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
Reviews help customers make decisions on where to stay, what to do or what to buy.
You work hard at providing an excellent customer experience resulting in positive reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor, Facebook, Google, Yelp etc. But every now and then, you may get a negative review. Some are fair, and these provide you with an opportunity to improve aspects of your business. And some are unfair.
No matter what they are, you need to write a response. It provides you with an opportunity to explain what happened and apologise, and it shows your professionalism and that you care.
I have talked with many operators about their occasional bad review. It’s human nature to focus on these, even if the majority of your reviews are raving!
So, my first piece of advice is: keep the negative reviews in perspective. How many good reviews do you have compared to the bad ones? Don’t take it too personal and don’t dwell on them.
OK, now you need to respond to that negative review. Here are 5 tips to help you do it.
Final tip: Have a complaints procedure in place so it’s easy to respond. Ensure your staff is empowered to do this too to solve issues quickly and on the spot.
Instagram is a great way to promote your (tourism) business as it’s purely visual and everyone LOVES photos and videos! It takes a bit of thinking and researching to develop a theme that represents your brand, what you stand for and how you want to stand out! But if you're going to spend time on Instagram for your business, you might as well do it well!
A theme will reinforce your brand and help people recognise and remember you.
Like anything in business: planning is the key to achieve what you want. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
So, when it comes to Instagram themes and posts, the same applies. Plan your theme for results!
Here are 6 tips to help you develop a theme that people will want to follow!
So, spend a little time developing your Instagram theme that your customers will want to follow and share!
Final tip: put a live feed on your website! This will keep your content fresh and encourage people to follow you!
Till next time, Marijke
Your customers are likely to be taking LOTS of photos of their experience with you, especially if you work in the tourism industry.
These pics could be a great in helping you promote your business as UGC (User-generated content) is much more credible than photos you post yourself.
Instagram is a great social media platform as it is so visual (and you can post pics onto Facebook with just one click).
So, how could you use the photos your customers take of your product/experience?
The easiest way is to ‘repost’ them.
Is reposting legal?
It’s not legal to repost an image without asking permission to the owner of the image as they have the copyright.
What you can do though, is generate a branded hashtag with your business name and add it to your profile. Say something like: Tag #smartrainingnz to share your photos with us and give us permission to re-post.
If you then repost the photo, make sure you credit the image to the owner.
How to repost?
You need to find a separate app to repost photos to Instagram as it is not possible through Instagram itself.
There are a number of apps your can use to repost an image. I use “Repost for Instagram”. If you use Buffer.com for your social media scheduling, you can also repost through this software.
Promote your hashtag
Ensure you promote your hashtag clearly:
Have a go! You’ll increase your following and increase credibility because your customers are sharing their experiences of your product!
NOTE: Final plug for the Tourism Business Success Programme starting on the West Coast (NZ) with the Strategic Planning Day on 18th Oct 2018. Don't miss it!! Go to www.smartraining.co.nz for more info. 50% funding available.
Till next week, Marijke
User-generated content is hugely powerful. It's when customers share photos and their experience about your business on social media. It's 'word-of-mouth marketing' and it's free! It works because it's much more credible when your customers say nice things about you than when you do it yourself.
So how can you make it easy for customers to share positive photos about your business or experience?
It's simple. Create a photo opportunity at your business location that people can't resist. It can be a funny board with a hole for their face (cheesy, I know, but people love them!). If you do this, ensure it has your business name, website address and hashtag so it's easy to share.
Another idea for a photo opportunity is a large 'prop' of some sort, something unique, cute, funny beautiful etc. I was at Houston, Texas yesterday and just had to take a pic of these huge cowboy boots (about 2m tall). What could you come up with for your business that people would want to take photos of?
Generate a simple, short hashtag that relates to your business. To encourage people to use your hashtag, you could start a competition and offer a prize for the best photo with that hashtag.
PS, have you checked out the new Tourism Business Success Programme yet? Click here for information about this exciting 9-month programme that will help you take your business from where you are now to where you want it to be! Only 10 spaces per location - registrations are now open!
Till next week, Marijke
Marijke Dunselman. Click here to read more about us!