5 Tips for Using Facebook Pages in Travel & Tourism Industry

After reading the article How to Create and Manage the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business: The Complete A to Z guide I started thinking how can we utilize the power of Facebook pages in travel & tourism industry. I came up with  five recommendations on how to make the most out of your Facebook page.

1. Use the Facebook page to talk about your brand
Try to create custom landing pages with Facebook timeline’s custom app. They are a great way to keep tour customers engaged with your company and inform them what is new. You can create landing page about anything that you think your customers will be interested in. There are 4 main types of landing pages:
1. Like Our Page
2. Make A Purchase (or participate in a promotion)
3. Visit Our Website
4. Experience Our Brand
One of the main uses of the custom page app on Facebook is creation of customised landing pages for an advertising or promotional campaigns.

 

2. Post Inspiring photos

Everybody loves to see beautiful photos. Posts with photos have higher engagement than posts that contain only text. Show customers what you have to offer if they stay in your hotel: beautiful pools, spa, natural beauties, beaches, exclusive restaurants. Use professional photos to make it irresistible. Use of inspirational photos is also recommended for airliners, which can highlight the scenery in various destinations. Encourage your customers to post their photos of scenery on your Facebook page and drive engagement even further.

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3. Combine different types of content
Customers love to see different types of content on your Facebook page. Text posts can be great but try to combine them with videos, photos, travel tips, reviews. Terranea Resort in California posts videos from weddings that have happened on their beachfront, which shows that resort is ideal wedding site. Funny and original.
4. Host contests and give prizes
Everybody loves winning so make sure that you include contests and giveaways. You can offer free night in a hotel, voucher for spa, discount or free miles, free drinks – doesn’t matter, contests are a great way to engage your community! Asking fans to submit something as a part of contest entry (photos, videos, feedback…) is even better.

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5. Use Facebook bookings
Customers prefer if booking can be as easy as possible. Enable them to make a booking without leaving Facebook! Here are some examples of online booking forms on Facebook page for an airplane tickets.

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Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com

#travel, #tourism, #facebook, #socialmedia, #facebookpage, #facebookcontest, #facebookbookings

Resources:

5 Best Practices for Travel & Tourism Brands on Facebook                                                How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps                                            Making Great Landing Pages with Facebook Timeline’s Custom Apps

 

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How to use Pinterest in travel&tourism industry?

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Pinterest is the third most popular social networking site in the world with 145% increase in users since 2012. Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites than Youtube, Google+ and LinkedIn…combined! Recently I read a very interesting article “3 tips to increase Customer engagement on Pinterest” and started thinking how can we utilise this powerful network in travel and tourism industry.

What is Pinterest?    
Let’s clarify what is Pinterest to begin with. While other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter focus on personal sharing, Pinterest is all about collecting and sharing interesting things that you find on the internet. It is a virtual pin-board where you can collect photos and links to products, ideas, quotes or just anything that you are interested in. Pinterest make it easy to organize topics by simply saving a pin. Pin is then displayed as a picture on a pin-board, creating a collection of images as you add new pins. When you click on a picture you will be redirected to original website which makes your pin-board act like an visual bookmark. Re-pinning accounts for 80% of pins and some pins are re-pinned even a hundreds of times.
How can travel & tourism industry use Pinterest?    
Photos are a great way for travel inspiration and that is why Pinterest is playing an important role in the early stage of travel planning. That is why travel professionals and travel agencies can benefit from minimal presence on this platform to spark interest for a new destination and drive traffic to their website. Check out how beautiful Cook Islands are:

Picture2Pinterest also has a feature called Place Pins which allows page owners to create travel related boards. When you open a board you will see a map with an assortment of numbered pins like you can see on Google Maps. Each number is associated with pin that is on the left side of the board. You can scroll down trough pins and find what interests you. Each pin has a number that relates to corresponding Place Pin on the map. When you click on the one that interests you, a box pops up with an address and phone number. You can just pick up the phone and call the business; there is no need to visit their website anymore.

