Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Less than 20% of travel agencies have fully embraced the advantages of having a solid social media presence. So, while most agencies have evolved from the walk-in shop to the internet, the majority still neglect to acknowledge and thus recognised the ability that social media has to actually transform their businesses – literally taking both product and sales to the next level.
This article is by no means a complete guide on how to build a travel agency in Australia, but simply an article highlighting how and why social media is essential for your company and why it is important in the Australia travel business.
Social media is the perfect platform for travel agencies to operate and some of the best examples of successful social media marketing campaigns have been run by travel agencies.
It’s an Affordable Marketing Tool
First things first, we are not suggesting that social media should be the only marketing you focus on when building a business in Australia and it’s important that it is viewed an essential addition to other marketing strategies.
Make sure that you pay due respects to other forms of marketing and that you’re familiar with how and why they are important for your company growth.
However, social media marketing is an affordable marketing tool and can be an easy way to develop organic traffic to your website.
Develop a Strong Brand
Social media marketing allows you develop a strong, recognisable brand across a number of platforms. Strong branding and a consistent presence on social media add legitimacy to your business both at home in Australia and internationally.
People want the best deals when looking to travel but they also want to make sure that they don’t find themselves stuck on a nightmare holiday somewhere after taking a risk on the cheapest company.
Customers will often check social media if they are unsure of a company’s reputation, not having a social media presence is often seen as a red flag whereas companies with strong branding are viewed as a better choice when booking.
Build Relationships with Customers
As the old adage goes, ‘seeing is believing’ and this is certainly no different when it comes to promoting your business on social media. There is a lot to be said for the impact of ‘social proof’ on the levels of online purchasing. Social media is quite simply the social proof king.
The great thing about social media is that you can interact with clients in order to better understand what they want and when they want it!
Customers that feel valued are not only more likely to return to use your services again but the chances are that they will also tell their friends about you too. Word of mouth has always been an essential part of the travel business and on social media everyone has a chance to make recommendations to their friends and families. A good reputation on social media goes a very long way with regards to attracting potential customers.
You can develop genuine customer care by being transparent, and by making sure that you make an effort to address any issues that might arise in a timely manner. By developing an omnipresent online presence you are able to reassure your customers that they matter and that you care about giving them the experiences they are after.
A consistent, professional and affable online presence goes a long way in both keeping customers happy and attracting new business.
An Easy Way to Share Experiences and Sights
Travelling has always been about creating new experiences and developing lasting memories. The introduction of social media means that people now have the chance to tell everyone else exactly what they are doing, whilst they’re doing it, from anywhere in the world!
Sharing travel photos, videos and experiences has become so popular that it would be considered strange to go on holiday without sharing at least one photo to social media.
If you are not using social media as a travel business then you are losing out on great content!
Naturally, you can use customer photos and videos as further evidence of the great work you are doing! You can incentivise your customers to share their photos by offering them something in return. Social advocacy is hugely important in marketing and by sharing photos, videos and experiences of happy customers you are showing potential customers why they should choose you.
By using social media you are giving your customers a way that they can conveniently share their experiences whilst also providing you with a valuable source of advocacy and legitimacy. Photos and videos often serve as more concrete social proof than reviews alone so make sure not to miss out!
Promote Deals and Events
It is suggested that as many as 75% of people get holiday ideas from social media platforms, so it goes without saying that being able to promote your deals or events on social media is hugely beneficial.
Not being able to post to social media severely limits the potential reach of your campaigns and potentially loses you customers to social media savvy competition.
If you’re proud of your promotional deals or events then it is absolutely key that you get on social media to share them!
By moving your travel business onto social media you are also giving any customers that you had before social media the chance to engage with you and your offers in a much more convenient way.
If one thing is true about people it’s that they love to get things for free.
Social media contests and giveaways have the potential to reach far and wide, and to attract the attention of all sorts of people. Social media competitions have the ability to garner the interest of people outside your usual customer base, and there have been a number of examples of hugely successful travel agency social media campaigns.
