If you use Instagram for your business, you will have noticed that the number of likes of a post is no longer showing. Why is this?
It’s part of a trial carried out in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil to remove the pressure on how many likes a post received. Instagram says: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not on how many likes your post gets. During this test, only you will be able to see the total number on your posts”.
Yeah, right! Instagram is in it to make money. By removing this feature, brands and influencers will be forced to spend more money on boosting posts and advertising.
A decrease in post likes has already been observed by many operators. Have you noticed this?
Social media is an important marketing tool for tourism businesses, but also one that you don’t have any control over. And that's a risk.
So what can you do about it?
If you are too reliant on one type of marketing or distribution, I’d advise you to start thinking about spreading your risk. The reason is that if one supplier, or social media platform, Online Travel Agency or wholesaler falls over or changes the way they work with you, you don’t want that to affect your entire business.
A diversified marketing strategy that spreads the risk is the way to go. Especially now that tourism is softening, it’s time to work smarter and plan strategically for the next few years.
What are you doing in terms of local, domestic and international distribution, content marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, partnering with other businesses? Are you keeping up with marketing trends? Do you have sound marketing systems?
Winter is a good time to work ON your business and the businesses that do this will grow compared with businesses that are complacent. I’ve seen this over and over!
So, set some time aside to work on your business so you can focus on your planning. Go off-site for a few days or join the Tourism Business Success Programme if you need help. Next start: 29th August 2019 in Queenstown, NZ.
Last month, I met with the Australia/NZ Sales Manager of Tripadvisor in Australia. He mentioned that the key to ranking high on Tripadvisor is:
Quantity of reviews
With regards to quantity of reviews; there are more and more tools out there that send automated emails to every customer encouraging them to write a review. You can also create a miniposter or sheet with a QR code linking directly to your review page. You can hang this in your reception, in your transport van or put it in an in-room compendium. Or you can send them an email with the link to your Tripadvisor review page yourself.
Recency of reviews
These tools also address the ‘recency’ of reviews. If your last review is several months old, Tripadvisor doesn’t rank you as high as they rate the reviews as less relevant.
Now, that’s all good, but what do businesses have in common that are at the top of review sites? And not just Tripadvisor, also Google Reviews, Airbnb reviews, Online Travel Agency reviews etc.
Quality of reviews!
The ‘quality’ of reviews is the most important factor and they don’t just happen by accident. People mostly write reviews if they've had a good experience and they're happy to spread the word for you.
From my own experience in working with high-ranking businesses, here's what these operators have in common:
So, have a look at your Tripadvisor reviews and research those of high-ranking operators. What can you learn from it?
Interested in taking your business to the next level? Then check out the next start of the Tourism Business Success Programme on Thursday 29th of August 2019 in Queenstown. This course is registered with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and up to 50% funding is available for businesses who have been operating for at least one year and have fewer that 50 staff. (see website for full details)
Travel bloggers and social media influencers can be very beneficial in promoting your tourism business to a large group of people as they share stories and photos to their thousands of followers. They usually combine blogging with posts on Instagram and Facebook.
They can also dramatically help you increase your number of followers and provide great exposure for your business.
Some do it professionally and make money through advertising, sponsorships or get paid to write about you. Others blog their way around the world and get free accommodation and activities this way. Either way, working with them can be very successful.
Here are some tips to make to ensure the blogger or Instagrammer will meet your expectations.
Whether you approach them, or they approach them, research them before you talk or to them, research them first:
Overall: do your product ‘fit’ with this influencer?
After doing this research, it’s time to approach them or get back to them. Ask them:
Some bloggers will provide you with a proposal, others are very casual. By doing the research above, you’ll be able make a more informed decision as to whether you’d like to work with them!
Till next time, Marijke
At least once a year, take a few minutes to update and tidy up your social media accounts. Ensure your profile photos, banners, posts are the ones that reflect your business at this point in time. Are you using the right photos and the correct sizes for your posts so they look great and match your current branding and reflect what sets you apart from your competition?
Ensure your branding is consistent so your customers recognise you, whether they look at your website, Instagram account or brochure.
Below is a guide that will show you the exact sizes for your social media account images so you can make your social media accounts look as sharp as they can be!
First of all, what is a blog?
"A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style."
And YES, I think you should blog! Why, you may ask? Apart from posting on social media, writing blog posts is even more work.. and you may feel you aren’t into writing.
Blogging is a way to ‘talk’ to your customers, to tell them stories about your business, your area, the things that you’re passionate about (that would appeal to your customers). These stories add a lot of value to your website, which is your most important marketing tool!
Don’t despair, it’s not difficult. But it is about creating a new and consistent habit. If you’re not going to commit to writing a blog post say once a month, don’t bother even starting.
Keep in mind the ‘conversational and informal style’. Write as if you’re talking to your customers. What do you talk to them about? What are you passionate about?
Say you run an accommodation business and your passion is walking. In your blog you could describe the great walks in your area and add some photos you’ve taken along the way. Or you’re into golf, write about the golf courses in your area. Or photography may be your hobby, provide tips on how to take amazing pics in your area. Etc. etc. etc.
So how do you start a blog? The easiest way is to add a blog page to your existing website (like this one).
Plan to write a little article say once a month. Before you know it, you’ll have created this really great content that is of interest to your customers on your website. It’ll create a connection and rapport. It a way to personalise your content and share it with your customers.
Oh, and it’s also really good for Search Engine Optimisation! Google loves original, regularly updated content on websites.
So, what are you waiting for?
Find some inspiration by researching other people’s blogs and plan the topics that are of interest to you and your customers!
Tourism Business Success Programme: 9th May start
This is a great time of year to work ON your business.
The Tourism Business Success Programme is a 9-month intensive course for tourism businesses that will help you take your business to the next level, work smarter and learn about the latest trends.
The next course starts next week, 9th May in Queenstown. Click here for more info, registrations closing on Monday.
If you have any questions, call me on 021-456451
Marijke Dunselman. Click here to read more about us!