The way in which holidaymakers are researching and booking holidays is evolving as technology advances. Social media is now a key player in tantalising a tourist’s taste buds, selling users their dream destinations through enticing images, videos and posts which flag up any exciting offers. With the travel industry jumping on social media channels to reach their customers, let’s look at some of the ways you can promote your travel agency on social media and grow your business.
Before you can think about what social media channels to utilise and effective forms of advertising, you need to consider your brand’s goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience and what social media platforms do they use?
- How does my target audience interact with social media?
- What is my budget? - this will inevitably play a part in your social ad campaigns!
- What do I want to achieve through social media advertising? - for example, are you looking to better target returning customers, raise brand awareness or improve content visibility?
By determining your goals, you can focus your marketing efforts on what really matters as you understand who you are targeting and how to target them to successfully spread awareness of your travel agency and maximise sales, leads and conversions.
Tips for promoting your travel agency on social media
Determine which social media platforms will work best for you
There are several social media platforms that can be used to promote your travel agency, some of the top ones include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Linked In and Youtube. Let’s take a quick look at each of these channels and how you can use them to reach your target audience…
Facebook is a very popular platform for travel agents to use in their social media marketing efforts as it has a range of engagement opportunities, marketing tools and access to a huge user base. Facebook is ideal for advertising travel destinations, handling customer enquiries, promoting content, interlinking social accounts and posting about events and competitions.
Let’s look at the Hays Travel Facebook page as an example...
Firstly, if a user clicks onto the Hays Travel Facebook page, they will be met with attractive travel destination images which can immediately draw them in. There’s a banner which highlights the agency’s expertise and USPs and action buttons such as ‘call now’ and ‘send message’ which makes it easy for prospective customers to get in touch. By ‘liking’ the page, users can become part of the agency’s community and keep in the loop of any holiday deals. Moreover, the navigation bar to the left gives users easy access to other social media platforms, events, customer reviews and more.
Of course, not all users will actively be looking at a travel agency’s Facebook page, and not all users will be part of the community which is informed of current deals - that’s where paid ads come in.
In the above ad, we can see that Hays Travel are promoting a holiday package by including key selling points and information users will want to know (when, where, what’s included etc.) with accompanying images to sell the destination. Users will have the option to ‘see more’ about the deal, comment on the post to share any thoughts or ask questions and have the ability to share the promotion with Facebook friends. This is a great way to engage audiences and encourage them to share the ad with others who may be interested.
Moreover, Facebook Ads and its social media management tools enable you to target the right users, measure the effectiveness of your ads and get actionable insights to make further improvements to your ad campaigns.
Instagram is the perfect social media platform for visual ads and can be extremely rewarding for the travel industry which is very photogenic. Instagram will allow you to integrate content strategies and drive targeted groups to your CTA - this could be a link to your website, important travel information (such as COVID-19 restrictions) or a support page to name a few. Below we can see travel company Kayak’s Instagram page which includes links to several useful pages that can help to enhance user engagement. They even encourage users to use their brand’s hashtag to be featured on their page which helps to build a sense of community.
You can also use Instagram to run paid ad campaigns which will get you in front of relevant users who are most likely to convert.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is an image-focused social media platform. As a travel agency, you can create mood boards on Pinterest which are visually appealing to your target audience, enticing them to enquire about a particular location. Let’s look at Expedia as an example…
As you can see, Expedia has created a range of boards, from international travel to specific locations and seasonal travel. If we take a look at the mood board ‘Travel in the USA’ (below), we can see how they publish relevant content which is designed to inspire users and give them travel ideas which could encourage them to visit Expedia’s site and purchase a trip.
Twitter is an exceptionally good platform when it comes to customer care and communicating with your target audience. You can use your Twitter account to build a community, keep travellers up to date with any important travel information, keep up with travel trends, promote your content and drive traffic to your site. Here’s a tweet by travel agency TUI which promotes a specific destination with a short and snappy description...
Aside from users being able to like, save, comment on and share the tweet, TUI have included a link which directs users to the relevant destination page on their website, driving users towards the next stage of the purchasing funnel and encouraging them to find out more about the packages on offer.
Now, LinkedIn is a more business focussed social media channel but it can help you to establish yourself as a thought leader in the travel and tourism industry. This is particularly useful if you’re looking to promote your brand for recruitment purposes but you can also appeal to those looking to book business trips. For example, here’s how you might promote your travel agency if you’re hiring...
