Having an immaculately designed website is all well and good. But if no one knows your business exists, it's sort of like planting a tree in a forest—you'll be quickly drowned out by your surroundings. So what's the secret to standing tall and getting noticed in the forest that is the Internet? social media.
- 46% of web users turn to social media when making a purchase.
- 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive business growth.
Tour and activity operators who are sharing photos, videos, and updates across today's widely-used social networks and taking the time to nurture their online presence could capture the lion's share of online attention.
Here are some of the most impactful ways to create a strong social media presence for your tour or activities company.
Be Creative with Facebook Updates
Facebook is one of the simplest social media platforms for small business owners. But the key to building a successful Facebook page is to provide content that increases engagement with your brand. You want Facebook users to leave a comment, share the post, or click through to your website to complete a booking. A lot of that has to do with timing. According to Hubspot, the best time to post on Facebook is on weekends between noon and 1 p.m., on Wednesdays between 3p.m. and 4 p.m., and on Thursdays and Fridays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Find out the best times to post on your business's Facebook page by looking at its insights, on the "Posts" tab.
It also matters what you post. Instead of just sharing news or updates in text form, get creative with your Facebook marketing strategy by incorporating short videos as status updates, sharing albums of recent events and activities at your location, and by posting high-quality images regularly. The experts at Convince & Convert reveal that multiple photo posts increased click by 1,290% in a Facebook case study and using photo albums to share these photos—not just uploading single photos—increased reach by 5.1 times.
For example, take a look at what 9/11 Tribute Center is doing with their Facebook page. They have a very high user engagement on their page thanks to frequent video updates, user tags using relevant hashtags, and a variety of interesting photos—including albums. Check out their remarkable album on Visitor Cards.
Stay Active on Instagram
You might as well not use Instagram if you're posting dull, blurry images. But you don't have to be a professional photographer to make the most of this photo-centric platform: Make filters your best friend. Buffer reveals the Mayfair filter brings in the most interactions.
For a real life example, check out @TheRideNYC on Instagram. They share a variety of images and videos that really showcases the experience of being on THE RIDE. They even re-gram photos and videos from their customers.
But it's not enough to simply post photos every now and again. Drive engagement by using hashtags of relevant keywords — #travel, #[your city], #travelideas, #vacation, etc. — so that Instagram users who are not following you can find you when searching for these types of photos using Instagram's search feature.
Update Information on Local Listings Sites
Several online listings and local review sites give business owners permission to update their public listings with a detailed description about the business, business hours, contact info, a website link, and even photos. Do an online keyword search for your business to see what shows up and what local listing pages look like.
You can 'claim' your page with Google My Business to provide a description and other details you want to share with a prospective customer who stumbles across your listing during an online search. The Signpost Local Marketing Blog points out 35% of consumers use Google as their first choice for online business searches, so claiming your business page is an easy way to increase your online visibility. Make sure to include all cities you serve, a working link to your website or a booking page, and high-quality photos so that potential customers can identify you.
Check out Wild Thyme Cooking for a real like example. They have updated their Google My Business to include a variety of photos, from site location details to their customers having fun cooking up a storm.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining an active social media presence offers many benefits to tour and activity operators in a world of ever-increasing internet usage. Use these tips to share, like and tweet your way towards a strong online presence.