One of the questions I get asked the most about social media marketing for travel businesses is: How do I convert my followers from just followers to booked clients? In other words: how do I get bookings?
To answer this question, it’s interesting to consider some of the preconceived ideas travel businesses often have about getting bookings on social media. A lot of these stem from the way social media used to work years ago and others come from a reluctance to actually promote yourself, something I’ve noticed especially in the luxury travel industry.
Let’s get into it!
Myth 1 – Build it and they will come
If only, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as easy as starting an account, posting and people will magically find your account, fall in love with what you do and immediately want to book.
Popular social media channels like Facebook or Instagram are saturated and the reality is that you are competing every day for people’s attention. You have to stand out, entertain your audience, educate them and inspire them consistently and regularly so they slowly learn to know, like and trust you – 3 essential factors to getting bookings on social media.
Myth 2 – All you need to do is post beautiful travel photos
For years, posting travel photos was the default but over the past few years, a new trend has turned the social media landscape upside down: video.
For years, many of us thought this would be a fad until it wasn’t. Research shows that 54% of consumers want to see more video content on social media. Facebook also announced that almost half of all time spent on their platform is spent watching videos. The video-only platform Tik Tok has seen exponential growth over the past couple of years. Whether we like it or not, video is here to stay and should be integrated into our marketing. The good news is that video to an extent is still in its infancy and can help you stand out from other travel businesses not willing to pursue that avenue yet.
Start with short reels. The ideal length is 7 to 14 seconds long; a brief moment in time you could easily capture on your travels or through your partners on the ground.
Myth 3 – Your followers know who you are, what you do and how your services and products can help them.
Think about it. You probably follow lots of other businesses from your social media accounts. Do you remember who is behind every single one of these accounts and what services they provide? Most likely, there are a few accounts in there that someone mentioned or you saw featured somewhere or you randomly found through a search and decided to follow. It isn’t because someone follows you that they read every single one of your posts and watch all of your stories or that they “know” you. You also gain new followers every month and so it’s important to keep repeating who you are, what you do and how you help people.
Repetition is key. Studies have also shown that people need to hear something 7 times before they actually remember it. So bring on the re-introduction posts, casual mentions in passing, regular hard pitches…etc.
Let’s see if we can dispel more myths! What do you think it takes to get bookings on social media? Leave a comment below to let me know and let’s talk about it.