The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Tourism Social Media
We’ve worked with numerous clients in the social media space since our inception in 2015. My thoughts have always been the same; one size does not fit all but many of the core principles of social media are transferrable across industries. In this blog, I’ve outlined (based on experience and learnings) the top “dos and don’ts” of social media in the tourism space.
The tourism sector is in an enviable position in that most businesses have a story to tell, pictures to share and experiences to entice. Bear in mind, all social media activity must be linked to business outcomes and goals, not pretty pictures and likes.
1. Know your customer
This one sounds obvious but have you a targeted approach to your social strategy or are you merely broadcasting? One of the key benefits of social media is the ability to target content at specific user groups. Think about these 3 key questions:
Have you built target personas to aim content at? These personas will likely be more specific to your business and need to be more specific than the Fáilte Ireland personas.
Do you have a content strategy? Do know what you are posting tomorrow, next week and next month?
Do you have a brand tone of voice? How do you “speak” to your customers? What type of language do you use? What do your customers expect from you?
2. Build your community
The algorithm changes (esp. Facebook) mean that as a business it’s unlikely that your content will be seen unless you are putting budget (even small) behind it. It really is a numbers game; the more community you have, the greater the opportunity for your content to be seen.
3. Make sure your content is quality & represents your brand!
Good content doesn’t need to cost a fortune. A decent camera and the skills to use it can go a long way. You are in the business of selling experiences; shaky photos and badly edited video don’t and won’t help.
4. Make your content shareable
Social media is how people tell others about their experiences (good and bad). Nowadays, 97% of millennials share travel content (in some cases documenting every step of the way). Think about how you can tap into this trend and use it to drive business. Take the example of Airbnb who use photos shared by the guests, rather than using professional photographs to market their product. http://bit.ly/AirBnBinsta
5. “Influencer” doesn’t need to be a dirty word!
Consider looking at “micro- influencers” i.e. those with a solid social media following who might have the ability to talk directly to your target market. Be sure to choose the individual carefully and remember that they are representing you and your brand!
1. Ignore negative feedback
Feedback (good or bad) can help you build and develop your business. Whilst you might not agree with all of what is being said, see if you can turn the negatives into positives. In many cases customers are giving you pointers to improve. The worst thing you can do on social media is ignore people, they’ll want to complain more!
2. Neglect your own profile
Tight resources are a challenge for most businesses, but if you’re active on social media, be that… active! Put a content plan in place to ensure that you are posting on a regular basis.
3. Forget customer service
Social media is the future of customer service. It is the first port of call for a lot of customers and potential customers. Rather than send an email or pick up the phone, the natural reaction will be to send a tweet or message via Facebook. To my mind it is the future of booking also. Are your social channels optimized for customer service and if not, how can you limit the damage?
4. Over post
The classic case of “get an intern in and lets pop lots and lots up on social media”. Over posting can be perceived as spamming and with changes in algorithms (mentioned above) it’s a waste of valuable resources.
5. Don’t always talk about yourself
We believe that 75% of all social media posts need to be about your customer and 25% about you and sales. Constantly posting about offers, deals and how great you are is a turn off for customers. Do an audit of your last 20 posts. How much is about your customer and how much is about you?
Joe Wilde is CEO & Founder of Mac Digital (a digital agency with specialism in the tourism sector). He is an accredited Failte Ireland mentor and adjunct professor in Trinity College Dublin and National College of Ireland. www.tourism.macdigital.ie