3 Ways Savvy Travel Marketers Use Social Media to Boost Sales

BEACHESIf Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. And that’s just one social network. There’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and countless others. No wonder 93% of marketers use social media for business.

Thanks to social media, travelers do more than just research trips online. They actively share their photos, itineraries and experiences, which have a serious impact on how potential guests decide where to book.

Travel is largely seen as a luxury. Therefore, travelers tend to invest more time educating themselves before spending their vacation dollars and booking their trips. The two biggest factors in a traveler’s decision making process are destination and price. On the heels of that is a strong #3…REVIEWS.

Social media allows travelers to review previous guests’ experiences before they decide to book. Then during and after their stay, it creates a limitless path for word of mouth. This virtual sharing by your guests can have a tremendous impact not only on your company’s revenue but your reputation as well!

Here are a few ways savvy travel marketers use social media to increase revenue:

1. Announce news & offers and launch contests that can attract an enormous amount of interest and brand exposure at very little cost, all leading to additional revenue.

2. Implement a booking engine on outlets like a Facebook page to convert social media traffic into direct bookings.

3. Actively engage with guests before, during and after their stay. Social media has become a de facto customer service and is commonly a traveler’s first line of contact with a company. By monitoring those channels and getting involved you are in greater control of your online reputation and present yourself as authentic and trustworthy, showing your customers that you listen, and more importantly, that you care. This can result in more frequent, positive reviews.

Make Your Search Engine Rankings Soar


Travel begins with research. Travelers spend an average of 40 hours researching their trips. If you aren’t prominently displayed on search engines, then it’s like you don’t exist. But gaining top rankings gives you a powerful competitive advantage. With high rankings in increasing demand, search engine marketing has become intensely competitive.

You may think your ranking is well beyond your control and have given up on trying to work the search engine system. But the science of search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved, and there are simple steps to take that will boost your rankings.

1. Add fresh, new content to your website through a blog. Continual and consistent updates drive traffic to your website. And when you provide interesting and compelling content, that traffic turns into bookings.

2. Utilize social media. Search engines now incorporate social media data on their results pages. And with the ability to search social media pages, people are likely to look for information on Facebook, Twitter, etc. (since they’re already there) rather than using the traditional search engines. If you aren’t on there, you won’t show up in their results.

3. Make your content shareable. When people like the information you offer, they link back to your site. Links indicate to search engines a certain amount of value and trust, which cause them to rank your site higher on their results pages. And don’t forget to add share and connect buttons to your site.

4. Save time and headache by hiring a professional to research keywords, create interesting articles, and develop a content marketing strategy that will boost your page to the top of search engine results.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact me today for a free consultation. jrtucker@shooflycopywriting.com

Transform Your Website into Your Best Travel Marketing Tool with These 8 Easy Steps

image (18)Before travelers go into the great wide world, they go to the World Wide Web.

They research, investigate and consider all their options. Often, your website is the first (and sometimes only) experience a prospective traveler will have with you. It’s up to you to make the most of that initial visit.

The longer they stay, the more likely they are to book. And the key purpose of your website is to get them to book with YOU.

Here are some absolute musts to turn your site into your best marketing tool:

1. Be memorable. Be concise. Tell your visitors – in a clear, simple statement – what makes you unique and why they MUST book with you.

2. Engage your visitors with quality photos and video. Use attractive images to showcase your property or services in the best possible light.

3. Be sure your navigation is clearly visible and well-organized. Travelers often visit a page with a specific intention in mind. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.

4. Update your content. Offer fresh, relevant details and information that will connect you with travelers and set you apart as an authority to be trusted.

5. Make your call to action prominent and easy to use. Give incentives and opportunities, and give them with a sense of urgency. Offer enticing deals that travelers won’t want to miss out on, and let them know the clock is ticking.

6. Enable social sharing with social media buttons on your website, making it easy for travelers to follow you and to share your information.

7. Equip your site with technological tracking tools that enable you to consistently target your desired travelers.

8. Create a site that is mobile-compatible. Site traffic and bookings are increasingly occurring through tablets and smart phones. Don’t miss out on those sales!

Need help creating or revamping your travel website? Contact Shoofly Copywriting today for a complimentary consultation.

