We can learn a lot of Social Media lessons from Tourism. And it’s not just the big operators – small operators are getting it right too. In this post I share 6 Powerful Social Media Lessons from Tourism that work… lessons that you can implement in your business to boost your brand!
Be The Source For Your Industry
One of the biggest misconceptions I see both in the tourism industry and with everyday businesses is that they perceive they are not “big enough” or “important enough’ to become the go-to-source of content for an industry.
It holds many operators and businesses back from creating content.
1 Post content about your industry not just about your product or service.
2 Post about events that your ideal customer would be interested in – be the source of content for your audience.
3 Post consistently – even one image or post per day can catch attention. Then grow it from there. Sean started on Instagram and now posts to Facebook but he focuses on those two platforms as he is a small business.
Treat Your Community Like Family
I’ve been to Fiji a number of times now and each time it gets better and better. We have stayed in a range of locations and resorts and even spent a week staying in a village while helping to provide health care to the residents.But the last two visits I have spent in the same place and it’s likely that I will return to that very same place because our experience in this particular resort is so wonderful.The place is Malolo Island Resort. I’m not sure I should even mention it because I want to keep it all to myself!Now you are probably expecting me to talk about the beautiful bures, the goregeous beach, stellar food and talented chefs, outdoor spa, coral reefs, fun activities and amazing location. Trust me, I could talk all day about the fabulousness. But beyond all of those things (which are ALL great, trust me) it’s this…This is what made us return to Malolo. Watching my kids jump off the boat on arrival and sprint (so fast we lost sight of them), down the Jetty and into the arms of staff at the resort. You see my kids know the staff by name. And the staff knew my kids by name. I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels and resorts around the world and I have never experienced attention to guests like that. And here’s what sets Malolo apart from other resorts. It lies with just one word.
1 Try not to think of your fans as numbers – get away from focusing on them being followers or subscribers and think of them as people you want to get to know.
2 Use names. And get the spelling right. In real life or online, using someone’s name helps to create a connection. Traffic, shares, sales… all comes when you have a connection.
3 Show the people behind your business. At Malolo there are dozens of reasons why the resort is special. But getting to know the people trumps them all. It doesn’t matter that you are not a resort. It doesn’t matter if you are online rather than a brick and mortar business with real people. Think about how you can share you and your team and help us to get to know you online – use video, live video, show behind the scenes with images. People connect with people, so find a way to share the people behind your products and services.
Oh and if you want to check out Malolo and all the restaurant, bure, watersport, kidsclub, food and beaches awesomeness.. check out their website. And if you visit, tell them I sent you!
Work As A Team With Other Businesses
Working with other businesses in your industry (even your competitors) can be beneficial to both.Here’s an example of how Brisbane Kids (a website that showcases activities for kids and families in Brisbane Australia) collaborated with the Queensland Museum to share a great printable for the Lost Creatures Exhibit.Brisbane Kids wrote about the event, offering a printable download for parents to print and take with them to the exhibition.Working with the Museum gives Brisbane Kids greater exposure and gives the museum more eyeballs on their exhibit.Queensland Museum may be a major attraction, but Brisbane Kids get two benefits from this promotion – they develop a relationship with Queensland Museum and they establish themselves as a quality source about events for parents in Queensland…. which drives a lot of traffic to their website. And of course Queensland Museum also get to benefit from a strong relationship with a major blog catering for families in their local region.
1 Think about who you can team up with – don’t rule out your competitors or others in your industry. By teaming up with others who service a similar audience you can get greater reach and exposure.
2 Reach out to other Instagram users to combine hashtags – encourage your virtual communities to use both hashtags. I’ve seen this work for photo challenges that have crossover audiences. For example the Ginger Factory and Buderim Ginger both use the hashtag #GoGinger on Instagram. I’ve seen fashion bloggers combine challenges. Think about how you can team up.
Sell The Experience, Not The Product
This one is a little like #1 but it’s all about the focus of your brand, and if you do this (sell the experience, not the product) you are more likely to become the source for your industry.Be like Apple and focus on the benefit to the user and the experience rather than on your product or service. I like to see this go a little further and focus not just on the benefit but to focus on an experience. When you clicked through on the site there were pages more of advice about how to get the best out of your holiday on Kauai. There was little mention at all about accommodation (other than a small enquiry form). The focus was on planning your holiday… But because we got so much help from the Outrigger website, when we decided to book. It was a no brainer for us to stay at the Outrigger on the island. And the focus on “experience” continued at the resort as well, with great advice about how to spend our holiday. Since I discovered the Outrigger Infographics the company has overhauled their website and replaced it with a great blog dedicated to the experience of Hawaii.
1 Even if you are not in “tourism” you can focus on the experience and not just the product. Create content around the benefits of your product or service instead of the actual product or service. What will their life be like? How can they do something easier? Can you give tips around the same topic?
2 Be helpful. The Outrigger Resort didn’t focus on their hotels. They focused on helping their readers have a great holiday. Selling their accommodation becomes a lot easier when they don’t have to sell it at all. The content does the marketing for them.
3 Send people to more content, not to a sales page. When I clicked through on the infographic I ended up on a web page with more content about having a great holiday on Kauai. If you give people value in terms of great content they are more likely to have a connection with your brand. When I was ready to travel I clicked straight back to that page and found the accommodation booking form. Mission accomplished!