Social media platforms have established themselves as a must-have marketing strategy tool for businesses everywhere. If you’re new to social media, however, the thought of navigating the online landscape can be intimidating. Finding time to promote your activity packages online while simultaneously running your tour business can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, we’re here to guide you through the world of social media marketing with suggestions for effectively promoting your tour business and activity packages online. We’ll explore tips for travel companies and tour operators on choosing the best social media platform for your business, maintaining a social media calendar, and optimizing your content for the biggest results.
Between interacting and engaging directly with your customers, widening your reach across the globe, building your brand, and ultimately increasing your bookings, the benefits of being on social media for tour companies are both numerous and (mostly) free.
Choosing a Social Media Platform For Your Tour Business
There are many social media platforms for you to choose from, and each one comes with their own benefits, list of features, and access to different demographics. Deciding which platforms are right for you can be difficult, so consider these factors when trying to narrow down your options:
- Who is your target audience and which social media platforms are they using?
- What are the marketing and promotional goals of your tour company?
- Which social media platform are you realistically able to create the best content for?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular social media platforms used today, what they’re known for, and how it might affect your decision.
- Platform for visual media with a strong focus on photos and images.
- Features like Instagram Stories and Reels provide an exciting way to connect with customers through video content.
- A third of users are between 25-34; great for marketing towards millennial travelers.
- Great for community building and connecting your customers to share experiences.
- Encourages audience engagement and provides various ways to interact.
- A third of users are between 25-34, but seniors are the fastest growing demographic.
- Great for sharing short thoughts and bits of information.
- Fast-paced social media platform; can be difficult to build a following or get noticed.
- Focus on images that inspire or spark interest.
- High-quality images can draw travelers to your other platforms.
- Platform for video content.
- Great for longer videos, promotional material, and ads.
- Place for creative, short video content.
- Can be used to inspire travelers and start or participate in trends.
- Most popular among Gen Z with the largest age group being between 18-24.
By no means should you feel obligated to join every social media platform out there. Select a couple platforms that you can commit your time and focus to. Building a strong brand presence and following on just one or two social media platforms is better than having mediocre engagement and activity on all of them.
With that being said (we talked a bit about this when we discussed the 5 rules for choosing the best tour company name), even if you don’t plan on using certain social media platforms, it’s wise to create an account to secure your social media handle in case you change your mind in the future. Maintaining consistency is important in building a strong brand and is just one of the many social media tips for travel companies to follow.
Decide What Type of Content to Post
When deciding what to upload to your social media feed, consider the platform you’re using, your target audience, and the objective you’re trying to achieve with your post. Focus on what you think the traveler would like to see and mix up your feed with different types of content.
- Follow our photography tips to share beautiful photos and videos of what customers can expect when they book your activity.
- Try including behind-the-scenes footage of your team setting up the tour and preparing for the day to keep things interesting.
- The occasional post promoting your tour packages or announcing special deals are to be expected, but share them in moderation.
The main goal of your social media usage is to generate customer interest in your tour business and increase your reach by creating shareable content.
Think outside the box and be original, but most importantly, be authentic to yourself and to your brand. Remind yourself of your tour business’ mission to ensure that your posts are aligned with your brand values, voice, and tone.
Have a Social Media Calendar
What you post is important, but when and how often you post are just as critical. The frequency of your social media posts will vary depending on the platform. Using a social media calendar can be helpful for scheduling and managing your upcoming social media content. You and your team can certainly create your own social media calendar using templates or apps like Google Sheets, but do you have time for that while you’re busy running your company?
If not, you’re in luck. Tools like HootSuite, SproutSocial, and MailChimp (to name a few) are designed to make your life easier by helping you manage all of your social media accounts in one place, plan for future content, and ensure your posts go live exactly when you want them to. For more ways to manage your socials, check out these 13 social media calendars, tools, and templates.
Keep in mind that consistency and quality take precedence over quantity on social media. Most experts recommend that small businesses post just once a day on social media, though platforms like Twitter see better results with more frequent posts. Consistency here can help retain customer interest and develop familiarity with your tour business and brand.
The best times to post on social media also vary slightly between each platform and are another thing to consider when building out your social media calendar.
Use Hashtags To Increase Visibility
Hashtags are used to categorize posts and allow users to find related content. Using the right hashtags for your social media posts will get your content in front of the eyes of people who care (travelers, tourists, etc.). Take a look at what’s trending in the tourism and travel industry or what your competitors are using to figure out which hashtags you should include. Make sure that the hashtag you use actually relates to your post or business in some way.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook allow you to tag the location of your post as well. This is especially useful because just like hashtags, it allows tour operators to have their post categorized with related content and reach users who are already interested in that location.
Dedicate Time To Interacting With Your Customers
Interacting and engaging with your customers or followers on social media is crucial to promoting your tour company. It’s not enough to just create excellent content, post it, and then leave. As a tour operator, you need to be able to respond to your customers’ questions and comments in a timely manner. Your audience will appreciate your responsiveness and will feel confident booking with you if they know that they can reach you when needed.
Customer service interactions on social media live in a very public setting, even if messages are exchanged in private. Engage with your customers in a respectful and professional manner to avoid negative experiences. Creating, maintaining, and adhering to a communication strategy for your brand can help align your company’s voice and tone across all channels.
Optimize Your Profile
Setting up your company profile and crafting a bio that stands out can sometimes be as tricky as writing the perfect tour description. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok limit the number of characters you can use in your bio to 160, 150, and 80 respectively, making it important to be as clear and succinct as possible. Potential customers that visit your page should know immediately what your tour business name is, what services you provide, and where else to find you. Tools like Linktree can save precious characters by connecting your audience to all of your content through a single link.
Share Customer Reviews
Regardless of how trusted a company is with its customers, people are more trusting of experiences and stories originating from their fellow travelers. A study released by TripAdvisor in 2019 revealed that 81% of travelers “always or frequently [read] reviews” before booking an accommodation. 72% of people did the same when looking for a place to eat or researching things to do. Sharing customer reviews will help build trust and confidence with your audience and inspire them to book your tour. The same study showed that having no reviews at all would immediately deter 52% of travelers from booking a hotel, so if you haven’t started gathering verified reviews on your booking platform, it’s time to get started.
Work With Influencers
Partnering with a travel influencer is a great way to promote your tour business and activity packages on social media. Travel influencers that have established their brand and built their following will often promote your tour business or activity to their audience in exchange for your services or products. We just discussed the power of sharing customer reviews, but now imagine the impact that review could have if it had a following of a million people. If you decide to reach out to a travel influencer, just make sure that they fit your target audience and preferably are local so that it is easier to connect with them.
Invest in Paid Social Media Campaigns or Ads
Earlier we said that if used strategically, your travel company could benefit from being on social media for free. While this is very true, if you’ve allowed yourself a budget for social media marketing, you have more ways to reach your audience in the form of paid campaigns or ads. Most platforms offer its business users various ways to use paid social media advertising so it’s likely that you’ll have this as an option on whichever platform you’re on.
The online world is always evolving, with each social media platform operating under its own set of rules. It can be difficult to navigate at first, but social media for tour operators is necessary if you want your tour business to thrive and reach audiences that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Follow these tips and suggestions on how to promote your tour business and activity packages on social media and you’ll be able to reach travelers around the world and inspire them to book their next getaway with you.