Since travel content is so widely shared on Facebook (who doesn’t want to show their friends where they’re travelling?!) having a presence as a tour or activity company is an integral part of your marketing strategy. But what people want to know is how to sell with Facebook.
Here are 10 ways to use the world’s number one social network to sell your product…
1. Have a strategy
There’s no point being on Facebook if you don’t have a strategy. This can be an 80-page document or simply a one-pager. When writing it, ask yourself questions like ‘What do I want from Facebook?’, ‘What are the KPIs – how will I know if it’s working?’ and ‘How am I going to do this – who is going to own it?’. Once you answer these questions you can put a plan in place and this will form your strategy.
2. Have a content calendar
If you don’t have a content calendar, it’s so easy to forget about posting on Facebook. If you don’t post on Facebook regularly, it’s very difficult to discover if it’s working for you or not. If you don’t know if it’s working, but you still post, you’re essentially wasting your time. Have a content calendar in place and stick to it.
3. Have the right type of page
This might seem obvious, but the number of businesses that have Facebook accounts that have ‘friends’ and not ‘likes’ is startling. If you’re one of these businesses, you need to migrate your page from a ‘profile’ to a ‘page’. To do this visit this page. Until you do, you won’t be able to see where your Facebook fanbase is from, what gender they are, when they’re online and more.
4. Use great imagery
You’re a tour and/or activities company which means you must have great images. Nothing will sell your product more than a good photo. They’re what make people go ‘I want to be there, doing that’. When sharing content make sure it has strong imagery. Also, make sure to have a strong cover photo and profile picture too.
5. Use Facebook Insights and analyse the data
Facebook has been offering insightful data for years now for free (Twitter only introduced it earlier this year). The data they offer will help you perfect your Facebook marketing. The information given will tell you when to post, what type of content people like the most, where your audience is from and more.
Here are 5 metrics to measure on Facebook Insights to get the most out of your Facebook page.
6. Try Facebook advertising
Facebook’s advertising platform can be tricky, but it’s one that anybody using it for marketing purposes needs to use. Facebook has employed a ‘pay to play’ strategy, meaning you'll need at least a quarter of a million page likes to see any traction. Alternatively, you're going to have to pay them to show your content.
But the great thing is that you can experiment for as little as €4. If you are, just make sure you spend a bit of time on the ads, particularly on the targeting. The last thing you want to do is spend €4 serving a piece of content to the wrong audience.
7. Keep up to date with the news
Facebook change their algorithm like the weather. As a result, you need to keep up to date with everything that’s going on. To do this, check websites like Allfacebook.com regularly. Better still, check the Facebook Newsroom on a regular basis to see what’s new.
8. Experiment with video
If you use Facebook a lot, you’ll have noticed that there are a lot of videos in your feed. This is because they play automatically, so whether or not the user wants to consume your content, they’re consuming it. If it’s good enough, they’ll continue to consume it until the end, thus receiving your message.
Video is key to marketing on Facebook at the moment, and Facebook's release of Facebook Live proves this. Their video-streaming facility allows you to stream video live from an event or a place or wherever you want to stream from.
The video is first shared in real-time, with users being told your page ‘is live’. It then stays on your page for the following hours and days with users being told your page 'was live'. So while a video might only have less than 20 live viewers at time of broadcast, within a day of the video being shared, you should find that it ends up with well over 1,000 views, depending on the size of your audience.
9. Optimise your page
What’s the number one search term you’d like to show up for in Google? ‘Walking tours in Istanbul’ maybe? Or is it ‘Skydiving in Sydney’? Whatever it is, make sure those keywords are on your Facebook page in the 'About' section. While you’re at it, make sure you use the tabs available to you, try to have your reviews prominent, share content in other languages to relevant audiences and be meticulous when it comes to grammar – nothing looks worse than a spelling mistake.
10. Run competitions
When it comes to Facebook, there’s one thing that people love – free stuff. Ask them to hit like on a post to enter a contest, or comment on a photo for a free trip and they’ll do it. In the process, they’ll get you incremental page likes and bring your page to a wider audience. If you’ve got stuff to give away, give it away. Just not too much though – one a quarter is a good starting point. Here's our advice on add-ons to increase the value of your tours.
Does Facebook drive sales for your tour or activity company? Let us know in the comments!
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Published 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.