Social media has done wonders for the tourism industry. It’s drastically changed how customers find exciting adventures and interact with operators. And it’s lead to more bookings - customers plan trips based on what they’ve seen on social.
While it is a wonderful tool that can spawn many innovative marketing ideas, it can also be a major pain as there are just so many social media sites out there. Let’s take a stab and say you’ve tried your hand at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. But are you on Snapchat yet? What about Buzznet? Squarespace? Google+? Keek? Vine? Pheed? Should we go on?
How do you know which social media platforms really matter to your tour business? And how does one have enough time to pump out content and manage everything? It’s exhausting!
That’s why we’re going to give you a quick rundown on how to find what social media channel is right for your tour business.
Is social media actually worth my time?
If the introduction didn’t convince you that social was worth your time, let’s make it clear: YES. Jump on over to this post, it looks at 8 ways your tour company is wasting its time on social media (and how to change this to see results).
How to find what social media site your tourism business should use
A new hip and happening social media site has just launched and you know all the cool kids are getting on it. The early adopters are raving about it. Should you join up? It all depends on your target market.
Ask yourself these 3 questions before signing up.
Question 1: Is it where my audience is hanging out?
The trick is to treat social like you would any other marketing activity in your business. If your tour business’ target market is for young people between 18-35 years old, you wouldn’t take out a print ad in Time Magazine.
Do the same with social. Talk to your customers and find out what social media sites they use. If you find out they are indeed on the new platform, don’t sign up just yet. Move on to question 2.
After you conduct your research you might discover your target market is on the new platform, but also on a lot of other social sites too. In the third quarter of 2015 Twitter had 307,000,000 active monthly users. But they have more than 1.3 billion registered users. Less than one third of their users are active each month. The point here is, just because they have a social account doesn’t mean they actually use it.
Get talking with your customers and find out where they spend their time.
Question 3: Can I make time to test the waters of this new platform?
Your research could have shown your target audience is in love with the new platform and they’re on it every single day. Or it could have shown they’re on Instagram. There’s no telling how long they will stay on a particular social media site, popularity comes in waves. But if you have the time there’s no harm in testing the waters on new sites. Currently marketers worldwide are busy exploring Snapchat’s full marketing potential.
But time is always a struggle for business owners, especially those tackling social media solo. For social media to work for your business you need to commit long-term. That’s why investing in a social media suite could be a worthy investment. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are equally good social media suites that let you work on your social media efforts from the one place.
As for content creation, take a leaf out of Tourism Australia’s book, and repurpose content your tour attendees post about you. Or get savvy and get your team members to start taking pictures and videos out on the job for you!
If you’re baffled by social and you're caught up in trying to work out where to focus your efforts, you need to start thinking about your target market. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for your business, but only when you’re focusing your efforts in the right area.
Watch a recording of our webinar with tourism social media expert Holly Galbraith for some simple social media tips. Watch Holly now to get 8 simple social steps to create the biggest impact for your tourism biz.
Booking Boss is an online booking system for tour operators and attraction providers. Trusted by many in the tourism industry, Booking Boss is about getting you out of the spreadsheets and into the sun. We provide free education resources for operators like you, to make your business the best it can possibly be.