Travel Bootcamp co-founder and leading Travel Industry Editor at large Georgia Rickard shares 5 easy social media tips that’ll amplify your personal brand in these challenging times.
Being stuck at home isn’t that much fun… and neither is losing all your forward bookings thanks to a certain global pandemic.
Never before has there been quite so many eyeballs directed at what’s happening online, making this the perfect time to capture an increased share of the online audience, and – importantly – build a strong new pipeline for conversion later in the year.
Wait, we hear you ask: I can use social media to build my sales pipeline?
Sure – and in fact, you should. Here are five ways to get you started.
1. Check your attitude
No, it’s just not about sharing memes or pretty pictures – in terms of cost-to-impact, social media is the most powerful tool available to you to build a pipeline.
Where most businesses go wrong is that they fail to recognise its place in that pipeline.
Generally speaking, social media belongs at the very top of your pipeline; it’s where consumers begin their conversations with you, not where you convert them into a paying customer.
That’s doubly important at a time like this, when people are desperately seeking inspirational, emotional escapism – which means you need to reframe your approach to your social, by rethinking your desired outcomes.
Don’t try to sell to people, or convert them on the spot into buying something – this is a place (and a time) to focus solely on creating brand awareness, building a community and starting conversations.
What kind of content can you share that starts conversations? Begin with that.
2. Recognise that beautiful content is everything
Generally speaking, the most effective forms of social media are visual in nature – especially in travel, and especially right now, when people are seeking escapism.
Don’t have the means to shoot your own gorgeous travel videos and imagery? You don’t have to.
Curating other peoples’ content is the most obvious answer to this conundrum, but it’s still a vastly under-appreciated technique.
If you don’t believe in its power, just take a look at the most followed tourism account in the world, @australia – an account built entirely around sharing the work of others.
There’s a vast backlog of content on the internet that you can tap into to share across your own channels, granted that you ask permission and credit accordingly – so do that.
Keep it simple.
3. Remember: social media is social
Unlike traditional forms of communication – one-way broadcasts where an outlet or platform speaks ‘at’ the viewer (advertising, media) – social media is two-way.
If you’re only speaking ‘at’ people, and not engaging with them when they respond to you, they won’t stick around – especially not right now, when people are desperately seeking a sense of connection and community.
So BE SOCIAL.
Imagine that you’re at a digital dinner party. Would you only talk about yourself at a table?
Of course not. (Well, we hope not.) Instead, encourage conversations.
Ask questions. Start polls. Respond to comments and messages. Share things designed to get people talking.
If you can effectively show up for your audience and start conversations, you’ll absolutely see rewards down the track.
People are loyal to brands and individuals from whom they feel respected, acknowledged and appreciated by.
4. Acknowledge coronavirus
It’s a weird time, it’s true – but you absolutely cannot ignore it.
If you share content making out as though everything is business as usual, then you don’t only look tone-deaf and insensitive, but you look as though you’re sharing content that was created two months ago.
Hashtag unprofessional! This alienates people and fosters a sense of disconnection, rather than the connection your business needs to establish with its audience.
That’s not to say that you need to focus all of your messaging on the coronavirus pandemic, but you do need to create relevant and timely content that addresses what’s going on right now.
The best advice? Be human about it.
No one really knows what’s going on, or what’s going to happen next, but if you can share social messaging that says, “alright, we don’t know exactly when this is going to end, but we do know that when it does we’re headed to [insert destination],” you’re offering people honest and authenticity – two of the values that social audiences appreciate above all else.
5. Have fun!
As with everything in life, you’re never going to follow through with conviction if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
Social media is undoubtedly a valuable tool to generate business, but it should also be enjoyable and fun – so if you’re not passionate about what you’re sharing, that will shine through in your content and in your ability to execute consistently.
Plus, in the current climate when isolation, loneliness and disconnection are very real side effects of quarantine, finding joy in your simple daily tasks is more important than ever.
With that in mind, make fun a priority in your approach to social. Hell, don’t just do it with social – do it with everything!
Want to learn more about growing a powerful travel social media account
Find out more: www.thetravelbootcamp.com.au
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