Social Media for Travel Agencies

Social Media for Travel Agencies. Many travel companies are moving toward the use of Social Media to ensure their customers plan and experience a fantastic holiday. The main platforms these companies are using are Facebook and Twitter.

Major travel companies are using Social Media to share travel experiences of their clients, promote special deals and to share holiday ideas. Specifically they use their Facebook Page to share any of the following:

  • Travel ideas
  • New destinations
  • Travel inspiration
  • Hot deals
  • Blog articles

People are also using the Facebook Page of travel companies they have booked through to post feedback about their holidays and the customer service they experienced during their bookings.

A recent report from the World Travel Market, which surveyed more than 1,000 UK 2011 holidaymakers, found that:

  • One third of holiday makers changed their hotel choice after consulting Social Media.
  • One in ten people switched resorts after using Social Media.
  • 7% of people who used Social Media to book their holiday decided to change location (country) while 5% decided to switch airline.
  • 40% of UK holidaymakers use Social Media to help them when researching holidays.
  • Almost nine out of ten (89%) see Social Media as a positive experience, with 23% using it more often in 2011 than in 2010.
  • 66% of consumers said they did not access any websites via their mobile when researching their holiday.

From an industry perspective:

  • Almost half of the travel industry – 48% – believe that Social Media will be more important than PPC by 2016.
  • Only 15% feel Social Media is at a tipping point and will reduce in popularity.
  • In combination, nearly half of the industry is using Social Media as a revenue stream or are looking to do so, at 22% and 27% respectively.

Recommended Social Media Platforms to begin on

Facebook: When starting an online community, it can be overwhelming to determine where to start. As a first step we strongly recommend you focus on Facebook. Facebook currently has the highest number of users compared to other platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.  Travelscene’s target market is primarily on Facebook, with less consumers using Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook is a convenient and easy place for people to connect with Travelscene and to receive updates.

Twitter: Another platform worth considering to generate fast, easy to access and up to date information for travellers and those who are considering travel. This platform isn’t as popular as Facebook however it has many benefits and uses for people searching for ‘up-to-the-minute’ information.

Also consider: Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

Recommendations

Grow Facebook Page Fans

Growing your page’s fanbase is a critical step. Some pages grow on their own due to the virality of the content being posted to the page or with some time and effort put in by the page administrators. A fanbase is important as each time you post – this goes out into the news feed of your fans. Without fans, your message is not being seen by anyone.

In order to grow your fanbase initially, ensure all current clients and staff are aware of the page and ‘like’ it. Include your Facebook page on any promotional and advertising material and tell your clients about it via word of mouth. Giving people an incentive, such as a free report or similar, will encourage more people to visit the page and ‘like’ it.

Facebook ads are another way to gain more fans. A page can create an ad campaign to advertise the page on Facebook. Facebook ads are a very targeted method of collecting fans as you can choose the demographics, location and interests of the people Facebook will show the ads to.

Content Creation & Management

The management of the Facebook Page can be either done internally after training staff or can be managed by a Social Media agency.

Engaging and valuable content to post about would include:

  • Tours
  • Travel Ideas
  • Desirable Locations
  • Updates for Clients travelling abroad
  • Facebook is also a great way to keep in touch with clients who are overseas.

Terms of Use and Internal Policies re. Content Creation and Reporting

Create a Terms of Use for visitors to the page and an internal policy for the management and monitoring of the page. This would include ‘admin’ (administrator) roles, type and frequency of posting, monitoring frequency and action to be taken on posts in terms of responding to fans and actions to be taken on unacceptable posts. Metrics that can be measured via the page’s insights should also be collected and reported upon on a regular basis eg. monthly.

Connecting with Influencers

It is important to connect with those who influence your organisation on Social Media such as industry leaders, associated services and organisations as well as other services within your industry. By connecting with these services via Social Media it opens up many new opportunities for learning and sharing as well as raising awareness about your service. Cross-promotion inevitably happens thanks to the power of Social Media.

Staff Training

If staff become involved in the management of the page, it would be necessary to provide training on best practices for content creation, posting to the page and monitoring of the page.

Metrics to Measure

These items should be measured and reported on monthly:

  1. Number of fans, including new fans
  2. Number of ‘People Talking About This’ (PTAT) which measures engagement on the page
  3. Number of posts, most engaging and least engaging posts for the month to guide future content creation

Remember

Social Media is an easy and popular choice to stay in touch with your clients who may be past, current or future clients!

Social Media can have a significant impact on your business if planned and used correctly in line with your business’ goals.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Snob Monkey Ltd to develop your Social Media marketing for your travel agency.