Ask anybody in the travel industry what’s unique about their offering and most will refer to the quality of their product, be it a hotel or a tour, or the destination. Both answers would be completely right in their own right, as both are referring back to their product. But there’s another product that makes your tour and/or activity unique – your team.
Since your team are as much a product as the destination, you should do your best to feature them as best you can. Here are seven ways you can do so…
1. Let tour guides ‘takeover’ your channels
Something brands do with influencers is let take over one of their social channels for a period of time. By doing so they reach a new audience and they add a human element to the channel. This is a tactic that can be employed within the business also. This showcases not only a personality in the company, but also the knowledge within the business. If the content shared on your channels is from somebody who really knows what they’re talking about, then they’ll feel your tour or activity is one that knows their product well. This will lead to potential customers trusting your business and subsequently help convert them to customers.
2. In imagery
When it comes to selling travel online, good imagery is imperative. If a destination doesn’t look good in a photo, it might not look good in real life. Similarly, if a tour doesn’t look fun in a photo, people might not want to book it. This is why you need to showcase your team to display that it’s not only about the activity… it’s about the people that lead it too!
Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, try to showcase your team as much as possible without overdoing it. Apply a ‘1 photo in 5’ rule where you showcase your team in every fifth photo. But monitor it also. If people shots are where your followers engage, up the ante!
3. Via a column (and also your newsletter!)
If you’ve somebody in-house who knows their stuff when it comes to everything your tour or activity is about, and that person can write, then they need to have their own column on your blog. Also, if you’re engaging in email marketing, you need to dedicate an entire panel to that person and that column! Then once a week/fortnight/month/quarter you can scream from the rooftops how your team knows more about your destination and/or activity than any of your competitors.
4. Through customer service
Once upon a time people used to email or phone a business when they had a customer query. Those days aren’t entirely gone, but they almost are. This is because so many people grab their smartphones and tweet or Facebook a company when they want to speak to them.
You’ve probably noticed an influx of customer service-related messages over the last year or so… they’re not going to stop. Remember one thing in particular – to sign off messages with a first name or an initial. This way you’ll be showcasing your staff but also personalising the response, something which is very important when it comes to customer service.
5. Promoting special offers using video
Of all the types of content you can post on Facebook, the one that gets the most reach is video. While it’s great for showcasing your product, it’s also a great way to sell your product! And since social media is all about engaging, this presents your tour or activity with the perfect opportunity to let your staff do the selling for you.
First things first, come up with the details of a flash sale. Then, once you’re happy with the offering, promote it using a video presented by one of your tour guides. Not only will be showcasing your team, you’ll be selling tours too.
6. Via a Q&A
Ok, so you might need quite a lot of followers for this one to work, but it’s worth a shot… announce on all of your social networks that you’re inviting followers to ask questions about your tour and/or activity. Then, once you collate all the questions, answer them via a blog post or video. This will help your social media and content strategy in a whole host of ways – you’ll be engaging with your audience, you’ll be personalising your business, you’ll be creating content for multiple channels and you’ll be positioning your business as an authoritative voice. Win x 5!
What are some other ways businesses can incorporate a more personal touch into their brand? Let us know in the comments below.
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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.