Marketing through social media for tourism businesses has made a huge impact on the industry. More and more consumers are reaching out to use social media and sites such as TripAdvisor to research their holidays and make informed decisions about their travel plans. Getting your business in front of potential holiday makers is the key marketing element that all tourism businesses need.
Social media is allowing consumers to engage with spots of interest before, during and after their experience, looking for fast real-time responses and to share their experiences with others, so being on the right platforms to make this happen is essential.
Here are some of the top social media sites that are perfect for tourism businesses and tips on how to make the most out of them:
Instagram & Twitter
An unusual one to consider for tourism businesses but the benefits of Instagram are worth it. With Instagram, you could encourage visitors to post pictures, short videos alongside reviews and highlights of the holiday using a hashtag associated with your tourism business and Instagram account.
For example, you own a Caravan on a Haven site – Let’s say Caravan 52 in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. Your Instagram could be @Caravan52Berwick and anyone staying in your caravan could post pictures and videos of their time in Berwick-Upon-Tweed and link it to you. This builds an interest, not only in the local area, but in your business as well as people following the holiday makers through their holiday. This use of hashtags allows this method to also be supported in Twitter.
Facebook is popular for marketing through social media because of its insights features and ability to filter adverts to specific demographic groups – such as families, couples, even travel bloggers. This is a fast paced social media platform to engage with visitors, encourage repeat visits and allow others to tell their holiday tales.
You could try connecting with other local businesses and offer joint benefits for visiting your area. This will allow you to tap in to one another’s audience and expand the overall interest in your local area. Offer benefits such as those staying in a local hotel get 10% discount on a meal within your restaurant or anyone eating within a local restaurant/café can get reduced tickets to a show or entrance to a local attraction.
Although not a traditional social media platform, TripAdvisor is a major site to have any tourism business listed on, as it has had a wide-reaching effect on the tourist industry. It has 50 million unique monthly visitors who are actively seeking out travel information and advice from the sources they trust the most: other tourists and holiday-makers.
If a tourism business is to be on one site, it should be TripAdvisor. This platform requires regular monitoring because, if one bad review is left without an apology or positive reaction, it could be detrimental to a small tourist business. Keep the contact details up to date, refresh the images and encourage visitors to check in.
No matter which social media platform you choose to use as part of your marketing strategy, keep the content fresh, post regularly and even provide a few blog posts that let people know what is going on. Blog posts such as local annual or monthly events with plenty of images or local attractions will interest people even more. Holiday makers always rely on other individual’s opinions so encourage visitors to check in, upload a picture and a little bit about their experience that can be shared with others.
If you've been left a negative review on TripAdvisor, check out this article for turning it into a positive situation.