How the Tourism Industry Can Use Social Media to Attract Customers
The popularity of social media has prompted a revolutionary change in how many companies interact with their current and potential future customers/clients. In this informational era, more individuals rely on the Internet to give them the answers to which they are seeking. The travel industry as well as related businesses have probably been the most impacted by this surge of social media marketing and communication platforms.
Go Where Your Clients Are for More Effective Marketing
Smart tourism businesses are seeing the wisdom of switching much of their marketing and advertising strategies to digitally motivated and driven sources. To understand why this can be a good thing for the tourism and travel industry, it is important to understand how social media platforms are being used by consumers today.
It is no secret that the younger generations are dependent on their digital devices and platforms. Social media sites are used to check in with friends, share photos and just to carry on a conversation with others online.
As a result, more younger adults are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms to share vacation and travel photos with family members and friends. These younger tourists also use these online sites to endorse local restaurants, accommodations and intriguing sightseeing spots where they are visiting.
On the other hand, the use of social media platforms can also adversely impact tourism businesses other related companies if what is being shared happens to be negative in nature.
How Consumers Today Differ From Those a Few Decades Ago
In the past, customers were more likely to believe whatever information that was out there via print advertising or through television ads. Celebrity endorsements took center stage of the ad wars between competing businesses. Today, younger consumers are far more apt to disbelieve these old-fashioned "endorsements" of a product by famous people and turn to their peers which can easily be found online with a few quick keystrokes or taps.
It is crucial for tourism related businesses to focus more effort on their online brand presence to capture the attention of these prospective customer online users. More companies today are hiring people and services just to launch and update their business online marketing sites and strategies. Younger individuals in their 20's and 30's are more apt to believe customer reviews rather than some celebrity who likely wouldn't use whatever product that they are selling.
How Travel Industries Can Gain Loyal Clients Online
The marketing strategies for posting advertising on the Internet through social media sites should be more than haphazard ads meant to garner interest but only serve to annoy the user who sees them. This type of marketing is more of a relationship between the company representatives and the consumers.
This being said, it is better to start slow with some well-placed company advertising. Determine to get valuable feedback from all of your consumers whether they are satisfied with your product or services or absolutely hated them. Having someone oversee company blogs and social media postings can help to build the type of relationship between customers and the company reps that helps create loyal consumers.
There are some strategies and tips for keeping your social media presence positive and hopefully productive. Implement fun online ways to engage your consumers. Short informational blogs, witty posts and prompt online answers to potential customer's questions can all help to give businesses a respected name and reputation. Keep in mind that one negative review could be damaging if the company doesn't take swift steps to remedy or at least try to appease the unhappy consumer.
Some ideas to generate brand interest include:
Ask for Customer Feedback After Purchase or Use of Your Product
Offer Bargains Often to Spur Sales
Use More Pictures, Videos and Audio Sounds to Boost Interest
Run a Contest to Draw People Over to Your Site
Reward Loyal Customers with Freebies and Other Incentives
Connect Your Travel Services with Nearby Local Businesses like Hotels, Restaurants, Entertainment Events and Whatever Else is Applicable
Tips for Engaging Your Marketing Audience Using Social Media
Travel agencies need to stay with the times to keep and attract younger consumers. Having a strong and positive online brand presence helps tremendously and increases sales. Consider that if one person posted a page about your business and shared it with other online users they know, this could immediately reach 50 to 100 people easily. Add an incentive to "like" or "follow" can boost interest.
Offer enticing incentives for first time and frequent use customers. Many travel agencies partner with local eating establishments, rest accommodation places and other local businesses to lower overall prices for the customer.
Connect your online customers with needed services such as Apostille Services that are required for travel to certain foreign destinations. This can work with restaurant discounts and hotel room booking options that could entice the customers to make the trip. Use of online coupons, off-season deals and affordable package options can bring in the customers right to your door. That is, if there is a door.
Think of Your Company Website as the Door for Consumer Entry
It is still important for travel agencies to have an easy-to-navigate website for online consumers. This site should have fresh content regularly updated with interesting, entertaining and informative content related to your business. Remember also that just like a visitor to your front porch will quickly tire of waiting and leave if you neglect to answer his/her knocks, so too will online consumers react to poor customer service responses.
Every company should strive to always work on improving their customer service. When using online modes of customer/company communication, it is crucial to answer any prospective customer's inquiries in a rapid manner. Today's online shoppers are already accustomed to this kind of technology.
Spend time creating a user-friendly company website, and be sure to include lots of ways to interact with other customers and company representatives. An engaging website is one of the most important factors today for businesses that have to do with tourism or travel. There are easy web-building services that companies can utilize that will give them the exact type of website that will best suit their company and increase chances of more sales.
Which Online Places Are a Must with Travel/Tourism Marketing Plans
It is estimated that about 75% of effective online marketing to consumers by tourism and travel agencies is from customer email contacts. There is a fine line between effective emails for advertising and ones that are just an annoyance. Use the consumer email addresses to send pre-sale information or discounts on their next purchase.
Social media sites rank next for successful marketing. More travel agencies are targeting their sales efforts here. Keep it light, fun and personable. Offer video-tours and enticing pictures of faraway destinations. Even though it's online communication, customers still desire that human element. Add a link to your business website that include's your business contact details. Travel agencies with a strong consumer base have effective online marketing avenues.