and images. It’s ideal for marketing tour businesses since this is an industry that’s quite visual-oriented. As a tour operator or attractions owner, you can post photos of different experiences that you offer clients.
It’s interesting to note that a good number of millennials select their tour destinations based on what they see on Instagram in a bid to recreate those images.
Instagram is also one of the top choice social media networks for boosting brand awareness. Most users get to discover different brands using hashtags. This tags direct users to content on specific topics.
As a tour owner, do your research on the popular hashtags in your niche that are related to the product or service you sell. Use a number of them in every post. At the same time, ensure your posts are unique, high-quality, and catchy. This way, whenever someone lands on your post through the hashtag you used, you can grab their attention and use the opportunity to market your business.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a social media platform for displaying (pinning) images and photos. Most users visit Pinterest to find ideas on activities and products and discover new interests.
This social platform is great for driving traffic to your website. You can attach links to your tours website on your pinned images. When people click on the image, they are directed to your website where they can get more information on your product or services.
To succeed on Pinterest marketing, always pin high-quality vertical images that are eye-catching. Your target audience is continuously being bombarded by numerous images as they scroll through the site. You need to give them a reason to slow down and click on your images. And the best part is to get them to save your pin. That way they are more likely to follow up on what they’ve seen and look for more information on your website.
You also need to be keen on keywords on Pinterest. Research on the best keywords to use in your niche and apply them on your boards and pins. This will increase your chances of being found by potential clients searching for what you have to offer. Hashtags are also crucial for the same reason and should be used strategically.
Being the second biggest search engine (after Google), YouTube is a strategic platform for reaching a large audience. Apart from that, video marketing is quickly taking over online marketing.
Do you know surveys have reported that more than 80% of consumers want to see more video content from brands?
It goes without saying that video content is more engaging than written content or even images. As a tour operator, you can express your brand personality more vibrantly and in detail using YouTube videos.
For example, vlogging during tours and uploading the videos on your channel is a great way to market your brand. You can also take short video clips of the various places travelers can visit when they book with you. And by partnering with influencers, you can have them create videos reviewing your product or services.
If your budget allows, you can also make use of paid ads on YouTube to generate more leads, drive more traffic to your website, or even get more bookings.
Most people use Twitter to remain up to date with the latest news and information. This is a speedy social media network. To keep up, you need to tweet frequently. Even if not all your tweets will trend, tweeting regularly increases your chance of getting noticed.
On Twitter, the power of hashtags cannot be overemphasized. This is the channel of getting discovered by users who may turn into followers and hopefully your tour customers. Know what hashtags are trending within your industry and strike while the iron is still hot by posting some catchy tweets on the subject.
To get the most out of Twitter, use Twitter Analytics to monitor your account. Track the engagement on your tweets at different times of the day in order to know the best time to tweet.
It may be a bit harder to build a large following on Twitter but with persistence, you can get there.
Now that you’re on board the social media bandwagon, your focus ought to be on getting better and maximizing the opportunities available on these platforms.
No matter what your campaign is about, here are a few tips that can boost your social media tours marketing strategy and help you grow your tours or attraction business overall.
- Avoid being too salesy. Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of your posts ought to be entertaining, informative, educative or simply inspiring to your audience. Only use 20% of your posts for promotions and selling your product or services.
- Be consistent. Sustain communication with your target audience by posting regularly, commenting on posts, and responding to comments. This consistent engagement helps build trust in your brand and keeps you on the mind of your audience so when they are ready to take action you are likely to be their first choice.
- Make your posts more shareable. It’s not enough to just post images, videos, or tweets about your tours. These posts need to be catchy and make your target audience pause long enough to find out more about your business. Stand out from the crowd and trigger users to share your post with their friends and family on social networks. This calls for high-quality, well thought out, or interactive content.
- Respond to comments. Engagement is a two-way street, so as your audience comments or likes your posts, it’s essential that you respond to their comments. This creates a personal touch to your brand which is very attractive to most customers.
To make it easier to implement these tips and succeed with social media, you can automate some of these tasks or have staff members solely dedicated to handling your social media marketing. It’s definitely worth the extra cost and time.
Social media marketing is evidently a great opportunity for you to grow your tour or attraction company. With the average person spending approximately two hours on social media daily, you cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity to get leads, build awareness, drive engagement, and boost sales for your business.
The most common social media platforms to get on are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter. Each of these networks has its predominant purpose.
By factoring in the kind of audience you want to reach and your marketing objective, you can be able to make the best choice on which platform to begin with. Ultimately, having an active brand presence on all these sites may result in growing your brand even more.
Finally, keep in mind that social media platforms are for socializing. Hence, aim to engage your audience as effectively and as often as is necessary to keep them hooked to your brand.