While on tour, a guest has the adventure of a lifetime — they’re flying over treetops, standing in the middle of the Colosseum or watching an orca leap fifteen feet into the air — it’s only natural they’ll want to share the excitement with family and friends in real-time. So you should encourage guests to live video stream because it makes for great travel social media content. Anything new and exciting makes for compelling content that people are eager to consume.
That’s because watching a video as it’s happening is like having a private video chat — the viewer feels part of the action. So whenever a live video broadcasts on the news feed, followers are pulled in to watch. In fact, live videos are viewed 3x longer than non-live videos and drive more than 10x the number of comments.
What does this mean regarding a marketing plan for tour operators? Well, live video is a form of word of mouth marketing — except it’s better known as digital word of mouth.
Why live video streaming works in social media marketing
Live video streaming intends to share the amazing time being had, but unknowingly, a guest is influencing the future choices of their family and friends.
We look to people in our social network for advice, recommendations, and reviews. Any content a peer post is considered relevant and trustworthy information.
Naturally, when a guest live streams their tour experience, a viewer takes mental notes (whether they know it or not). It’s the social proof they need for deciding on experiences they’d also like to try.
Since the video is from a family or friend, it’s less of a sales pitch. Followers witness the positive interaction the guest is having with your tour and believe their ecstatic expression is genuine— because it is.
And live video is the most authentic content available on social media. It’s unedited and raw — your guest’s one of a kind, true experience — which only strengthens your tour’s credibility.
So if a guest is experiencing your tour through their screen (when it’s safe to do so), go ahead and let them. They’ll appreciate being allowed to capture the moment and you’ll get free social media marketing. Win-win.
But don’t let their self-promotional efforts disappear into their online world. There are ways to leverage your guest’s live video streaming and increase engagement with your tour business.
Let’s explore these based on the platform being used:
After the launch of Facebook live in 2016, live streaming video has grown in popularity. Out of everything possible to post on Facebook — like a photo album of a summer barbecue or a check-in at the airport on vacation — live video gets an outrageous amount of engagement.
In two years time, there have been over 3.5 million live broadcasts, and nearly 2 billion people have watched them. Think of the opportunity for outreach!
For a few minutes, or even longer, your guest goes live on Facebook. Maybe they’re gearing up for the white water rafting adventure, or maybe they’re sitting on the tour bus waiting to arrive at the Colosseum. Whatever the case, followers are drawn to the exciting event taking place.
In that short time, your tour is the most interesting content on the news feed. To take advantage of this spotlight, make it possible for the guest to mention you.
A user can’t tag a Facebook page on live video; however, they can share the location. If you don’t have a customized location on Facebook yet, it’s easy to set one up.
Once you add your location on Facebook, all a guest has to do is click on the location icon when posting a live video and search for yours — which should be the name of your tour business. Now, viewers will know exactly where they can have the same amazing experience.
For more ways you can use your Facebook page, check out our post on the best ways to sell tickets on Facebook.
Periscope & Twitter
A tweet is worth 280 characters, but a photo is worth a thousand. What about a live video then?
With 1.9 million daily active users and 200 million broadcasts, next to Facebook Live, Periscope is the second most popular live streaming app.
Since the platform is Twitter-owned, Tweeters create live videos powered by Periscope, even if they don’t have the app.
So if they want to add more content than the limited text allowance, they absolutely can — and your guest will need more than 280 characters to express their excitement from the tour.
Sharing a live video stream on Twitter has the same discoverable capabilities as a tweet. With a public account, if your guest hashtags, mentions or adds a location, their video can be seen by anyone.
On your tour, encourage guests to mention @yourtourname for any live video they post. When they do, your Twitter account will get a notification. Show your support by leaving a friendly comment and then share it on your page for your followers to see.
Even better, Twitter recently released the Timestamp feature, which allows users to set a specific start time for live videos they share.
So, if you want to show only a snippet of a guest’s video, you can use the slider and choose a spot you’d like the video to start. That way, you won’t have post the entire 2-minute coverage — just the exciting bit.
It’s all done for the ‘Gram — people showcase their lives the way they want others to see it. Anything remarkable, challenging, thrilling or captivating is worthy of an Instagram live story.
And now, Instagram allows users to add guests to a live video, which makes the whole action a more sociable experience. For your tour, this can be a fun addition for the group to take part in.
At a designated time, have your tour guide start an Instagram live video and invite the guests to participate. Don’t know how to do that, learn more in our post about employee advocacy social media.
To do this, each guest will have to go onto their Instagram and follow your tour business. Once the live video starts, the tour guide can add one of them as a co-host.
If they accept, a separate window will pop up underneath the tour guide’s, making it so two users share the screen.
Not only will the live video be broadcasted for your followers to see, but your guest’s Instagram network will also get the chance to watch. This will broaden the live video’s reach and increase engagement with your tour business.
A perfect time to do this live video is at the end of the tour. Make it an informal interview where the tour guide asks the guest what they thought of the experience.
Since they’ve had time to get to know the group and tour guide, they’ll be more comfortable and willing to participate. After the rush of excitement, their response will be candid, joyful and positive.
How to get guests to live video stream during the tour
It’s likely your tour guest will bring a camera or smartphone with them — unless they’re told not to. Whether it’s to take a photo or video, they’ll want to document the experience to remember later.
Your tour guide knows to offer up their photography skills for any guest wanting a picture. But they can also suggest being the cameraperson for live video production.
If the guest already loves live streaming video, they’ll jump right on this opportunity — and if they don’t, it’s a new idea to try out.
Before the tour starts, have your guide mention the ways a guest can share their live stream. As long as it’s a friendly, non-threatening suggestion, your guest will carry it out.
Plus, they’ll like the idea of potentially being featured on your tour’s social media accounts. So any other content they create on tour can also be shared with you. This will better your user-generated content campaign — which is a whole new blog post for another day.