Webinar reveals social media tips for agents

Webinar reveals social media tips for agents

Social media experts have urged the travel trade to engage regularly with social sites to get the best out of them. In a webinar named ‘Use of Social Media in Travel’, Visit Britain’s Commercial Services Manager Justin Reid and Co-Founder of Digital Visitor Simon Jones said travel agents needed to be focused on their social media marketing and invest time into websites such as Facebook and Twitter. “There is a need for change,” explained Reid. ” All our [Visit Britain] marketing activity was through VisitBritain.com but major research showed that people went to a national tourist board site after making a decision about where they wanted to go [to find out about a destination]. This made us have a re-think.” He revealed the company now has 17m viewers a week and 1.8m videos were viewed in the last year. “It’s about spending less but investing smarter,” he added. Visit Britain’s Twitter feed can reach 325,000 people although it has 10,000 followers and it has just under 27,000 fans on Facebook. “We are aiming for half a million by the Olympics,” revealed Reid. He and Jones insisted that agents need to adopt a personal approach to make social marketing work. “We focus on conversations and engagement and talk to people about things that they want,” explained Reid. “There has to be engagement for it to be meaningful”. This includes writing posts or tweets in a familiar tone to create a one-on-one style. Jones also highlighted the importance of reviews and user-generated content. “People don’t just want to hear the official line but read reviews and content too,” he explained. “Try and provide as much information as you can on your own site so people stay there”. Travel companies can use both on-site tools that are integrated into the website and off-site social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube to drive traffic and loyalty. It is also a source of valuable marketing material as you can monitor who is reading and commenting on the content. “There is a good chance to communicate with people on a regular basis,” added Jones. “If your website has a loyal following then make sure you use this e.g. members area. The aim should be to increase business but it’s important to set objectives before you join.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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