Essentially, LinkedIn is a great social media platform to use for online recruitment but it can also be used to promote your content and establish your expertise in the travel industry (it’s also not a bad place to advertise to working people looking for an escape!).
Youtube has been crowned as the second most used social media platform worldwide, with approximately 2.29 billion users (Backlinko)...that’s a lot of users you can reach out to. For the travel industry, the opportunities are pretty endless as you have more creative freedom to present a location in an engaging way. Moreover, Google has highlighted how many consumers will watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip, so you can take advantage of users already actively looking for an agency to travel with.
Let’s look at TUI as an example…
Here we can see that TUI has published a wide range of videos which showcase different hotels, destinations and more so that users are well informed before making a decision. Not only are you able to entice users through visuals, creating informational content about destinations and travel information helps to show prospective customers that you care and want them to find a destination that best appeals to them and their needs.
Use the right types of paid ad campaigns
Paid ads can take many forms - from static images and videos which showcase more of a destination to carousel ads that let users quickly flick through various travel packages, it’s important to run the types of campaigns that are getting the most love. Here’s a quick roundup of the main types of social ad campaigns and their benefits:
- Video - video ads allow for more creative freedom and there’s of course the potential to grab hold of a user’s attention for longer! Video ads are particularly beneficial for travel agencies who want to show users more of a destination and really sell a holiday package or location.
- Carousel - these types of ads enable you to display a number of different travel packages and deals at a time, so users can simply swipe through your promotions until they find an option that best suits their interests. You could even get creative here by trying to build a narrative around a particular destination to build up more excitement.
- Static images - this is a very simple way to promote any deals and packages you have. If you’re making an Instagram post, you can also include details, such as travel package prices, what’s included and more.
Got an offer or promotion running? Let your audience know!
If you’re running an offer, let your audience know by running ad campaigns which create a buzz around deals, discounts and promotions so they have even more incentive to book a trip.
Consider running competitions
Some travel agencies will run competitions which encourage users to interact with the agency in order to win a prize such as a free trip. For example, an agency might ask users to like their page, subscribe to their newsletter, share their post on their own social media account and tag them so that they can select a winner. This is a great way to draw in prospective customers as they can follow your brand online and to keep existing customers on their toes!
Encourage and promote user-generated content
Earlier we highlighted how Kayak encouraged users to use their hashtag in their personal pictures, and crowdsourcing images is something many travel agencies do to build a collection of inspiring images that both creates a sense of community and can draw in other users looking to get away. User-generated content can be an effective way to promote your travel agency on social media as research suggests that we trust user-generated content above other forms of social media marketing.
Push your content and keep generating travel
You can use your social media accounts to push your content, driving more traffic to your site whilst highlighting your industry expertise and keeping users updated with travel news and giving them ideas for future trips. Ensure that your content is of good quality, optimised to drive organic traffic to the site and is posted daily to keep users engaged.
Find out how we can help your travel business with our content marketing services.
Publish positive reviews and offer great customer service
If customers are raving about your services and travel packages, don’t be shy, share it with the world! Reading reviews is a great way for prospective customers to decide whether they want to go with a certain company and trust them to deliver a flawless experience.
With regards to customer service, don’t neglect users when they message you or comment on your posts - firstly, posts are public and a good response to questions or complaints is just as important as positive reviews. Secondly, if you can’t manage your social media accounts and respond to users to help them with any queries, your promotional efforts are wasted. Ideally, you should aim to reply to users on the same day and you should most definitely maintain a friendly tone...don’t forget that users can easily share your replies to private messages online.
It’s essential for many sectors to improve their social ad campaigns, but especially for the travel industry where pictures can speak volumes and promotions can be easily shared. High street travel agencies may have taken a hit following the covid pandemic, but there is a treasure trove of opportunity waiting in the digital world we’re now living in. It’s now easier than ever for travel companies to get in front of the right audience, informing them of destinations of interest and promoting any deals.
Want help promoting your travel agency on social media?
Here at Adido, we have years of experience in helping clients in the travel and tourism industry to improve their digital presence, putting them in front of the right audience at the right time. Our PPC team are experts in enhancing paid social ads that will get your travel agency the attention it deserves - increasing brand awareness and driving more traffic to your site which can lead to more sales and conversions. For more insights on travel marketing, read our travel consumer habits and behaviour blog.