Why Your Travel Business Needs Social Media
PHOTO: Social Media is a powerful tool, especially in the travel industry. (Photo illustration by Jenna Piscione)
Millennials and how to engage them is the topic du jour among business people.
They’re an enigma to most and to some a bit of an anathema, but regardless, they are the future. And, it seems, a future that seeks out and uses the services of a travel professional.
Luckily, for those new to social media or who are still unsure, there’s CCRA.
When compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, Millennials use traditional travel agents at a higher rate than older generations. Twenty-five percent of Millennials have used a traditional travel agent in the past 12 months for planning at least one vacation, compared to 14 percent of Gen Xers and 9 percent of Boomers, according to a recent survey by Internet Marketing Inc. And when it comes to future travel plans, the survey found that 22 percent of Millennials plan to use an agent for planning at least one vacation in the coming two years. This compared to 15 percent of Gen Xers and Boomers. Clearly, Millennials are a key market for travel professionals who plan on being in business—and being successful—in the coming years.
So, exactly how does a forward-thinking business person reach this elusive group? Smart money is to go where they are, and they, as everyone knows, are on social media.
For many travel professionals, mastering social media can seem just as elusive as reaching Millennials. When to use it, which outlet to focus on and even the mechanics of using social media are all issues to consider – and master – for a successful social media presence.
CCRA has made it its mission to facilitate business between travel professionals and suppliers. Whether you’re seeking marketing tools, education and training or even call center solutions, they’ve got you covered. They even offer accreditation for elite customers.
And now they have a primer that can help travel professionals decide whether to dive into social media and if so, focus their efforts. Before getting started, CCRA recommends you consider the following:
• Are you willing to learn how to use and leverage your social media platforms, and are you able to devote time to creating fresh content for your social media sites? Will you do it yourself, or do you plan on hiring a social media manager or assigning these tasks to a staff member?
• Who are your clients? Where are they spending time online? Depending on your clients’ demographics, they may spend more time on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn. Keep in mind too that with more than 450 million users, Google+ is larger than both LinkedIn and Twitter, but still doesn’t have the wallop of either. That said having a Google presence is a must these days from a search engine ranking standpoint.
• What content do your clients most want to see? Find out what information your clients are most interested in and create a strategy from there
• How do you engage clients? Do your clients expect a more professional, corporate image? Or, are you targeting a younger crowd who might be more comfortable with less formal language. And remember the more visuals the better. Millennials in particular want to see authentic images rather than stock photos.
• Will you allow for comments on your social media sites? If the answer is yes, be prepared to respond to both the positive and negative.
• Do you showcase your niche? Be clear about what your agency specializes in and how to reach you.
More by Kristina Rundquist
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