Why do companies decide to go on social media? ...Because their audience is there! Speak to your customer in the channel they want to be spoken to.
So, should your company have an active social media presence?
The answer, yes!
Starting with Facebook, this can be a great site to build your brand awareness as there are over 2 billion (!) users to reach. Make sure you set your profile up as a business not a personal profile. This way, there is no restriction on the amount of people that you connect with. Your public profile can showcase the best parts of your tour, attraction or event and allow for engagement with users. Remember to be responsive to people asking questions, both publicly and privately. Another advantage of a Facebook profile is that it can replace an 'instant messaging' option on your website (for free too!) Check out our blog on website design and conversion here to understand the importance of communication with potential customers.
Over to Instagram, your profile can build a easy-viewing gallery of your product for those scrolling through the app. Optimise your search potential with hashtags, pinned locations of your business and tagging relevant accounts in the images. Some people may stumble onto your profile by accident and end up becoming a customer, while others may be researching your product and view your Instagram profile to see a 'behind the scenes' view of your business. Instagram is a thriving marketplace for companies, with many 'influencer' accounts doing paid-promotions. (Did you know that 3% of the accounts generate 90% of the impact online!) While this may not be the ideal route for your business, it's a reminder to think outside of that 1080px x 1080px Instagram box.
Phillip Island's Instagram, showcasing their beautiful attraction and the things to do!
Twitter focuses on quick communication and announcements. You don't need edited images to create content on this platform, making it a little bit easier to get up and running. This platform can be used to share important updates or business changes to your audience, or simply share images and promote your brand. Remember to consider the audience across different platforms, while you are the same company on every profile, your audience's age, gender and nationality may be vary across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on.
Also noteworthy, is Youtube, which is the 2nd largest platform behind Facebook. It is also the 2nd biggest search engine after Google, with more 18-49 year olds than any other network. However, developing content for Youtube may be trickier than the other channels, especially being constant with it too! Snapchat, Linkedin, Whatsapp and Pintrest are among the next biggest platforms, however not so relevant for tours, attractions or events. You do not need to have accounts on every existing platform, consider the ones that your audience is most likely to be on, and follow from there.
Having active profiles is another important consideration. It's great that you've got accounts for your audience to visit, but what if your most recent post was 8 months ago? The customer could be forgiven for thinking your company is no longer operating. Don't forget, marketing on social media is among the most cost-effective methods for reaching your audience, so keeping a consistent and active profile is important.
Before setting up your account, take a moment to consider your brand persona. Not all companies online are formal, and some have taken on a fun and easy-going attitude, which has seen them go viral because it was against people's expectations. Across all of the platforms that you choose to operate, try and secure the same username (or at least similar) and maintain the same icons, display pictures or avatars so customers can recognise you. Here's one example from Netflix US, but click here to see how other brands humanise themselves online to seem more approachable (and interesting!)
Your online presence can also allow your company a platform for reputation management. For example, if somebody posts to your Facebook profile a complaint, you have two options.
1. Publicly respond, acknowledge their troubles and suggest a resolution (or kindly explain to them how the circumstances were not the fault of your company if that is the case). This shows other viewers that you care about the experience of the customer and actively seek to resolve any problems.
2. In certain situations, it may be advisable to settle the matter privately, whereby you can message them directly and organise a phone call to discuss their issues. This may be in efforts to stop the user being more vocal about their issues on other platforms.
However, if someone posts a positive review to your page or pictures enjoying your tour, attraction or event, you may want to take a moment to acknowledge this by thanking them or liking/retweeting/re-posting their content.
Engaging with your audience is an important part of social media.
Reporting and analytics can easily be shown once you have an active profile. A number of sites exist which can show you who follows your content, including age, gender and location. This information is incredibly useful for your company! It allows you to know who is interested in your product and from there provides the opportunity to offer certain deals, inclusions or products that may be of interest to those segments.
A key thing to remember is that social media isn't simply about posing daily, it's always good to go in with a plan. Great content can increase organic reach, paid advertising can boost reach via influencers and also drive booking traffic with great offers and call-to-actions. Take the time to pull together a plan with objectives, KPIs and reporting measures. This way you have a roadmap that you can follow and tweak along the way.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, that you can leverage for an endless amount of opportunities. Rethinking your marketing strategy to include social media will be a great benefit for your business. So, it's time to start posting!