Throughout my day-to-day work, I am often asked about how to create a social media marketing plan and how to use social media to generate revenue.
For small and medium businesses, social media platforms are both blessings and curses. My clients know that Facebook and Instagram can bring them exposure and potential new visitors but often are discouraged by not knowing which platform to choose and what content to post.
In this article, I will try to show you which social media channels are great when you target young or older travelers and what content is the most interesting for the users on each of them.
What is a social media marketing
According to Smart Insights ‘4.70 billion people around the world now use social media, and 227 million new users have come online within the last 12 months. The average daily time spent using social media is 2h 29m.’
This makes social media a powerful tool to promote your business. And this is what we call social media marketing.
It’s a way to reach new and existing customers using social media apps like Facebook or Instagram.
Social media marketing helps you to engage with the audience and people who are potentially interested in buying your service. You can use it as a promotional tool, customer service platform, traffic generator for your booking website, and more.
What do you need to know to be successful on social media
Before you invest in social media marketing and choose your channels, you need to set up a few components. The most important is to know your audience. This is one of the most important ingredients of every successful marketing and business strategy.
Knowing when your potential guests spend their time will save you frustration and money.
Investing in brand strategy and branding is the second important element. Knowing what are your goals and what kind of content wll attract the attention of the right target group is crucial.
If you want to dig deeper make sure you establish your unique brand archetype combo. It will help you to set up a tone of voice for your communication and also the visual style of all your social media marketing materials.
Watch a free webinar: Free archetype webinar
Do I have to be on every social media marketing channel?
We all know that running your own travel business is a time-consuming and demanding activity. You don’t want to waste your time on ineffective strategies, don’t you? That is why knowing what channels to use is so important.
Social media marketing can take a lot of energy and it’s basically a full-time job. If you can’t effort social media manager, it’s better to do it smartly. Understanding which social media channels attract which target group, and how to re-use your content on different platforms can save you some time that you can invest somewhere else.
Social media marketing channels for travel and hospitality business
The travel and hospitality industries are one of the most dynamic industries nowadays. With millions of people traveling for leisure and business, it’s highly competitive and saturated. Marketers and business owners racing to reach new potential clients and use every method to fulfill their goals.
Social media is one of them with literally billions of people using it to serach for inspirations and information SMM (Social media marketing).
Facebook is such a popular social media marketing platform that you might think that everyone uses it the same way. Even though this platform gathers almost 3 billion users not all of them are equally active.
According to statistics over a quarter of FB users in the US are between 25 and 35 years old and 18.2 percent of them are 35 to 44. It’s worth to mentions that most of them are female.
According to DataReportal more than 50% of people use Facebook to contact friends and family and post content like videos and photos. It means it can be a good platform to encourage people to share information about your travel business as well as share photos and videos from their trips. Shortly word of mouth counts on Facebook.
Instagram is a perfect social media marketing channel with more than 2 billion users and over 200 million businesses. It is mainly used as an app which is important to remember while working on your content. It’s a fast pace medium where people scroll through the feed and do not always read long posts. That’s why focusing on the visual aspect of your brand is so crucial.
The audience on Instagram is a bit younger than on Facebook. 25% of US teenagers admit that Instagram is their favorite social media channel. And 30% of its users are female.
Instagram can be a very creative business tool. Latest algorithms prefer short videos over posts but sky is the limit. It’s a perfect platform to build awareness of your travel brand, share tips, and tricks, and gain important insights about your audience.
It’s a perfect tool for those in the tourism industry who target Generation Z and Millenials. This is one of the favorite platforms for them to search for travel inspirations.
You might not think Twitter is the best choice for a travel and hospitality business, but you should check out a few top tourism accounts to learn more about its benefits.
Tweets have a characteristic format. Every second, short, instant share are made. Here’s your chance to share news and tips about your business, industry, and travel.
According to Social Media Today, 20% of travelers use Twitter to share information about their journey before and after the trip. This is a great opportunity for you to create viral content and make people talk about your brand.
Answering people’s questions and comments quickly on Twitter can also make a good impression and provide exceptional customer service.
Video is the top content on Internet right now. With 1.7 billion monthly unique visitors YouTube is one of the most popular social marketing platforms. It also has one of the biggest potentials for travel and hospitality brands. Vlogs and educational videos are one of the most popular content types on YouTube.
It means that it’s your chance to share your knowledge and information about your destination with potential visitors. ‘According to a recent study Google conducted with Ipsos MediaCT, two out of three U.S. consumers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip (Think with Google).
The most popular travel phrases searched on YouTube are related to destinations, general travel queries, and local attractions. Keep it in mind while creating your content. ‘Travelers often watch content in categories closely related to travel, such as restaurants, spas, and food and drink.’ (Think with Google).
BRead more: Generation Z – your new ideal guest
Not many travel business owners use Linkedin. This is how they miss a great opportunity to build their strong brand and connect with other entrepreneurs.
Linkedin is a professional platform where people in the industry spend time building meaningful connections. Also if you are hiring people it’s a great place to start building your employer brand and attract new talents that will help you to grow your business.
If you target business travelers it can be also a great social media marketing channel to grab the attention of your ideal customer. Being active on Linkedin can bring you more meaningful exposure and build your image as a leader.
TikTok took the social media world by storm and quickly become a channel loved by the youngest internet users. Consequently, many businesses missed out on gaining a large following by failing to target the young generation. However, this has already changed. In short, TikTokers have become active consumers as they grew up.
TikTok displays content based on your past engagement and interests. As a result, you have an opportunity to reach people who are interested in the content you provide.
You can also show your creativity and authentic image on TikTok. You can follow the trends and connect with your audience by simply having fun.
I already know what some people will say: Pinterest is not a social media platform. It’s a search engine. True! Pinterest doesn’t work like Facebook or Twitter, but it has a significant role in marketing in the travel and hospitality business.
Every month almost 500 million people visit Pinterest to search for inspiration and share their content. Right now the platform has 240 billion saved pins and 5 billion boards. It makes it a perfect place to search for travel destinations and tips.
If your business targets mostly women (all age groups) probably Pinterest is a good place to promote your brand.
But what to post on Pinterest you may ask? The platform is a great traffic booster for your website or blog. Unlike other social media marketing platforms, the content you share there has a much longer lifespan. In other words, your content circulates there almost without effort for a longer period of time.
Travel topics related to outdoor activities, rural destinations, and the digital nomad lifestyle are among the most searched on Pinterest.
Is a platform where people can share interesting links. We’ll see if it’s worth the effort even though it’s not as popular as Facebook or Instagram.
Reedit is a great source of information and feedback. If you need to do some kind of research Reedit can be your place to go. You can get a rough idea of what is going on in the heads of your potential guests by checking out what people are discussing there.
The Reedit platform allows for endless conversation and interaction, so you might be able to answer your audience’s questions or position yourself as an expert. Don’t be too salesy, though. Try to be helpful to the community and give more than you take.
Reedit is a good place to turn if your travel agency or hostel targets an audience between 18-24 years old.
Video content (50% of content) and external links are the most popular content types on Reedit. And the most popular topics are health, wellness, and technology.