This is a guest post by Evridiki Gavalaki. Evridiki is the Online Marketing & Communication Professional at Mozaik, an Online Marketing and Web Development Agency specializing in providing SEO and Digital Marketing services. Mozaik has been awarded several times with web design and development prizes since 2005. Feel free to follow Mozaik on Twitter.
Social media have become an integral part of tourism marketing; they have revolutionized the industry and they have replaced a large part of the traditional communication. Of course this should be expected since the travel industry was one of the sectors that benefitted the most from the internet and as a result new technologies and networks become useful tools for the professionals of this sector.
In this article we will discuss the most essential practices of social media marketing in tourism & travel industry and we will explain how they can help you promote your business, increase brand awareness, attract more visitors on your website and increase profits.
Why Tourism industry needs social media?
The Internet world is constantly evolving. After having passed through the simple transmission process of the provision of information, we have reached a new more interactive era. The new web technologies and the fast internet connections made available to the users more rich/interactive types of data such as audio, videos and photos.
Nevertheless the introduction of Social Media networks has revolutionized the industry. Now it is not only the “industry experts” that publish their reviews on travel related websites and channels but also the simple internet users that rate destinations, create content, write their reviews, exchange experiences, publish their videos and photos etc.
Moreover the social networks made it possible to spread the information even faster and with less cost. The word of mouth has been proven an effective way to promote businesses and several viral marketing techniques have been developed in order to engage the internet users.
The social media networks are valuable tools for companies that belong to the travel industry because they can help them promote their services with less cost, attract user attention and above all generate buzz around their brands, services or travel destinations.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Below we provide a list with the most important benefits of using social media campaigns. Social Media marketing can help you:
- Create new channels to promote your brand
- Communicate with your clients
- Come closer to your potential customers and engage them
- Generate buzz around your brand and increase your online reputation
- Distribute the content of your company or organization and promote your blog
- Increase the traffic of your website
- Gain links and improve your SEO
- Get feedback from the comments of your visitors and improve your business
- Promote your content without cost
- Build stronger relations with industry experts
Social Media best practices and Basic Tools
Here are the basic tools and practices that can help you improve your social media presence:
- Facebook: Create a page and share your content, news, photos and videos. You can promote/organize events, create special offers for your fans, add applications to attract reviews from your customers or set up a booking application for easier online booking. Don’t forget to be immediate and creative. Make the people “like” you!
- Twitter: Post about your interests/news, find experts in tourism, travel bloggers and people who interested in traveling. Follow them and share your news and your content. Twitter provides a great opportunity for businesses to engage visitors in a conversation. Be part of the travel community and they will “follow” you!
- YouTube: Set up your own channel on You Tube, upload your videos and give an audiovisual essence to attract audience. Call viewers to “watch” your videos and subscribe!
- Flickr: Upload your best photos and give the permission of common sharing to others. “Photo sharing” always attracts travel lovers!
- Foursquare: Allow users to publish information into their social networks. Get listed and let people find you and “check in”!
- Trip Advisor: Submit your company to the biggest online travel community and promote your brand via your visitors’ comments. Customer’s reviews can help your reputation management and increase your sales. Urge travelers to “recommend” you! Above all don`t forget to monitor what they say and reply to their comments.
- Social Media Bookmarking: (ex. Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg) Social Media Bookmarking is a fast method to convey your message, to promote your business on the Internet. Also it is an easy and simple tool to promote your blog.
- Website: Promote your social media accounts through your website! Add the social media buttons in a strategic position on your pages for a more interactive communication with your potential customers.
Don’t forget that content creation and blogging should be combined and supported by your social media efforts in order to attract more readers and generate positive buzz around your brand.