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Pinterest has a potential to become a game changer, particularly in travel and tourism industry where pictures can tell a thousand words.                   

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com         

#socialmedia, #pinterest, #travel, #tourism, #placepins, #digital        

Resources and links:                                                                                                     Pinterest 101: All about Pinterest                                                                                        Pinterest for tourism: the best thing since vanilla?                                                              Pinterest Place Pins Add Value for Travel and Tourism 

Meet your next fastest growing segment in travel & tourism industry : the Millennials

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After reading this article “6 Year Olds Are Better At Digital Than Adults” I started thinking about new digital generation and how technology is dominating our lives in every aspect. Digital arena is developing very quickly and every year there are new developments, therefore new generations are more digital savvy. The way we communicate is changed forever.

Who are the Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y)? Generations born between 1980-2000, meaning that now they are aged between 14 and 34. They are tech savvy individuals now growing up and spending more which makes them fastest growing segment for travel and tourism industry. By the end of this post you should get a picture who the Millennials are how can their motivations and behaviors influence travel & tourism industry.

Technology savvy and the NOW! generation

The Millennials use technology much more than the older generations and they have much higher expectations. They want instant information and they are looking for new ways of entertainment all the time. That is why they are called “NOW! generation”. A lot of travel companies assume it is enough just to have a website to attract customers from this segment. They do not realize that a website can be counter-productive if it is not fast enough, doesn’t have relevant information or has outdated design.

The Millennials have high expectations from your website:

  • fast loading time (everything under 4 sec is too long and will not keep their attention)
  • clear and easy navigation (make sure that the first goal of your website should be usability)
  • relevant and meaningful content that answers most (if not all) of their questions
  • possibility of online bookings

They suffer from FOMO syndrome

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FOMO syndrome (fear of missing out) is created for Millennial Generation and their social media presence, meaning they are really concerned that your friends or person sitting next to you is having more fun.

Millennials love to travel for leisure with friends and have a lot of fun. Millennials are highly influenced by word of mouth when it comes to deciding about next travel destination. Social media made this recommendations come in real time descriptions and experiences. Here is how tourism and tour operators can use this fact in their advantage:

  • be present on major social media
  • post real time photos of happy customers from different locations to make them interested to experience your product and services
  • make sure that you have online booking software that can enable them to make booking right away
  • enable mobile bookings for quick reservations

They want to be immersed in the local culture with an authentic local experience

Millennials love to travel and they travel quite lot, much more than generations before. They are also more educated than previous generation of Baby Boomers and they love to experiment. They want to learn something more while they travel and they have high appetite for trying new and exciting things. They prefer having personalized experiences inline with their character and interests. What tour operators can do to attract their attention:

  • while making standardized tours, add some spice to the conventional tour set. Like for example: after visiting Louvre, go to taste local wine or try great local ice cream
  • include in your offer non standardized activities from where they can choose. For example: bungee jumping, water skiing or zorb. Something new, exciting and something they never tried before.

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com

#travel, #tourism, #digital, #socialmedia, #millennials, #FOMO, #technology

Resources:

 What you need to know about the Millennial Mindset                                                          Know your next big customer: the Millennials                                                                    6 Year Olds Are Better At Digital Than Adults                                                                    New Study Sheds Light on Millennial Generation

 

Why the future of travel&tourism industry is in mobile bookings?

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The mobile revolution has begun! In the article that I recently read “Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014” is mentioned that on a global level, mobile commerce will bring $84B in 2014 only. These amounts are not to be underestimated! If you still don’t have your mobile and app strategy, now it’s time to develop it and utilize mobile channel up to his full potential.

Further in the article it is mentioned that responsive design is continuing to gain adoption and estimates that around 42% of mobile sales will come from app and 58% from mobile websites. No surprise that more sales will be coming from websites than from app as app penetration in retail is still very low.

