Travel advisory is the name. Social media is the game. But don’t take our word for it. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed in Travel Market Report’s recently released Social Media Outlook say social media is important to their marketing plans, with over 40 percent reporting they have a formal plan currently in place. If 9 out of 10 advisors see the importance of social media engagement, then our ears are listening.
Social media is the newfound connection hub of the current century. Just take a look at the numbers. According to a survey conducted by Global Web Index (GWI), internet users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms. The numbers only increase with younger demographics. For users aged 16-24 to an average of 3 hours and 1 minute.
But, what is drawing so many advisors in and how do they do it? Let’s discuss.
Engagement and Connection
At its core, social media is helping people connect. This engagement is providing the travel community a direct path into the lives of clients. Not only can clients find expertise through a social media community, but it also offers advisors a two-way connection to see what interests their customer base.
According to another survey by the GWI, two of the top 10 motivating factors for using social media include staying in touch, networking with other people, and meeting new people. These factors are not surprising when you consider the human need for connection.
Fortunately, you can use social media to connect with your clients wherever they go and at whatever time of day.
Social Events and Management
Another reason that social media is so popular is that it allows people to manage and accomplish their everyday activities efficiently.
Josh Loewen, digital marketing director of The Status Bureau told The Manifest, “Social media is a large part of everybody’s life. It’s how people communicate, look for events, notice stores, and brands, and find the weather. It’s how people are aided in their daily life.”
Social media is part of people’s routine and is an essential way to communicate, shop, find things to do, and check the news. In that same latter study by GWI, surveys showed that audiences use social media to stay up-to-date with current events and research/ find products to buy.
As we explore further in our Passive Networking report, many social media users are coming to view social networks as sources of content rather than platforms that require active contributions. This gives travel advisors a lot of room to work with as they actively share content with their social community.
Now that we have explored a few of the top ways your clients are using social media let’s look at the best forms of practice for travel advisors.
How to Interact with Your Community
Here is our fail-safe guide to building your social community.
- Know Your Audience
Before you begin interacting with your audience, the general rule of thumb is to get to know them. What do they care about? What trips are they most interested in? What is your key demographic? Should you gear more towards family trips or single-person adventures? Think of what would be of value to your social community. You can also talk to them. Don’t ever be afraid to ask them what they want out of the community.
- Post with a Purpose
Before you post think about the “why” behind your content. Are you worried about generating sales? Does this answer a follower’s question? Try not to post just for the sake of posting but instead hit send only when you know the post is of value.
- Forget About the Numbers
The goal is to generate sales but, more importantly, provide value to your clients. If you have thousands of followers but aren’t converting them to clients or inspiring more bookings from existing, then your large following isn’t a useful metric to measure your success. You should worry more about the quality of followers over the quantity.
- Spread the Love Regularly
The only way you can increase quality is by finding what works for your community and keeping them updated with regular content. Make sure that you are posting regularly to all of your social media accounts. That being said, don’t stick to one platform. You should have an account on all of the major social platforms.
- Be Proactive
Continually learn how to best utilize social media in a way that works for you. The social media landscape is constantly changing, so make sure to attend webinars, do your own research, and participate in learning opportunities to increase your knowledge. Your users will see the value the more you update them with breaking deals and valuable content.
If you are interested in getting more out of your social media platforms, Andavo Travel has a private Facebook group that provides crucial information to all of our advisors. Learn more by contacting us.