Facebook can be a great tool for marketing tours, but tour companies need to use Facebook in a unique way. Most companies strive to get thousands of Facebook fans. They post every day in order to get lots of likes, comments, shares and ‘free’ marketing reach.
That strategy does not work for tour companies.
To be blunt, most travelers don’t want to have a long-term Facebook relationship with your company. Your Facebook posts will interest travelers during the brief time when they are researching tour options. They might engage with your Facebook page for a week after a great tour experience. After that, they are unlikely to ever like, comment on or share your posts again.
That does not mean that you shouldn’t market your tours on Facebook. It means you should beware of applying Facebook marketing lessons from other industries to tourism. Follow these steps instead:
1. Post Informative Content Weekly
Think of Facebook as an alternative website. Fill out your page’s About section thoroughly. Then post links, photo galleries and videos that help prospective customers understand what makes your tours special.
When posting, focus on quality over quantity. There is no need to post more than once or twice per week. Simply make sure that any potential customer who scrolls through your timeline gets a good overview of your offerings.
Think of Facebook as an alternative website.
It’s also important not to neglect or forget about your Facebook page. Posting only every few weeks or in short bursts of many posts followed by long periods without posting anything doesn’t reflect well on your business. Potential customers can be turned off purchasing your services if your most recent post is several months old.
2. Advertise at the Right Time and Place
Well timed and cleverly targeted Facebook Ads can also be a great way to draw high-potential customers to your Book Now button. Take time to learn about your typical customers and their decision making process. Who are they? Do they travel at a specific time of year? If so, when do they start researching trip options?
One of my clients offers youth tours that are popular with Australian university students. The client ran a Facebook Ads campaign targeting Australian students six weeks prior to that country’s university holidays. It sold a lot of tours.
Consider tourists currently traveling in Vietnam. Facebook Ads allow tour companies to target ‘current travelers’ in a country or city – a feature that not many tour companies in Vietnam are using yet!
Facebook advertising is a big topic, and it can be complicated to learn. If you don’t want to hire an expert to help you, consider subscribing to a tool like Adespresso. Adespresso has an easy-to-use wizard for creating Facebook Ads campaigns. It will also optimize your campaigns automatically, helping you get more from your budget.
3. Encourage Happy Travelers to Share their Experiences
Facebook’s usefulness does not end with an informative Facebook timeline and paid advertising. There is one more ‘free’ Facebook marketing trick that can reap tour companies huge rewards: get travelers to share their great experience with their friends.
Travelers befriend other travelers while traveling. Imagine two hypothetical travelers. One took your Sapa tour two weeks ago and is finishing up her trip in Ho Chi Minh City. The other just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City and will exit Vietnam three weeks from now through Hanoi. The two travelers meet in a cafe on Bui Vien and become fast friends. They add each other on Facebook, and Traveler Number Two sees Traveler Number One’s amazing Sapa photos. Odds are great that Traveler Number Two will want to book the same tour!
Get travelers to share their great experience with their friends.
Do whatever you can to encourage these kinds of informal traveler referrals. Send follow up emails with links to your Facebook Page, and gently encourage happy travelers to tag your page in their posts. Better yet – post amazing photos of their experiences on your page, and encourage them to tag themselves.
Of course there are many more ways to use Facebook to market tours. Start by embracing these three tips and doing them well. Then keep following Dulichable because we will be sharing some more advanced advertising strategies in future articles.
Photo credit: Facebook Adverts
This content is also available in: Vietnamese