According to Budde Comm site (New Zealand – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts) mobile market penetration in New Zealand is around 120-125% and is growing steadily. Your consumers are there so you need to be as well! Fast internet connections and mobile technology is changing the ways in which travelers are interacting with businesses in the industry. Travelers are now constantly connected and they use technology to plan their trips, make their bookings and share their experiences on social networks. The modern traveler is “constantly connected traveler”.

Within the travel and tourism industry mobile bookings are on the rise and there is a huge potential in mobile apps.  The average person has around 26 apps on their mobile device and in the travel and tourism industry they had an app for a travel agency, a hotel, an airline and a car rental that they were loyal to. The travelers are already using mobile devices to get all the information they need about specific destination they are visiting. The next logical step would be to do all the bookings through their mobile phone!

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Hotels are currently the main sector within industry that is focused on mobile bookings and transactions. This is because customers want to book their hotel in a short booking window and mobile bookings can actually shorten that time even further. There is also cost reduction with all kind of online and mobile bookings and possibility to let customers make an instant booking at any time. There are also interesting ideas that smartphones can be used as a key cards, eliminating the need to invest in physical keys.

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Airline reservations are made through mobile devices as well and a lot of major airliners are providing flight bookings, check-in and a lot more straight from app. I always love to use the example of domestic airliner Air New Zealand who has a great mobile app.

Beside providing the technology for mobile bookings we also need to think about the right content to facilitate consumer to book through mobile device. We need to think about meaningful and remarkable content which will help the consumer do their bookings in the easiest and simplest way.

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com

My blog is also registered in kiwiology (The New Zealand blogosphere), you can find a lot of interesting blog posts there!

Resources:                                                                                                                       Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014                         Facebook say apps key to travel                                                                                               Growth in mobile booking

 

How to use Facebook hashtags in travel & tourism industry and why are they useful?

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Did you know you can use # for Facebook posts? Recently I read a very interesting article on this topic (Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use Hashtags on Facebook).

If you haven’t been using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest before, let’s clarify – what is the hashtag in the first place?

I will try to explain it as simple as possible – hashtag is when you put a number sign in front of a word without spaces i.e. #hashtag. Social networks are able to track hashtags and will display all conversations and images that includes hashtags from newest to oldest. You can find people interested in common topic, get involved or start a conversation. So, this one was pretty easy!

Just in case, here is a short educational video how to use #:

You must be asking yourself – how can hashtags help my tourism business market on Facebook?

Can you imaging jumping into a conversation about top travel destination of your choice or new destination that you want to include in your offer instantaneously?

Or, finding out what other people say on Facebook via clickable hashtags (#)?

You can do all of this and more by typing a simple character (hashtag) in front of your favorite topic or keyword.  Have a look at few examples below tailored for various parts of tourism industry.

Agencies and travel professionals:

Use hashtags in your Facebook posts about top travel destinations or destinations that you have in offer. Then use # to join the destinations people are talking about. For me Cook Islands comes to mind. Here is how it can look like on your Facebook page:

Cook Islands
Tour operators:

You can include # in a post about new attraction that you plan to visit on your next tour.

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Airliners:

Here are some great examples from Air New Zealand using Facebook hashtags to promote news from their company:

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Hotels, restaurants, bars:

You can use hashtags on Facebook for promoting special offers, connecting to specific cities, or simply to to build a community and thank people for being your customers

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And the best part at the end! Some best practices and advice on how to use hashtags:

  • Don’t use too many hashtags in your posts. Usually 1-2 is enough and works quite well.
  • Use industry specific hashtags or you can create your own hashtag for your audience  and according to their interests!
  • If you are using hashtags on Instagram and/or Twitter, then also use them on Facebook. Integration does miracles in social space.
  • You have to use hashtags in the right way and use the right hashtags for your audience.

I hope you found this blog interesting and helpful. Please let me know what is your point of view? Do you see opportunities for your business in using hashtags? Leave a reply below!

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

Resources:                                                                                                                                Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use hashtags on Facebook                                                   4 Facebook Hashtag Best Practices for Travel & Tourism pros