The amazing thing about using social media well is that you can run competitions and contests that add valuable content and traffic to your website too.
A great example of this was Tucan Travel who ran a photo competition, not only did the competition gain the company a tonne of new interest and potential leads but it also gave them access to user generated content, which they could use in future campaigns.
Competitions set a precedent for your followers, that you are a generous company who is looking to engage with its client base.
Sharing the experience of the competition winners can also be a great way to show that not only do you talk the talk you walk the walk too!
Keeping up to Date with Trends
Social media has the ability to highlight trend culture quickly, and it can help you to decide what destinations to promote and when to promote them.
The beautiful thing about social media is that your customers will often let you know the places that are hot and the places that are falling out of fashion. This is true for both trending destinations abroad and where to travel in Australia itself.
All you need to do is to understand the information that is being given to you, and to use it to your benefit. If it is worth running a competition then run a competition, if it’s worth promoting a deal then promote the deal!
Staying on top of trends and reacting quickly to any change in the market can be the difference between success and failure. Making use of pop culture while it is on trend can prove that you are a current and conscious company, making use of pop culture when it is no longer on trend can make you seem dated or out of touch, so it’s important to get it right.
Team up with Influencers
Influencer culture is perhaps the natural result of everything already mentioned in this article so it is important that influencers are taken seriously. Having a strong social media presence will allow you to identify which online personalities your clients interact with and whether they are internationally known or popular locally.
There are many influencers that are primarily focused in the social media travel business, so it might be easier than you think to identify the right influencer for you to work with.
By working together you and an influencer could potentially share followers and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with regards to developing a greater social media following.
However it is important to be aware that social media influences can often be polarising figures so it is important to fully understand the implications of using them. Before teaming up with any influencer it is critical that you check to see if their online presence is closely aligned with your values and principles as a company. If not, then make sure to avoid using them.
A Space to Share Value - Adding Articles and Guides
People often do a lot of research before they choose to go somewhere on holiday, whether it be across the other side of the world or at home in Australia.
With the continued increase in information shared online, the place most people often look for advice or travel suggestions is on google and from other people online.
Just as reviews are becoming increasingly popular, advice and opinions in the form of travel blogs are also growing in popularity. They give somebody the chance to read about a particular destination, help them to weigh up the pros and cons of the trip and aid them in their decision as to whether or not the holiday is right for them.
This growing online habit allows you the opportunity to develop a catalogue of useful and interesting travel articles, which you can share on your social media and your website
By providing a backlog of value adding content you give people a reason to visit your page even if they’re not planning a trip.
If you promote trustworthy, interesting and valuable articles on your social media platform you legitimise yourself as an authority in the travel field, with this comes faith from your followers that you are the company for them.
Well monitored blog posts also have the ability to generate more traffic to the company website by making you more desirable through means of search engine optimisation, and the more pertinent content you have the easier you will be able to find through search engines.
By creating a social media presence for your company you are highlighting the desire to make your service more convenient for your existing customers.
Social media is an easy way for people to contact your business without feeling under the pressure to buy anything. It also gives you a place where you can share FAQ’s so that you can answer questions without having to dedicate time and manpower to it.
Social media presents itself as an easy to reach medium between you and the customer, where they can view all manner of different content without having to contact you directly. An increasing number of holidays both domestically and internationally are booked on mobile devices, being online on more than one platform increases the chances that those holidays are booked through you.
Promoting your travel business on social media doesn’t need to be difficult, and if you follow the rules you will begin to develop genuine interest from people around the world. The most important rule when dealing with social media is to be consistent and if you are honest with yourself and work hard then you will develop a loyal fan base across social media platforms.
If you do not have a social media presence you are missing out on so many potential customers.
There are many brilliant examples of how social media marketing has transformed businesses, and there are a great number of articles which highlight how to best develop an online presence. Social media marketing can be tricky and should never be rushed, but if you take your time to learn its key principles you can greatly increase the influence and reach that your company has - both locally and abroad.