While new forms of social networks appear to emerge every few years, Facebook remains a firm favourite for travel companies to connect and engage with their customers, share photos, promote specials and drive traffic to their website. What’s not to love?
For those who are not too sure how to get started, here’s a list of tips to becoming ‘friends’ with Facebook and promoting your travel services to your customer base:
Create your page with pictures
When designing your Facebook page, choose an eye-catching photo of your niche market or top destination. Think about what will attract prospective clients. Make sure however to use photos that are yours or photos that are royalty free.
Change your cover photo depending on the time of the year. If you’re a leisure agent, change your cover photo to a sunny destination during peak summer selling period. For winter peak selling, you can add a skiing destination. If you’re focused on corporates, change your picture so that it is relevant to your audience.
Also try to include photos or videos with most of your Facebook posts. Showcase idyllic travel destinations in creative ways. Post mystery pictures of a gorgeous destination, and let your clients guess where it is located. It might just be the ideal inspiration for their next holiday.
Promote your page
Facebook, like any ‘publisher’, has a paid-for advertising model. The truth is only a very small percentage of people who have liked your page will actually see your post on their Facebook news feed. To reach a wider audience, you can boost or pay to promote your post using a specific targeted audience. It is important to target this audience to ensure you get the right people liking your page and engaging with your brand.
Don’t be afraid to say in your collateral: ‘If you like (Company name), please visit us on Facebook’. Or join relevant travel groups and post in these groups about your page. The people you attract this way are more likely to support you than “fly by” likes generated by Facebook ads or a competition.
Engage your audience
Always respond quickly to comments on your Facebook page, even to say something simple like “Thank you for contacting (Company name). We will get back to you with a reply as soon as we can.” If you can add to the conversation immediately, even better. The more engagement on your Facebook page, the better. Ask “Do you agree?” or ask questions like “Where do you plan to travel next?” to encourage people to react.
Reward your clients on Facebook by publishing deals and specials. Make sure you ‘deep link’ all the specials you post. A deep link means that the link your clients click on will take them immediately to the relevant specials on your website instead of to the home page. It is important to let your visitors get to what they are interested in quickly and easily, rather than having to click through several pages or they’ll give up and leave your page.
… also position yourself as an expert
Don’t resort to a sales pitch with every Facebook post. Use the power of social media to position yourself as the professional you are. Offer your expertise and answer questions by posting reviews based on your personal experiences. By curating helpful tips, honest reviews, and real-time travel news, future travellers will perceive you as a knowledgeable specialist.
Not sure what else you could post?
Create a Content Calendar. Put together an excel spreadsheet and map out what content you’re going to post every day. Monday – travel tips, Tuesday – destination, Wednesday – travel specials, and so on. You can also have theme weeks with romantic destinations for Valentine’s Day, or cozy Christmas markets in December.
Inform your clients in cases of emergency
Keep travellers informed in times of emergency. Hurricanes, political unrest, strikes… it happens. Use social media to update your clients about what is happening and where they can turn in case of emergency. You’ll not only help your clients, but you’ll also build your reputation as the go-to person.