A Travel Agent’s Guide to Digital Marketing
Welcome to the world of Digital Marketing! As a Travel Agent, it’s crucial you have an online presence. Your clients need a way to contact you and you need to advertise your services. You might be feeling overwhelmed by all the Social Media tips online. Or, perhaps you’re already a Social Media Guru and looking for some fresh ideas. Either way, there are loads of ways to get started and amplify your awesome business.
There are people who need your help and are willing to hire you. You just need a way to reach them and that’s where Social Media comes in handy. Don’t be scared! It’s actually quite fun once you get the hang of things!
Before we get started, let me note that I specialize in theme park vacations. These tips will apply to any Travel Agent no matter what destination you’re advertising! (You’ll notice that I use a lot of Disney pics so don’t let that deter you!)
But First…Free Gift!
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Ready to talk about Social Media? Me too! Let’s get social.
Types of Social Media and What’s Best For YOU
Notice that I said what’s best for you. Not what you think is best! You can be successful on any platform you choose. The trick is to find one that works best for you and that you enjoy.
Then, you can move onto other platforms once you’ve gained some traction. This will alleviate the stress that comes from learning all platforms at once.
So, what type of Social Media is best for you? Great question! This depends on your strengths and what brings you joy. You might love scrolling through Instagram or maybe you’re constantly on Facebook. Start with your favorite and focus on growing your audience there!
More of a visual learner? Check out my presentation about Social Media Marketing for Travel Agents on YouTube here. I go deep on all platforms and show you engaging content ideas for your profiles!
To get you started, here are some of the reasons you may choose one platform over the other. There are pros and cons for each so it’s best to choose one that you enjoy.
Facebook: This has the largest audiences on the internet. However, it’s very difficult to convince your audience to engage on this platform. Easily sharing content from Business Pages has dwindled significantly over the years. Still, many of your friends and family will be on Facebook so you can share content to your current network easily. It’s also fantastic for advertisements. (We’ll get to that in a moment!)
Instagram: The travel niche works really well on Instagram. This is where you show your picture-perfect paradise to your followers. It’s particularly great for creating a community that you can connect with on a daily basis. Your feed is all about lovely destinations while your stories can be less “curated” and more personal.
Instagram makes it difficult to have a potential client find your information. To convert followers to clients, convince them to click the links on your bio (that leads to your website) or Direct Message you if they are interested.
Twitter: You might love to follow the news on Twitter or have a tight community on this platform. It’s a great place to find like-minded individuals who want to start a conversation about travel. The downside to Twitter is that you only get 280 characters to communicate. Plus, the Twitter community can be a bit of a mess. Do your best to avoid the drama and you should be good to go!
YouTube: Do you go on vacation a lot? Love creating videos and putting them together? YouTube might be for you. The good thing is, travel content works GREAT on YouTube too. You can give hotel reviews, show your latest tours, or talk about planning.
It can be difficult to share your videos or get traction on YouTube. You can try sending your videos to your clients if they have questions about a destination you’ve visited or how to plan their itineraries. You also might want to focus on growing your audience once you’ve gained traction on other platforms. Then you can promote your videos to your other followers.
Convert Followers to Clients on Social Media
There’s a certain formula that I use in order to convert followers to buyers. It’s pretty simple and once you start doing it, the process will come naturally. You can use this method for each Instagram post, Facebook share, or Tweet you share.
Step One: grab your Follower
You want to create a sense of urgency that makes your follower want to stop dead in their tracks. You could start your post with a question or make a bold statement. Whatever you choose, you should intrigue your follower to keep reading.
Step Two: Deliver
You promised your follower something fantastic in your intro so deliver it! This doesn’t have to be anything too crazy. You might be sharing a cruise promotion or tips on the best restaurants in San Francisco. Your information should ALWAYS be useful to your follower. Make your content about them and how you can help them!
Step Three: Call to Action
A “Call to Action” can be anything that asks your follower to do something. For instance, you post about a new cruise promotion. At the end of your post, let your follower know that they should contact you so they can get the deal. Tell them exactly where they need to go in order to get in touch.
It can also be something super simple like asking your followers to comment on the post. This will create engagement and hopefully, your posts will gain more traction.
This is an example of the Social Media Formula on one of my Instagram posts!
Bonus: Share, Share, Share!
You might be on multiple platforms. There’s no need to waste time create individual posts for each platform. Cross-promote your content on all of your profiles! You’ll reach more people by creating only one piece of content!
Social Media Content Ideas for Travel Agents
You have your platform, your formula, and you’re ready to start posting. So, what the heck do you post?? Almost anything goes as long as it’s helpful to your followers and relevant to travel. You don’t want to post about your dog’s birthday with no context. (There are caveats to that statement but you get the idea, right?) Your posts need to always come back to one idea: convert followers to clients.
Here are some tips to get you started!
Slow the Scroll: You want a photo, video, or article that stops them from scrolling. It could be a breathtaking photo of a palm tree on a beach. Or, an article that states Disney World is giving away free cocktails to every adult on Earth Day. (That’s not a thing but I wish it was.) When posting something, imagine yourself as the follower and whether your post would stop you in your tracks.
Show the Transformation: You want your follower and potential clients to imagine themselves at the travel destination. Luxury Travel Agents can show a video of someone boarding a private yacht. Adventure Travel Agents can share a picture of a lion sunbathing in Africa. Post something that screams, “This could be you and I can help you get there!”
Videos Convert Best: Posting a video is AWESOME. Videos easily grab your follower’s attention because the images are moving and it’s hard to ignore. Also, a video convinces someone to stop and spend more time on the post. This tells the platform that your followers are engaging in your content and will share it with others.
Make it Easy for Yourself: Your pictures, videos, articles don’t have to be absolutely perfect. Choose something fun or informational then throw it out there. Also, don’t be afraid to share other people’s content. Ask a fellow Instagrammer if you can use their picture with credit or share someone’s video on Facebook (with credit!). You promote someone else’s work and also get some engagement out of it. Like I said, as long as the content is helpful, your audience will like it!
Growing Your Followers Online
Growing your audience can feel difficult and it takes time. You must build trust in a community by sharing useful posts and constantly engaging with them. This will invite new followers and keep your current followers. You shouldn’t be looking for more followers but instead, engaging with the people you have.
I never suggest buying followers to make yourself look popular. It’s really transparent to most people and social media companies hate it. They will make your posts virtually invisible to real people if they catch you doing it. Instead, you can create ads that funnel people to your profile or website. After all, you’re creating a business and the best thing you can do to accelerate your business is to invest in it.
One last thing. Please, please, please HAVE FUN! There is so much information about Social Media and studies about what converts. It can get confusing and paralyzing. I totally get it but the most success I’ve received is when I stopped trying so hard. I made myself approachable and useful and people wanted to use my services because of this. The travel niche should be about all the fun adventures your clients are about to have! The more fun you have, the more people will want to follow you!
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Do you have any Social Media questions for me? Drop them in the comments below!