Since you’re in the travel industry, social media is an extremely important and powerful tool for marketing your product. Whether it’s Facebook you want to focus on or Twitter, or maybe Instagram, you need to have a strategy in place.
This could be a one-page document or a 50-page handbook. Whatever it is, it needs to be set down somewhere. To help you out, we listed five key pillars on which you can build a Social Media Strategy to promote your tours and activities.
1. Objectives – set out your reasons for using social media
Before you decide what channels you want to be on or what type of content you’re going to produce, set out your reasons for using social media. Are you looking for sales? Do you want lots of traffic? Is increasing brand awareness the most important objective?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and set your key objectives you can build a strategy that will help meet your business needs.
2. Targeting – who do you want to reach?
Social media can be very powerful when it comes to targeting. If you run a walking tour in San Francisco and 80% of your customer base is American, you might want to target visitors to the US from the UK. Facebook can help you reach those people using their advertising platform.
Similarly, you might want to create content that you know your target market in certain countries will engage with. You can do this via a tight social media and content marketing strategy.
Unsure about who your customers are? Try creating customer personas for your business.
3. Resources – how much time, how many people and how much money
This is extremely important when it comes to building your strategy. Who is going to manage your social channels? How much time are they going to spend on it? Do you have any budget to spend? Before you begin your activity on these channels see what resources you have for your proposed social activities. Then you can see if you need to increase or cut down on the amount of people, time and money being spent on them.
4. Planning – how are you going to execute?
This is when you need to display your organisational skills. The first thing you need to do is create a content calendar for whatever channels you’ve decided to be active on. Then you need to figure out what’s the publishing process, who’s going to do the reporting and who’s going to do what.
Once this is finalised you can begin your social media marketing efforts.
5. Monitoring – what does success look like?
This is the fun, or maybe not so fun part – seeing if it works. After looking at why you’re using it and what your objectives are, you’ll be able to set out your KPIs. Then you can see if your expectations are met. Is social media driving sales for you? Are you getting traffic referrals? Have your follower numbers increased?
You need to monitor the results to then act on them and improve what has already worked or what hasn’t. Here are the key analytics and metrics that you can start by monitoring first.
Have you built a social media strategy for your tour or activity company?
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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.