It can be difficult to develop and implement a Facebook marketing strategy for tour and activity companies. There is an overabundance of tourism social media strategy tips, tricks, and ebooks that all claim to have expert advice written by self-proclaimed gurus. The information can be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory.
It’s important to recognize that not all online marketing information is researched and created equal. Different techniques and formulas work for different types of audiences and industries. For example, marketing a Facebook page in the tourism industry for tours and activities is slightly different than for accommodations and a totally different ball game for e-commerce companies.
The following are 5 things to avoid on your Facebook business page for small and medium sized tour and activity companies.
1. Infrequently or over-posting on Facebook
It can be hard to create a posting strategy and strike a balance in your postings on Facebook. Think about it in terms of your personal newsfeed; some businesses and even people post too frequently, and some you never see and then once in awhile are reminded of. It’s important to find the balance between these two extremes.
A healthy Facebook posting strategy should fall between 5-7 times a week – try for one post a day – with a few shared post from another source intermittently – 3 or 4 a week.
Sharing others’ posts is healthy for several reasons; it shows you are a part of a community and aren’t only interested in self-promotion, and it provides you with a variety of other valuable content to share with your followers so you don’t have to think of and create everything yourself.
2. Bland and similar posts
Another behavior you might notice as bothersome on your personal Facebook newsfeed is seeing the same sorts of bland posts over and over again. Maybe you’ve unfollowed a friend or unliked a business page. Avoid posting repetitious content and giving your followers any incentive to unlike your page.
Posts about your tours and products offered are great but you will quickly run out of fresh material and it will get repetitive and seem like a constant form of self-promotion. Facebook business pages are ideally all about humanizing your business. Use it to share stories about the people taking your tours and your tour guides giving them. There are likely a lot of interesting happenings every day that you can try to capture and share.
Lastly, all posts should be accompanied by a photo or video. Encourage your staff and tour guides to pull out their phones and capture moments they think are worth sharing.
3. Not answering people’s comments , especially negative comments
Because Facebook is used as a place to interact with customers and show your company is run by caring humans, it is vital to respond to any comments made on your page or even elsewhere. When people are posting on your page, they are trying to connect with you. Ignoring these comments can send a message that your company doesn’t care or have time for customers.
When customers share their photos and post about how much fun they had on your company’s tours, thank them and engage further with them. If someone wasn’t satisfied and shares it online, reach out to that customer and ask for ways to solve it. The best approach is to respond genuinely that you’re concerned to hear about their negative experience and eager to learn what you can do to remedy it. Then take that conversation off social media to private message or email if possible.
If a negative comment is upsetting to you, don’t respond right away. It’s best to take a few hours to think about your response to ensure it’s professional and not emotional. Addressing negative reviews shows that your company is dedicated to quality service.
4. Ignoring insights into your audience
The heart of all marketing success is knowing your audience. This can be one of the hardest tasks a marketer faces when developing plans and strategies. But you don’t need a degree in marketing or thousand of research dollars to learn more about your audience. There is plenty of information collected on your business’ Facebook page to help you determine this.
Facebook insights are metrics collected about the people that like and are engaging with your business’ page and posts. Users fill out elaborate profiles on Facebook that give a lot of perspective of who they are, where they come from, and what they like (and don’t like).
Understanding who your audience is will help you create and share the information that they will be interested in. If you find your posts getting repetitive and stale, refer back to your Facebook insights and you’ll see what kinds of posts got the most attention. If you notice your followers demographic are mostly people that like travel and photography (broad interest I know, but work with me here), then you know they will appreciate stunning photos of your destination and local area.
5. Not using Facebook Ads and boosts
Using Facebook ads may seem like diving into unknown waters full of big fish. But it can actually be quite simple. Facebook ads allow you to figure out how to target travelers on Facebook by demographics — groups of people by age range, location, and very specific interests.
If you’re a zipline company on Vancouver Island, you can target people living in the Pacific Northwest that is interested in Vancouver Island, adventure travel, zip lining, recreation, hiking and trekking, outdoor adventures and maybe relatable activities such as kayaking and rock climbing.
By narrowing your audience down to the type of customers that will be interested in your company’s tours and activities, your ads will be more effective reaching the right audience. Facebook ads also let you determine how much you’re willing to spend over certain amounts of time and set a limit for your budget to stop at. They also provide insights into how many people your ads are likely to reach in total and daily.
Facebook marketing should add value to your business and your customers. By mapping out a plan and a few guidelines for your strategy, it will become much easier to implement. It’s an excellent tool to create brand awareness, generate more leads, and build customer relationships and loyalty. Let it become a place to show your company’s personality and have fun!