Gone are the days when marketers disregard Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks as simply a place to goof off or waste time. Social media is now a fantastic tool for tourism marketing and other businesses to attract and gain customers. When used correctly, you could potentially start gaining a whole new set of leads. Having a social media presence will gradually build an online and offline recognition of your brand name. This is so essential for tourism marketing because your ideal buyers ( i.e. tourists) are not normally the people who live within your company’s city. Without the right marketing, those visitors and tourists won’t be able to recognize your name. How can tourism industries best leverage their Facebook account to engage with their potential customers?
Identify your Audience
First, take the time to analyze your ideal buyer. Do a little research to find out how they use Facebook: What types of content are they posting, how active are they online, what types of products and services are they “liking,” etc. This will help you better determine your tourism marketing plan of attack. Are they posting a lot of photos? Mimic this by posting vacation photos with enticing captions or a question that will encourage a conversation. Are they more apt to share blog content? Write a short article that is relevant to your location. Are their statuses more comedic or do they lean toward the serious kind? Do they tend to comment on posts or “like” them? Try and get a vibe for the personalities and social tendencies of your ideal buyers so that you can better relate by imitating their behavior on your own account.
Leave “Old Marketing” Behind
Social media is a part of the new kind of inbound marketing. This means that businesses should not be setback by using the older and more traditional “push” marketing when on social networks. Push marketing is when businesses constantly advertise their brand and “push” their product on their customers. People do not want to be advertised to on Facebook and they will quickly “unlike” or “unfollow” your business if you do this. Instead, you will want to listen to your fans more than you talk about your business. When you post, only about a third of your content should be about what you are trying to sell. Promotions are good, but they should be limited in number. The rest of your content can be anything relevant that you think will engage your readers.
Engage and Excite!
Besides posting content, you also should spend a decent amount of time on Facebook having conversations with your followers. If people ask questions or comment on your page, make sure that you reply in a timely manner and thank them for their response (yes, even if it is negative!). The more authentic your voice is, the more trustworthy your business will seem. People tend to forget that businesses have actual people behind them; interacting with customers on social media is a great way to remind them of this. When conducting conversations, always stay professional and friendly. Feel free to start your own conversations by posting questions or photos that you think will get a positive reaction from your followers. Tourism marketing is unique in that most of your customers are far away. Entice them by posting photos of what their future vacation could look like!
Tons of your potential customers are out there using social media and you do not want to miss out on this fun marketing opportunity. Social media is a huge portion of consumers’ online lives. In fact, internet users spend 4x more time on Facebook than on Google. Not only that, but there are over 1 billion active users on Facebook, and that number keeps on growing. A recent study done by Nielsen has shown that consumers trust their peers’ opinions over advertising, in fact 78% of them trust their friends’ recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements! When you leverage your social media accounts, you can reach a variety of your potential customers in a fantastic way!
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