Over the years, social media has evolved from a channel for sharing travel experiences to a platform for making reservations. Your potential guests seek travel inspiration on social media. They research and look for recommendations on social platforms to gather as much information as possible while they plan their travel. Tour and transport operators can effectively use social media to build relationships, communicate with their guests and acquire new customers.
A clear social media strategy is now a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. Having a plan will help you focus on what you need to achieve from your social media presence and leverage these channels to work for your tour and transport business.
With a smart action plan, you will stand out in the excessive noise on social media. If you are wondering how to do it right, we have these social media tips to increase your online visibility and get you more tour bookings.
Know Your Target Audience
A better understanding of your potential customers is the cornerstone of your social media strategy. The best place to begin is your existing guest list. Analyze the demographic information of customers who already enjoyed your tours and attractions.
Based on this real-world data and additional market research, craft a buyer persona for your tour and transport business. For the uninitiated, a buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer.
The buyer personas will have names and a detailed description of their demographics, interests, behavioural traits, pain points, and goals.
By crafting buyer personas, you will know your customers’ interests and needs so that you can tailor social media content for them. It reminds you that each post is for real people to create a special bond with them.
Buyer personas will also help you address the right audience when you run paid ads. Distinctly defining your target audience will place your ad in front of the right people and help you get clicks from qualified leads. It saves you from spending money on unqualified leads.
Choose The Right Platform
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and the list goes on—the social media landscape is getting crowded. It is impossible to be active on every available platform unless you have massive marketing resources.
The smart move is to identify the optimal platform for your tours and activities. This is where you go back to your buyer personas. Your persona’s interest is a factor in deciding the ideal platform where your content will have the biggest impact.
Also, dive into the latest marketing insights. Every platform has its own particular set of active users. To give you a quick idea, here are the social media demographics for 2021 from Sprout Social.
Having a clear picture of social media users can help you narrow down your platform. Your competitors’ official pages are also a great place to get an idea of potential guests’ social channels.
Post Diverse Content Frequently
Consistent posting helps you stay on top of your social media performance. As you post regularly, you give your followers an opportunity to get to know you better. The more they know you, the more they trust you to make a booking.
However, always remember that content quality outweighs quantity. Being too salesy will put off your audience. Create diverse content that adds value to your audience.
Figuring out different content types (again, look back to your buyer persona) that suits your goals and channels can make the planning easy for you.
Here is a simple content strategy; Divide your content into five types:
- Informational—Add exciting info such as historical places in your area
- Educational—Teach them something new such as travel tips
- Entertaining—Give them fun facts from the travel industry
- Social proof—Guest feedback on your tours
- Promotional—Feature your tours and activities
- Behind the Scenes—Feature your staff showing the human side of your business
Once you decide the content types, create a content calendar for social media, assigning a content type each day.
You can manage a calendar with Excel or Google Sheets. If you have the budget, you can invest in tools such as Later, Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Canva to organize and schedule content across different platforms.
You can use social media platforms to communicate your tour updates, especially unexpected closures or restrictions. We have seen how efficiently tourism operators used social media during the pandemic sharing the closures and reopening information with their community.
Engage with the Community
Social media is never a one-way communication. Thoughtful interactions and engagement help you attract more followers. When you respond to their comments or share their posts, you gradually build relationships with your potential guests.
Apart from liking their comments and mentions, make the best use of user-generated content. Whenever guests share their experience with your tours, repost it on your channel. It will give a glimpse into what it’s like to enjoy your tours. The posts created by your guests will bring authenticity, and they can spark interest in their friends and family.
You could repost even exciting posts about your local community from any user to enhance meaningful connections and increase your followers. By searching and following hashtags, you can identify posts that are highly tracked and inspire travel.
You can also request your guests to live-stream their tours. Live streaming by guests has more authenticity than your promotional videos and can reach diverse audiences.
Social media copy is another aspect that you need to focus on. Draft copy that speaks to your guests directly using more of ‘you’ and ‘your.’ Drive engagement by encouraging them to leave their thoughts about the posts. Or involve them in a conversation by asking them simple questions: This or that? Agree or disagree? Like or dislike?
Partner with Travel Influencers
Besides family and friends, your potential guests listen to social media influencers before booking a tour or activity. Followers on Instagram or Facebook look to them for inspiration for planning their next trip. Social-media savvy travelers have become a significant player in the travel industry.
Tap into this trend and identify travel influencers that match your tour business’s branding. The ideal influencer would be the person whom your audience wants to follow. It is a great marketing opportunity to reach a wider audience.
You may need to dedicate a fairly sizeable budget to partner with influencer marketers with huge followings. So, micro-influencers with smaller, more targeted following and higher engagement might be a safer bet.
Review Your Social Media Success
Measuring your success and accurately tracking your efforts every month or week is important to determine your social media performance. Analyzing the reports will give you insights, such as which content is getting more engagement and attracting followers. Or, even look into the publishing day and time to see how they have made a difference in engagement.
The most common metrics to track are impressions, follower count, engagement, reach, referrals, conversions and click rates.
Every platform has its own analytics where you can dig for more information. You can also rely on a social media analytics tool for detailed reports. Tracking your analytics will let you decide whether you need to refine your social media strategy and where to shift your efforts.
Host Social Media Contests
Contests are a compelling campaign idea to make a push on social media. These contests can generate and nurture your leads.
As you get ready for the season, you can launch summer-themed promotions like giveaways and contests attracting new and returning customers. Of course, the prize should be exciting enough to motivate your followers to take part.
Here are some of the most popular social media contest ideas:
- Like or comment to win
- Answer a question in the comments
- Caption contest
- Follower milestone campaign
- Hashtag challenge
Ensure that your promotions meet the platform’s guidelines. For example, as per Facebook Promotion Guidelines, brands are not permitted to paywall your contest or offer physical goods.
Promote Your Promo Codes
Promo codes may not fit into a typical social media strategy. But, for tour and transport operators, promo codes should definitely be a part of their social media plan as an extended version of their sales strategy.
Social media is now a prominent platform where customers learn about the latest deals directly from businesses. Using relevant hashtags and great visuals, you can advertise your promo codes on social media. You can also create promo codes exclusive to each social media channel. For example, “INSTA10” promo code can be used to offer a 10% discount for users who have come through Instagram and made the booking.
Your followers who are eagerly waiting for a low-budget trip might jump right in to grab the promo codes. Use social media to drive your sales during the slow season, and distribute these codes in social posts across your website and various social channels.
Assign a team for Social Media Management
Social media isn’t a fad. It’s growing even more influential in your guest’s booking decision. Guests sometimes turn to social media for customer care to get a fast response.
Given that a quick turnaround time is a must to delight your guests, it is worth allocating someone to manage your social media pages. Your team’s social media manager should also be someone who can cut through the commotion of images and videos and grab your audience’s attention.
Using chatbots on your social media is another effective strategy to generate a more personal engagement with users. Chatbots can automate your customer service on social media platforms and assist your guests promptly.
Zaui users, aiming for more bookings through social media? Connect with our Customer Success team today to discuss how to optimize your website and social presence.
If you are not a Zaui user, reach out to one of our Zaui experts to schedule a demo today.