In a world where the web offers self-servicing tools, deep discounts, and mobile alerts for deals, the travel agent needs to find a way to stay in front of their target audience. To remain relevant, in addition to ad placement in travel journals and newspapers, many travel agencies are developing a presence in mainstream social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter).
Note: While a presence is important, even more critical is engaging and developing a pipeline that pumps fuel in your engine while the boat is docked.
During a training session I led with a group of travel agents, we explored ways to leverage social media boost their business. 30 ideas emerged that I wanted to capture part of the list in a post. Feel free to add to the list.
- Forget about publicizing your agency and focus on giving people an experience every time they interact with you.
- Share travel tips.
Everyone wants advice and reminders, so be the first to put them out there. Be the go to travel resource for your community.
- Check out competitor sites.
You may find your target audience hanging on their every word.
- Highlight the scoop in hot destination spots.
This may be a great opportunity to shape consumer opinions if mainstream news has obscured the beauty of a great place to visit.
- Blog about it.
Online blogs are not as regulated at print media. You have the opportunity to shape consumer opinion, so be sure to sound your voice!
Start carrying your flip-cam when you do site inspections – we want to see what you see.
Include live interviews with your connections at the airlines, resorts, and the like.
- Client testimonials.
Encourage your clients to post videos while they are on their vacations – great way for someone else to publicize your brand and expertise.
- Post industry news and deals.
i.e. If the airlines are running a web only deal, why not tell your peeps about it? So what if they don’t buy it from you, they will thank you and remember you had their best interest at heart. The next time they need a family vacation planned, they’ll be ringing your phone.
- Digital brochures.
Chances are your clients may not get into your brick and mortar offices as often as you would like, so you’ve got to lengthen your reach. Digital downloads or online brochures are the way to go. Post the links or send the latest brochure in your newsletter. Point to the page where the deals are inside!
- Destination and point of origin news.
- Weather updates.
If it’s the middle of February, why not entice your audience with the tanning weather forecast of the Dominican Republic?
If your clients are booked for a great vacation, create a hashtag that they can follow and use while on vacation. This could be a great opportunity for them to have an experience with you and “their” friends and family while away. You may also be a virtual tour guide for them!
If you want to be found online in searches, then you’ll have to create tags for your posts. If you are using the Notes feature in Facebook, or are a blogger, be sure to use tags that will cause your topic to bubble up when searched. Think in terms of keywords.
- Extend mainstream media placement to your social networks.
i.e. If you are an Account Exec at The Columbus Dispatch, and you want to demonstrate the extent of your “reach” then you’ll want to publicize the placements in upcoming print articles within your social networks. Your clients will be loyal raving fans.
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Oh, by all means, if you have questions or want to add to this list, add it to the comments section below.
P.S. Last night attendees of the session left with a copy of my book for only half the price. I wanted to extend the same deal to readers of this post! Yup, you got it, purchase the book from this post and you’ll get it at 50% off!
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