Guest post: The importance of social media for leisure businesses
The relevance of social media for planning travel and leisure activities continues to grow. Service providers in the tourism and leisure sectors should now pay more attention to the topic of social media marketing, as in future, it will be an unavoidable aspect of all tourism concepts.
In this article, you will learn:
- Why social media are particularly relevant to tourism and leisure providers
- How you can develop a direct line to customers via targeted social media marketing
- Which aspects you should put at the heart of your strategy to make it a success
Reading time: 3 minutes.
Smartphones and other mobile devices have now become everyone’s constant companions, including while travelling and enjoying leisure activities. As such, these little miracles of technology have now completely superseded city guide books, and other users’ experiences of restaurants, bars, and other leisure activities provide us with recommendations that allow us to navigate confidently through the city toward our goal. As such, social networks play a particularly significant role in terms of how we spend our leisure time.
1. How to use social media in the leisure sector
A global survey by the Deloitte Global business consultancy of around 10,000 social media users showed that social media was the second most important factor in planning trips and vacations, at 33 per cent. Only direct recommendations by friends and family were named more frequently, at 50 per cent – and even this communication increasingly takes place via digital channels like social networking.
The potential for tourism and leisure suppliers to raise their profiles via social media is therefore significant. Some examples?
- Encourage your guests to take photos of their trips, experiences, or events and share them on Instagram using a special hashtag. This will give you free, authentic promotional material, that will spread online dynamically without you having to lift a finger. For instance, this is how the Disneyland theme park promotes itself.
- Create a contest and award a small prize for the best picture or video taken on your premises.
- Or, why not regularly upload entertaining videos to YouTube and then link to them from your Facebook page or Twitter account.
Your have as many different options as there are social networks.
2. Use social media marketing to create customer contact
Social media marketing is built on the extreme popularity of social media and networks. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, and their ilk are the great contact and communications forums of our era. That’s where social media marketing comes in and attempts to attract potential guests and visitors online.
Instead of traditional marketing campaigns with print or outdoor advertising, the focus is primarily on content in the form of stories, images, videos, and games. Content of this kind must entertain and inform users and, in the best case scenario, also convince them of the merits of your product. With the help of content like this, you can extend your reach and maintain contact with your potential customers. You can follow trends and, at the same time, learn what your target audience is sharing and what their concerns are.
A particularly prominent example is the Pokémon GO app. This augmented reality game became the world’s most successful app in record time with a peak of around 45 million active players. Just a few weeks ago, the app was the most talked about topic on social media and a godsend for many leisure service providers, who piggy backed on the trend and created Pokémon-hunts, tours, and other events based on the app.
3. How to succeed with social media marketing
Your business’s approach to social media doesn’t need a magic formula, and it’s not rocket science either – as long as you give your creativity free rein and follow a few basic rules:
- Identify your target audience: start with research. You must be completely clear in your own mind as to who your leisure products are aimed at, and how you should attract their attention.
- Use all relevant channels: it’s better if you avoid limiting yourself to a single social media platform and instead use all channels that may be relevant to your strategy.
- Allocate specific tasks to particular networks: for instance, you could handle support over Twitter or Facebook, use Instagram for user-generated content and YouTube for your own video productions. With the help of special tools, you can handle communication across multiple platforms from a single location and manage several social media profiles at once.
- Always keep an eye on your key figures: the relevant tools can also monitor and analyze clicks, likes, shares and many other relevant data points. This means you’re always up to date and can assess the success of your strategy. A social media tool comparison is available from trusted.
- Don’t neglect your web presence, either: it’s all well and good to share content all over social media, but content of this nature is only ever transitory. What remains is your own online presence, in the form of your company website, blog, or online store. Don’t let them be neglected!
With these tips and a little ingenuity, your social media strategy is on the path to success!
This article has been written by Maximilian Reichlin.