Integrating social media into your marketing strategy is an absolute must for any shore excursion business. Luckily, developing good social media habits is not a hard task at all, and, if done right, may pay your efforts back in potential customers and more engaged clients. By using these four steps, you can be well on your way to growing your social media outreach.
Establishing Your Audience
When beginning to develop a social media marketing plan, it is important to remember that what works for one company may not work for another. Instead of guessing at which social media sites work for your business based on competitors, do your research by getting to know your customers.
Digital Insights and Pew Research offer informational breakdowns of the major social media sites and some statistics on each of its users. For example, if your average excursion customer is over the age of 30 and female and has a household income of over $60,000 per year, Facebook and Twitter may be well worth your money; Instagram and LinkedIn, on the other hand, may fall short.
Finding the Best Image
One of the most powerful tools in social media is the shared photo. Always find an image that you, yourself would share. If the color or quality of the image is poor or the image doesn’t tell a story to the company, it should be discarded.
Because of the importance of finding a shareable image, many businesses make the mistake of picking a stock image. This approach may backfire for several reasons. First, it doesn’t properly represent your tour excursion, and it may therefore feel like false advertising. In addition, savvy internet users may recognize when an image doesn’t belong to a particular company or isn’t genuine. When that illusion is broken, users are less likely to feel a connection.
One of the most common mistakes businesses make with social media is The Disappearing Act: when a business sets up a social media page but then stops posting or sharing. Inconsistency like this signals to users that you have nothing worth saying or sharing.
Do not let your virtual appearance fall by the wayside. Instead, set up a posting schedule for at least one post a week. Make sure your posts are engaging, well-written, and direct. Knowing your audience and their demographics will help you understand which sites deserve the effort. You can also link up your accounts to post on one another. For example, you can “share” an Instagram post on Facebook or a Facebook post on Twitter through the linking of accounts.
Incorporate Social Media in Your Regular Business
The best way for customers to find your social media accounts is to tell them! Clearly list your social media sites on your website, brochures, and pamphlets. Any item that you pass out to your clients should include links to the social media sites you post on. In addition, interaction is key. Encourage your customers to post pictures or statuses with a certain hashtag (an interactive sharing system using a user generated keyword and a “#”) or to “tag” your company. You can even offer competitions or incentives for posting.
Social media is the perfect addition to any growing shore excursion or tour business. By finding the sites that work for your customers, developing an image policy that engages and excites, maintaining consistent posting and sharing schedules, and by encouraging special social media tasks by your customer, your business can begin to see real results with real-time sharing.