9 Helpful Hints: How to Connect with Travelers Using Content Marketing

Roots and BranchesEffective content marketing = relevant and meaningful interactions with travelers that BEGIN when you offer valuable and engaging information and END when they book their trip with you.

It’s all about providing fresh, compelling content – shared across all online channels – that travelers deem useful. If someone finds your article, tweet or blog post helpful or interesting, they’re likely to share it with friends, giving you instant and organic exposure. In their eyes, you’re an authority on travel, and you become a go-to resource that travelers trust.

Here are a few ways you can use content marketing to stay on top:

1. Connect with travelers through custom content. Add value, not clutter. Listen to what travelers are talking about and contribute meaningfully to the conversation. Understand their needs and wants. Give them valuable information that builds a sense of community and will keep them coming back for more.

2. Educate travelers about who you are and what you offer, but don’t make it all about selling your product. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you focus on building relationships by offering relevant and engaging content, you’ll end up with some powerful word-of-mouth advertising.

3. Use lush, decadent images, videos, and interactive virtual tours – anything that will engage your travelers and offer a multi-sensory experience. The better the experience, the longer they’ll hang around. And the longer they hang around, the more likely they are to book!

4. Be genuine. People can see through a fake and will quickly move on if they sense you aren’t being real. Be yourself, and share your unique perspective and insights.

5. Don’t ignore people. It’s easy to post the information and then go on your way. You are running a business after all. But the point of content marketing is to engage your customers. Be sure to respond to people’s comments and continue the conversation. (P.S. The comment section is a great place to find topics for future blog posts and content ideas!)

6. Create content that hits all along the multiple touch points in the traveler’s decision making process, from just looking to booking.

7. Curate content. There is already a ton of information out there. You don’t necessarily have to make up stuff from scratch. You can even reach out to former guests and ask if you can share their images and stories.

8. Update on a regular basis. Travelers need to see fresh, informative and accurately up-to-date content. Set a schedule for your blog and social media posts. A neglected or abandoned blog is a quick way to appear like you aren’t involved and don’t care about your customers.

9. Creating and implementing a highly impactful content marketing strategy can be overwhelming and time consuming. Hiring a professional with knowledge of the travel industry can provide you with better value and save you hours of time spent doing research.

Need help with your content marketing. Contact me today for a free consultation.

Seven Easy Ways to Sell Travel with a Great Story

T i d a l  R i s eTravel and leisure are rich with hard to ignore and compulsively shareable stories. It’s the majesty of ice and snow, building your own igloo in a natural winter wonderland. It’s trying an alternative travel idea by volunteering to go on an archeological dig and connecting with Spanish culture and history in ways you never expected.

When it comes to great stories, travel is a land of plenty, filled with vibrant and unique experiences.

But the sales funnel in the travel and hospitality industry is long. According to MSN travel, 68% of travelers spend an average of 42 hours poring over travel-related material online before they ever make a decision about where to go. Why not use that time wisely and make a lasting impression with some great storytelling?

Give life to your brand’s core values and identity with some of these storytelling strategies below:

  1. Tap into the local community. Give your guests a sense of belonging in your part of the world with guides to the neighborhood, interviews with local characters, or secrets that they’ll only find if they book with you.
  2. Share stories of former guests (with permission of course). Let them tell the experience of their journey, especially if it was a particularly unique one.
  3. Use stunning photos and video to tell a compelling, multi-sensory story. Ask former (or current) guests to share their images on your social media sites. Connect with local photographers and videographers who are based nearby to share images of their favorite local spots, and include their bio and how you’re connected.
  4. Go behind the scenes at your destination. Highlight a particularly dynamic service or feature that’s unique to your location. Does your chef have a distinct way of preparing tiramisu? What makes a guest’s experience with you like nothing they will get elsewhere?
  5. Get creative. Have a local artist create pieces that you display in your hotel rooms or lobby. Tell the story of her creative process through film and post it online.
  6. Do you have a pet that hangs around your lobby or office? Make him a mobile mascot. Where will he go next?
  7. Develop narrative-focused contests and campaigns that inspire your audience to seize the day.

Ready to get help telling YOUR travel marketing story? Schedule a complimentary consultation today!