REASONS TO BE SOCIAL IN THE LEISURE & TOURISM SECTOR.
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It’s definitely one of the most popular reasons to post on social media – you’re on holiday and you want everyone to know all about it.
So, it comes as no surprise that online content about travel and holidays is consistently popular. Yes, it’s largely people showing off their fabulous experiences. But that’s why holiday companies need to get involved if they aren’t already.
Here’s our advice on how the leisure and tourism industry can make the most of the marketing potential of each social media network.
Even with all its controversy, Facebook is still a social media giant and, universally speaking, companies need to have a presence there. However, when it comes to travel companies, it’s should be a bit of a box to tick rather than a platform to focus too heavily on when it comes to social media strategy.
Posting on Facebook when you’re on holiday can get you into trouble. A post bragging about your time on the beach sits alongside a goldmine of personal information such as real names and hometowns. This could even invalidate your home insurance should something happen.
Facebook isn’t also a natural place when looking for inspirational or aspirational posts. It’s a catch up with your mates. That said, we liked the National Geographic Traveller page which has nearly 150,000 likes. It provides a great range of content including family trips and bucket list worthy ideas.
Have a look at our blog here for tips on how to get the most out of Facebook as a business.
Holiday, travel and leisure content is very visually led. This makes it instantly Insta-worthy. Beautiful images of idyllic locations are the order of the day – especially if you can tag them with the #NoFilter hashtag for a touch of authenticity.
Unlike some of its rivals, Instagram has a generous character limit of 2,200. It’s pretty commonplace to use several hashtags on one post on Instagram too as the platform allows up to 30 of them on a post and 10 on an Instagram Story. This makes it easy to tap into lots of different topics with just one post. However, it is also important to remember that some holiday topics will be flooded with content and so competition is rife. For example, #travel has been used more than 397 million times. The key to cutting through the noise is personalising your content with whatever your company’s USP is. For example, Flash Pack is a travel company specifically for solo travellers. So, their content focuses on the sights and sounds of its locations. Use hashtags which would reflect this too so you aren’t lost in the millions of #Travel posts e.g. #SoloTravel or branded hashtags such as STA Travel’s #StartTheAdventure.
Pinterest is an aspirational platform where people ‘pin’ content to inspire and plan their dream getaway. Travel is more popular here than on Facebook and Twitter so holiday companies cannot afford to not have a presence there. Set up boards depending on how your holiday company is structured e.g. city breaks, beach holidays or weekends away so they are easy to navigate. Thanks to its image search function, it’s also one of the best ways to showcase your destinations, hotels and tours. Similarly to Twitter, it’s trending function helps to find out what people are interested in currently and tailor content accordingly. Travel companies need to be agile depending on seasons, weather and many other factors. So, this is a great way to do this.
Twitter is a tricky platform for content marketing. Potential customers don’t use Twitter for information, they use it for discounts – 85% of millennials follow brands on Twitter for coupons. In addition, 36% of businesses have used Twitter to generate leads. It’s also a great customer service portal.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for travel companies to post holiday inspiration on Twitter. On the contrary, there’s some great opportunities there too. For example, #TravelTuesday is trending almost every week with a diverse range of content from travel companies, industry experts and holidaymakers. Not only can you be part of that conversation but you can find potential customers to follow and engage with too.
Blogs are a great way to create owned content which can be full of your brand’s personality. By creating engaging copy, you can educate and inform your target audience, – the budding traveller – who needs expert opinion. These can either be created in-house or be outsourced to an agency. Alternatively, you could team up with existing travel bloggers for them to comment on and/or review your holidays. For example, we like Travel on the Brain.
In summary, there’s huge potential for travel, leisure, tourism and holiday companies to be making the most of the marketing channels available to them if they are not doing so already. But, in a crowded marketplace, it can be tricky to attract and the customers you want to do business with. A little expert guidance can help. Theme Group have nearly 25 years in helping leisure companies put their content in front of the right audiences – contact us to find out how we could help you.