Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Through years of experience working with Travel clients, we have put together a year-long plan detailing how and when Tour Operators can use social media effectively to grow, activate, and engage an audience, and turn them into their next bookings.
As with any Travel business, Tour Operators face the challenge of grappling for customer attention in an exceptionally competitive marketplace. But they also have the opportunity to share the value-added knowledge they offer customers as a unique part of their service.
Up against major players in a space diluted with booking alternatives frequently offering more options and less expensive trips, a Tour Operator’s success is reliant on their ability to differentiate with exclusive experiences, and to convince customers that theirs is the best experience.
That unique knowledge and expertise is what sets Tour Operators apart, and is their greatest opportunity to attract new customers.
Social media provides the perfect platform to leverage this.
Communicating the value of their experiences through a story only they can tell, social media enables Tour Operators to connect this voice to an engaged community of potential new customers.
And the humanised approach on social media is proven to work with a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Your strategy should begin with growth of a community far in advance of the your booking period. Activities during this stage revolve around a content plan that highlight what is extraordinary about the Tours you offer.
These are examples of content that you as Tour Operators are in a unique position to provide, that resonates with customers – (OR customers naturally engage with).
Community growth can be further enhanced through targeted social advertising to help grow a highly relevant audience of potential customers exponentially.
In preparation for booking periods, tactical social media campaigns are the most effective way to grow your email database to support other marketing activities.
They also establish a strong foundation for customer loyalty by offering unique incentives and a memorably engaging brand experience.
That customer loyalty is what drives bookings during and after your key booking periods.
A tactical campaign provides a way for you to:
With our work for the Family Adventure Company, we secured 1500 e-mail addresses from potential customers in one month which were used in targeted e-mail marketing during the booking season. For more information about this campaign, see our case study.
While the true promise of these campaigns is customer data, effective campaigns will drive traffic to your website and show longer term increase in engagement to support sales after your key booking period is over.
The tail-end of the primary booking period is the time to harness the loyalty established throughout the year, and reward your community to drive more bookings.
Offering additional incentives peaks loyalty when it is beginning to drop.
Running a campaign at this time delivers the same benefits of campaigns pre-booking period – community growth, increased engagement, and customer data acquisition – but also opens a direct channel to promote your Tour packages that are relevant to customers.
Effective campaign ideas to supplement addition bookings may involve:
The key to this stage is maintaining customer loyalty – through incentives offered by a campaign, customers feel rewarded and your business is given a final opportunity to match the perfect Tour with the right customer.
It’s not too late to plan a campaign to help give your booking period that extra push. For more information on how it’s done contact us email@example.com at or give us a call at 0 1179 111 420.
*Statistic taken from: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics#Social%20Media
Categories: Social Media Articles