Now that we are on the other side of the holiday season, it’s a great time to start fresh and put together a game plan for success in the new year. Are you considering new opportunities and reflecting on your sales and marketing strategies for 2018? With its promise of new beginnings, January can be the perfect time to double-down on a resolution to boost your selling potential and better connect with your clients.
Whether it’s expanding your client base or building relationships with your current clients, an active social media presence can be the answer. Nowadays, being online is one of the most effective ways to network and establish brand loyalty with a large audience of travelers. Beyond what any brick-or-mortar business can offer, your social presence puts you exactly where your customers are spending their time.
Social media has made a profound impact on the way people make their travel decisions. Today’s travelers now look to their peers on social media to inspire their next vacation plans. It’s so common that we have popular slang for it: FOMO, or fear of missing out. According to research conducted by Jetsetter.com, 60 percent of travelers share their experiences on social media on their trips. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an Instagrammable snapshot can certainly be enough to fuel travel inspiration.
Because the buzz about travel is shared through social, more businesses in the travel industry are harnessing the power of these channels to reach their customers. However, it’s not necessarily easy to know where to start or how to develop a strategy that will work for you and your target audience. Here are our tips to help you create a plan that can put you on track to reach your sales and marketing goals in the New Year.
Drive content with clear goals.
Before you dive into creating posts, it’s important to understand what you’re looking to accomplish with your efforts. Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, strengthen relationships with clients, or drive higher quality sales leads, make sure to align your content to the goals you want to reach.
Your objectives will change over time, so establish goals and benchmark your progress on paper. This will help you see concretely what’s working and where you have room to improve. And your goals should always be in line with the audience you want to attract. Understanding your target market will help you determine which platforms to use, how often to post, and the why behind your content strategy.
Research, research, and more research!
As a travel agent, you provide a wealth of knowledge to travelers so they can make smart travel decisions. That makes you a subject matter expert, and the quality of your advice makes you a trusted advisor. To maximize your value and connect with prospective clients,, dig into the research to see what questions or interests travelers have. That way, you can expand your knowledge base with expertise that best serves these needs..
Also, don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing.You can gain a lot of insight by pinpointing what’s successful and falling short for others in your field. How are they interacting with your target audience? How is that audience responding? What are some of the key differentiators/ unique selling points of your brand? Staying on top of what your competitors are doing on social media can give you an edge to set yourself apart and create a strong social presence successfully.
Connect with your audience authentically.
Social media has transformed the way that businesses approach their conversations with customers. It’s no longer all about informing a one-size-fits-all audience about products and services, then pushing for the hard sale. Today, effective marketing means creating a brand persona online and creating a meaningful, two-way dialogue about what you offer. In a recent study by Sprout Social, 86% of consumers prefer a trustworthy and authentic brand personality when making purchasing decisions.
By sharing travel advice, customer stories, and articles that appeal to your unique audience, you are inviting your followers to join a conversation that can build trust and, ultimately, buy-in for your services in the travel industry.
Leverage social media not only to promote your business and expand your reach, but also to strengthen the relationships you have with your clients. By staying up to date with research trends, updating your goals, and engaging with your followers, you’ll carve out a competitive niche as a dream vacation connoisseur.
For a more comprehensive resource on revving up your marketing strategy, check out our 2018 Agent Marketing Guide.