Having a strong social media strategy can greatly improve your business when done well. But how do you create the most effective social media strategy for your tourism or travel business?
The SocialMedia Examiner website has this excellent article overviewing exactly how to set up a social media business strategy.
In it, the expert guides to the social media jungle outline seven steps to creating successful social media marketing and a comprehensive internet marketing plan.
To get results, your business presence on social media has to engage your clients and potential clients. Just having social media accounts is not enough to improve your business; you need prospects excited about interacting with your social media and then motivated to use the products or services you sell.
How do you get traffic and prospects through social media platforms? The seven steps outlined by the SocialMedia Examiner overview specific steps to succeed:
- Define your goals for using social media and set objectives for your internet marketing, ensuring they are reasonable and achievable. Create goals that are concrete and measurable; for example, if you are generating X number of leads per month currently set a challenging (but not outrageous) goal for the year ahead. Things to consider include how to build your brand, drive new traffic to your social media pages and website, provide relevant information to potential clients, and interact with followers. These are all important ways to develop meaningful social media metrics, which will help gauge the success of your social media strategy.
- Understand your audience so you can target them effectively. You need to really know who your audience is and how to best reach them. Are they using Facebook or more likely to be on Pinterest or Twitter? What engages them, who influences their purchases, and how can you best get them to interact?
- Narrow down your top three to five main topics and target them. Your content on social media should be designed around these top “hot button” topics – everything from information to news to planned promotions. Remember that your content should anticipate the needs and questions of your potential and existing clients, which is why blogs can be a highly effective tool. Try different ways of presenting the information to see what works best with your target demographic. Don’t forget about images for the social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- Attack on all Social Media fronts. You should plan to create accounts across all social media entities for your business name. Sometimes this isn’t possible and other companies with similar names have already staked ownership, but if not then claim that social media territory for your own. Ensure that your profile reflects your company brand and includes the basic information to help drive people to your location and website (address, phone number, hours of operation, and a link to your website).
- Don’t let Social Media take all your time. Anyone who uses social media knows how easy it is to intend to spend only a few minutes and then discover hours have gone by. Create a plan for how and when you will work on your business social media. Be strategic!
- Plan your resources. Small business owners need to ensure that they have a strategy that includes who will handle social media engagement and what the expectations will be for employees or visitors regarding social media use. It is important to have processes in place for how to handle different situations like getting permission to use photos of customers.
- Use metrics to measure your success. There are many different measurement tools available online – and some are low cost or even free. Google Analytics, Export.ly, RowFeeder, and TweetReach all help you analyze your social media and online engagement so you can improve your efforts.
Is it important to include mobile users in social media strategy for small businesses and the travel industry in particular? It is essential: According to a GlobalWebIndex study, using a mobile phone to access the internet has exploded in the last two years by a whopping 60.3% to 818.4 million.
Think social media and mobile users are all young people? Guess again! It is important you target the right audience through social media and the same study says people aged 55 to 64 are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter (increasing 79% since 2012) and those aged 45 to 54 are the fastest on Facebook and Google+ by 46% and 56% respectively.
The potential for reaching new prospects through social media is truly unlimited. Google+ should be part of a comprehensive internet marketing plan because – although it doesn’t get the same press buzz as Twitter or Facebook – Google+ has 359 million monthly users, making it the second largest social media network in the world.
Similarly, the importance of Twitter should not be underestimated. Twitter is the globe’s fastest growing social media network with 288 million active users accessing it monthly. From June 2012 to March 2013, Twitter use grew by 44%.
Ready to start planning social media and internet marketing strategy for your travel or tourism business? Contact Stir Tourism for a free estimate or a free 30-minute consultation.
Our travel, tourism, and hospitality marketing experts can help you plan world-class online marketing campaigns that will include both digital and mobile advertising to increase leads and generate sales.
Free e-Book: Travel and Tourism Internet Marketing 101 http://t.co/SW5nJAKuob
— Stir Solutions (@stirsolutions) August 9, 2013