As the world begins to bounce back from the effects of COVID-19, people are itching to get on a plane, a train, a car, a bicycle—anything that will take them someplace new and exciting. After so much time spent at home, we can expect a boom in the travel and tourism industry, and that means your business needs to be ready to hit the ground running. Start planning your travel social media strategy now so that your tourism business can ride that wave of hungry travelers like a pro.
Why Social Media Marketing Matters in Tourism
Any travel business not leveraging social media is seriously missing out on prime marketing real estate. Think about the types of posts you’re likely to run into when, say, scrolling through Instagram. Pets, food, fashion, travel, etc. are all common themes. After all, if you travel to a scenic locale but don’t document it online, did it really happen?
So, you know travel aficionados are likely to be active on social media. And since much of social media is highly visual, it provides an excellent opportunity to lure customers in with enticing pictures and videos of a sunny beach or an Italian villa. Social media is also a place people turn to when they have questions about travel and tourism, and if your company can provide these answers, you might just have yourself a loyal customer. One loyal customer can lead to many more as they spread the word about your company with their friends and followers.
Social Media for the Travel Industry Best Practices
We’ve established that the role of social media in the tourism industry is incredibly important. But how can you fully take advantage of the power of social media? Here are some tried and true best practices:
Target the Right Demographic
While people from all walks of life travel, many prominent influencers and travel bloggers are young. That means that creating content that caters to this Gen Z demographic and staying on top of the latest trends and hippest social media platforms will serve you well. Depending on your specific business, though, you may be targeting an older, more affluent audience. If most of your customers are business travelers, for instance, LinkedIn may be a good place to focus your attention. If you provide cruise experiences, you might do well to target retirees and other people looking for a luxurious, slow-paced form of travel. So, do your research and meet your audience where they are.
On the note of influencers, partnering with one can skyrocket your conversion rates. See if a travel blogger can feature your site, if a travel expert can do a review, or if an influencer will rep your business. These powerful online figures bring with them hoards of loyal followers who trust their judgement, so building good relationships here can dramatically increase the number of customers you have overnight. That being said, don’t put all your eggs in this basket; who is “in” as an influencer can change faster than the weather, and one connection won’t save you if your marketing strategy is otherwise lacking. Instead, think of these connections as a potential cherry on top of an otherwise glowing social media campaign.
Video content has been growing in importance and popularity in the past couple of years, and this is one trend tourism companies should hop on. A quality video showing exciting locations will make anyone start thinking about saving up for a plane ticket. Instagram and Facebook are musts for tourism agencies, but also consider posting on YouTube, SnapChat, and TikTok. When planning video content, don’t limit yourself to pre-recorded videos either; live streaming is a trendy way to pull in viewers.
Paid Social Ads
Ads are an easy and effective way to get your business in front of new customers. When creating your ads, focus on targeting the correct audience and crafting ad copy that is engaging and compelling. You want something that will stop a person mid-scroll.
It’s now common for people to reach out to businesses via social media when they have questions or comments. And when you’re in the travel industry, you know your customers will always have plenty of questions! As such, make sure your team is monitoring comments and messages on social media and is able to respond to them quickly and effectively.
Use a Social Media Tool
Your business needs to post consistently across your social media platforms to maintain a strong online presence, which means that organization is critical. Rather than trying to dump all your info in an Excel sheet , you can use a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule posts and track performance. Partnering with a travel social media agency also makes it easy to crank out quality content without anything slipping through the cracks.
Whatever your strategy looks like, consistency is key. Regularly putting out social media posts for tourism will help you increase visibility and stay top of mind for customers.
While the tourism industry has certainly taken its hits since the beginning of 2020, the future looks bright. It’s the perfect time to dust off your social media marketing in tourism strategy and inject it with added energy and determination. Tourism and social media dance together beautifully at all times, but especially when people are so eager for a little tourism magic in their lives.