How do you get yourself noticed? Can you create graphics? What should you say or…
Social Media – A Travel Agent’s Power Tool
As you know, social media is one of your most powerful tools in driving business to your travel agency. As with sales in general, you also know that you increase your sales numbers the more people you reach through multiple sources and avenues. But beware – sales is not all a numbers game; once you’ve reached travel consumers, they will respond to you because you have something of value to offer in return whether it be instant travel promotions, useful information, or entertaining material that will nurture a relationship with potential clients down the line. There is no magic wand that will do the trick for you, however. Sales and social media do require some of your time.
Time and work – what a negative connotation this can hold. Don’t let it stop there, fill your time and your work with projects that also hold value and entertainment to YOU. This is what social media can do for you, and there are no set rules to follow. If you don’t feel that you’re a good writer, share your travel photos. If you don’t have enough personal experience to share, ask your clients to share the wonderful trips they booked through your agency. While it would normally feel inappropriate to ask your clients to respond to such a request, social media provides a different way to connect and stay in touch. Once you get to know your clients and interact with them through Facebook or your Google+ page, tumblr or Twitter, asking them to share their trip with you on your social media can take the form of flattery rather than being task oriented. You take an interest in them, and you show that you care about more than just your sales commission – you show an interest in their travel experience, and they will love you for it. They might tell you about their travel highlights or show you pictures from their trip, and they’ll want others to benefit from your services as well. Once you’ve established a nice relationship with a client that reaches beyond the business transaction, it will feel much more natural to ask them to share your contact information with their friends and family, so that they, too, can benefit from the extra interest, expertise, and professional services you provide.
What social media platform is the best? Which one should you use?
Since people use different and multiple social media platforms, it is not only important that you do too, but that you consolidate your posts to reach all. There are several easy services that will help you connect your social media, such as Friends+Me, allowing you to post only once while populating that post to all your social media platforms. However, keep in mind that this is only a tool for your initial posts to reach all – you still need to tend to your responses on a personal basis. Social media is interactive, and your friends will quickly lose their interest in you if they don’t receive feedback. Your social media friends are not just an audience.
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If there’s anything that makes non-writers flee at the thought, it’s blogging. Speak of time and work, yet, it is one of the most powerful networking tools out there. Your blogs can be re-posted on all your social media, people can share your blogs straight from the source and subscribe to your blog articles. I would repeat my earlier advice to those who find it hard to write their own articles and posts: post a lot of images, and ask other people to share their experiences. A blog article doesn’t have to be very long, but it does need to give your reader something: useful information, advice, tips, entertainment value or other insights you have to travel. You can even ask for a call to action. If you write a blog about the Louvre in Paris, ask the reader if they’ve been there, what their favorite piece was, do they have any tips on how to get the best ticket price or circumvent the lines. This way, your readers contribute to your blog value. There are a lot of good tips on exactly how to drive traffic to your blog, what to write about, how to get started and how to optimize your blog for the web, but instead of re-inventing the wheel, I am going to share another great blog with you on the subject – How to Promote Your Blog and Get More Visitors/Traffic. Note that this is in itself a great example of how someone wrote about something useful, and by doing so I’m sharing his blog with you as a result, contributing to his blog traffic. I think he made his point! You can prove my point too, by sharing and responding to this article either on the blog page itself, or in any of the social media platforms you are using to read this.
Happy posting fellow agents!
By Jessica Lang, Multimedia Team Specialist, Travel Planners International