When it comes to social media for tour operators, these platforms allow travelers to engage with your content through likes, comments, shares and instant messages. And the resulting interactions help increase brand awareness and strengthen customer loyalty — which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates. So if you want more bookings, it’s beneficial to grow your social media followers.
While it’s tempting to increase your following by focusing on the broadest possible audience, this method isn’t always effective. It’s best to gain followers who’ll be interested in your tours and activities. They’re more likely to tap the heart on an Instagram post, tag a Facebook friend in the comment section by saying, “let’s do this!” and follow the Twitter link to your tour website for more information.
To make sure your social media campaigns are reaching the right audience, you need to identify the audience first. And Checkfront helps to figure that out with the customer information it collects at the time of booking.
Grow social media followers with customer booking information
Your current customer base is an excellent source to discover your target audience. There’s something about your offering that first appealed to their unique set of interests.
For example, let’s say you run a Tea Tasting Tour in York, England. Your tour involves a fair bit of walking to charming tea rooms where guests sample the best afternoon teas. It’s a lovely experience for all, but the majority of your customers are 55 plus and reside in the UK. So it’s probable that your activity attracts this demographic of people for a reason. Maybe it’s precisely the thing retirees in the area enjoy on a sunny weekday afternoon.
Now if you take a closer look at your customers, you’ll also notice some interesting trends. That’s because people of similar characteristics tend to have similar interests. So any similarities you find gives you insight into what type of customer is most likely to book in the future.
But where do you start?
Checkfront’s booking form gathers customer information that’s relevant to social media marketing. A name helps to establish a customer relationship, and contact details open up the lines of communication. However, there are other form fields you can include to get a better understanding of your customers.
For social media campaigns, we recommend also asking for an address and age. That way, you’ll learn the customer’s location and age demographic — two important factors that significantly influence a person’s wants, needs and behaviours.
After a customer completes a booking form, Checkfront stores the data and makes it accessible at any time. There are two ways you can get a quick overview of this information:
1. Address: Customer Map
The Customer Map allows you to see where your customers are coming from. Based on the addresses provided, it pins their locations across the world.
When you’re zoomed out, the map will group the customers in the same region. Each pin has a number to tell you how many customers are in that location. And if you zoom in, the pins will scatter. This view displays the customer pins individually, which shows you how near or far they are to your location(s).
2. Age: Customer Directory
The Customer Directory stores your customer profiles. It’s the place to find anything you want to know about them— based on the information collected in the booking form.
In the directory, all information can be seen at once, or you can select the columns relevant to your search.
In regards to age, you’d select the age column and deselect the other options. Filtering the list will help you focus on only the information you’re interested in. Plus, this makes it easier to export into an Excel sheet and turn into a pie or bar graph.
Once you gather the location and age of your customers, take note of any trends. For example, you might see that many of your customers are less than a day’s drive away and fall in the age range of 25-34.
But what can you do with this information?
Since your tour business is hitting it off with people in this demographic, this is the audience you should target on social media. And you can quickly do this right on Facebook.
Get more followers by boosting Facebook posts
It’s possible you already have fantastic content on Facebook that you want more people to see.
Maybe you posted a video montage of customers on your white water rafting adventure. Or maybe you shared a blog post written by your tour guide on the top places to eat in your destination.
Your content may attract your current followers because it brings viewers into the adventure or provides them with useful information. And if they’re interested in the content you’re sharing; others will be too — they just haven’t discovered you yet.
So if you want to get more followers, you should start by boosting your existing content.
What does this mean? Well, on Facebook, a boost will turn any of your posts into an ad. When you boost a new or existing post, Facebook will put it in front of new eyes — depending on the audience you define.
Beyond specifying a target audience, boosting a Facebook post comes with other capabilities. You can select a placement for the ad — desktop news feed, mobile news feed and Instagram. You can schedule its showing for specific times in the day. You’re able to see the results of the promotion. And all of this is done on a budget of your choosing.
Best of all, it’s easy to boost a post directly from your Facebook business page. So let’s get started with the steps:
- Go to your tour’s page in Facebook Business Manager and select Promote found at the bottom of the left-hand menu
- Click on Boost a Post
- Scroll through the existing content and choose a post you’d like to boost
- We recommend boosting a post with high engagement — the number of likes, comments and shares — which are shown beside each post
- Click on the blue Boost Post button on the right
- In the pop-up window, follow the instructions on the left-hand side
- Under Goal, select Engagement
- Deselect the button option. Since your goal is to drive engagement, you want viewers to stay on your post and like, comment or share
- For Audience, select People you choose through targeting and click Edit
- Based on the booking information you found with Checkfront, you can define your target audience by following these steps:
- Select Gender
- Define the Age range
- Choose the Location. You can type in a location (e.g. country, state, city) or you can drop various pins on the map
- It’s optional to define your audience further by adding demographics, interests and behaviours in Detailed Targeting (e.g. parents, surfing and mobile device users)
- Hit Save
- Check the box under Instagram if you’d like to run your promotion there as well
- Determine your budget, duration and payment method
- View the different versions of your ad on the right side of the window — Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed and Instagram Feed
- When you’re happy with your new ad, click Boost Now on the bottom right
Just remember, it’s one thing to grow social media followers and another to turn them into guests. So make sure you also learn how to add book now button to Facebook so you can also drive conversions.
Create buzz with a Facebook competition
Next, let’s look at a social media campaign idea that is successful at getting followers:
Most people love competing for a chance to win — especially if it doesn’t cost them anything to participate. With Facebook, you can run a free contest on your Timeline that people will be eager to play.
How does it work?
Though Facebook has strict rules on promotions, you’re allowed to encourage people to like and comment on a post. And you can do this by hosting a draw.
But to get people to enter the draw, you first need to draw their attention. Here are the steps you can take to create an effective contest:
- Partner with a local business to create a prize that’s a package deal. A more enticing prize will capture the attention of more viewers. You’ll also reach and attract their customers.
- Write a captivating headline that introduces the contest — like Enter to win a free kayaking session and fish n’ chips dinner!
- Describe what the winner will receive. Make sure to mention the business(es) that are contributing to the prize.
- Give the contestants clear instructions. Explain that only people who like or comment on the post will enter the draw.
- Let them know when the contest will end
- Post on your Facebook page
- Then boost the post with your target audience you found using Checkfront . And set the duration for the length of the contest.
- Announce the winner on your Facebook Page!
When you give people a reason to engage, they’re more likely to become followers because participants might want to know when there’s another contest. And following your Facebook and Instagram accounts is the best way to stay updated.
However, you may find that posts still don’t receive enough attention. That’s okay! Marketing is all about trial and error. Try going back to your booking information and reassessing your target audience. Once you get your target audience down, your social media following is bound to grow.