Recently I wrote about how tour and activity companies could integrate social media into their offering. It was only after I wrote it that I began to think of others. This, of course, is only a good thing as it gives me the opportunity to follow up on that post with the below tips…
1. Ask people to follow you
It might seem obvious, but not too many companies openly ask their customers to follow/like them. They think it’s a little bit desperate. But if people are willing to part with their money to experience what you have to offer, surely they’ll part with nothing to see your regular updates.
2. Give people an incentive to follow/like you
Sometimes simply saying ‘Follow us on Twitter!’ isn’t enough for somebody to actually do so – they need an incentive. This might be seeing their stunningly beautiful photograph shared on your channels or it might be a discount code they receive for committing to hearing from you regularly via social media. Either way, if people don’t follow you after you ask them, give them a reason to.
3. Tell them photos of them will be shared on social media
People get a kick out of seeing themselves on social networks. Most people anyway. If you’re taking photos of your tours, try and get photos of people. Then share them on your social networks, telling the people in them that you’re doing so. This will encourage them to share the photos, thus bringing your business to a wider audience.
4. Warn people you will be sharing on social media (and give them the opportunity to get out of photos)
If you are thinking of taking photos from your tour and sharing them on social media, you’re going to have to tell the people appearing in the photos first of all. This will give them the opportunity to get out of the photo if they wish to do so.
5. Have your social info on your t-shirts
People who lead tour groups are generally known as guides. Guides lead people, which means at some stage all or some of the people in the group are going to be behind the group leader. This is a great opportunity to get all your customers liking your different networks by adding your usernames to the back of all guides’ t-shirts.
6. Monitor other search terms
I mentioned before that every tour and activity company should have their own hashtag. But not everybody will get that hashtag right. For instance, if TrekkSoft was running a tour and we wanted to see what people were saying about us on social networks, as well as #TrekkSoft, we’d need to monitor Trekksoft (without the hashtag), Treksoft, Trekk Soft, Trek soft etc. Make sure you’re checking for spelling variations of your company to track every last conversation.
7. Crowd source for info…but don’t undermine yourself
Once upon a time, if people wanted to know what a hotel or hostel was like, they’d turn to Lonely Planet or another travel guide. Those days are almost gone because these days people want recommendations from their peers. As a result, websites like TripAdvisor are becoming increasingly popular.
The point I’m making here is UGC (User Generated Content) is sometimes more valuable than professionally produced content. As a result, crowd source for content – ask people their top travel tips and put them all into one piece of content that you can publish on your site and then feed it into your social channels.
8. Show the people behind the tour
If people really, really love your tour it will because of one (or both) two things – the location/activity and the people leading it. Your guides are a product just like your tour is. Make sure to showcase them across all of your social channels because people love to see the faces behind the (sometimes) faceless brands.
9. Experiment with other social networks
Too many companies using social media fall into the trap of only utilising two networks – Facebook and Twitter. But there are more out there that your customers are using. Almost all of them are guaranteed to be on Instagram, while if you’re a pub crawl that targets young Americans, chances are they’re on Snapchat. If they are, then your company needs to be there too. Here's how to get started on Snapchat as a tourism company.
10. Get feedback from your customers and use the quotes as content
Nobody likes to listen to self-praise too much, but if your customers are saying nice things about you, you might as well let others know. A testimonials page is a great place to do this…social media is too. At the end of your tours ask your customer for feedback, then share them as quotes across your social channels.
Do you integrate social media with your tour or activity? What have you found to be most effective?
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.