When you use Facebook, I doubt you want to see your feed jammed with businesses trying to sell themselves. As a tour operator, you have a great advantage — you can actually post interesting things! I can guarantee you that dental businesses don’t have such good fortune, so make the most of it!
What does Facebook like to see? Facebook wants active users. This is the main goal of all social media websites since it’s the main metric used to measure them in news media. Additionally, when Facebook sees someone interacting with something, their algorithm gives preference to that interaction and calculates what is on your feed accordingly.
Our Facebook tips are as follows:
1. Keep Facebook fun.
Facebook is place where you have fun and people can have fun with you. Make sure the photos you post up are either beautiful, quirky, or funny. The whole goal of this exercise is to make people want to hang out with you (that is, buy your tours).
2. Keep a track of what causes interaction.
In your page statistics, you’ll have access to see exactly how many people have liked and seen a post. This is a goldmine – experiment with new types of posts and stop making the kinds of posts that people are ignoring. The more engagement your users have with past posts, the more likely Facebook is to show your future posts. Focus on engagement.
3. Seek activity, but in the right way.
Knowing they need engagement, many business owners will often beg people for a comment and frame their posts in a needy, supplicating way. This is not the right way to do it: do everything to avoid coming across like this. Encourage but don’t beg!
4. Don’t post too much.
One of the most common questions I get is “how often should I post?” A good rule of thumb is 3-4 times a week as long as you are posting good stuff, but there’s no size-fits-all answer. Check out the statistics on your posts – that is, likes, comments, and views. Your fans will send the message to you louder and clearer (through their silence) than any guru!
5. Give people a backstage pass to your business.
The most valuable thing your business could ever create with someone is a personal connection. This is where someone knows who you are and what you do, and likes you for it. Create that connection by showing the hidden aspects of your business that other people might hide. Maybe you have a vehicle break down — share that on Facebook! People will empathize with you more than criticize and if you make light of it, you will be even more loved.
6. Respond to people’s comments.
Don’t just leave them hanging! When people comment, they respect getting a response – I know I do! When you respond to people, be personal and real. Show some personality! Shake off the “cardboard PR” persona that has infected gigantic Fortune 500s and too many hapless tour operators.
7. Post outside of peak times.
Facebook expert Jon Loomer conducted a case study using his own page to see what were the best times of day to post. Posts that went up late at night got much more reach and activity. This is when many people are still online but nearly all “official pages” have stopped posting for the day.
Loomer also found that when people began to log on in the morning, the posts were still right there in their newsfeed, waiting to be seen. The other pages he would normally have to compete with were too busy eating their breakfast to be posting on Facebook!
With fewer people online, there’s so much less competition that you have almost exclusive access to your Facebook followers. You don’t have to stay up late to do it necessarily, either. It’s not too difficult to time your posts to go up when you’re not around.
8. Ask simple, engaging questions.
Short, snappy questions that require no thinking are the ones that will work the best. If there’s one reason people are hanging around on Facebook, it’s definitely not to make their brains work.
For example: “What’s the ‘hidden secret’ restaurant in Chicago that you think EVERYBODY must know about and why? Leave a comment to share yours, and I’ll share a couple of mine too.” If you posted a question like that with a photo, you would definitely get engagement. Try it out and let me know how it goes! (If it doesn’t work for you, I will personally buy you a beer.)
Again, the purpose of nearly all good posting is not to sell directly but to just put yourself in people’s minds. If someone is aware of you, they’re much more likely to use your service and recommend you. Build relationships! That’s what Facebook is all about.
9. Avoid big gaps with no posting.
For all social media, long disappearances make it look like your business is dead. It’s better to delete links to your account than to have no posting at all.
10. Use call-to-actions from time to time.
Call-to-actions (or CTAs) are when you ask for someone to take a particular action. This could mean asking them to tag themselves in a photo, leave a comment, or click through to your website.
11. Get their emails.
Last but very much not least, drive them to your email list any way you can. The average value per email subscriber is always multiples (generally many multiples) of a Facebook fan or Twitter follower. Which leads us to the next chapter…
What should you post? (Answer: videos, videos, and more videos)
While photos used to be the preferred method of posting, a new study has shown that Facebook has dramatically de-prioritized photos in favor of video! The more tour videos you can get to post on your Facebook page, the better.
Here are a few more ideas:
Posting testimonials on an occasional basis will remind people how awesome you are.
Awards or press
It’s always exciting to see businesses that we like achieving success.
Upcoming special trips
Articles about your area from other blogs or news sites
It’s not just about keeping your business front of mind – you need to keep feeding the desire to come back to your part of the world. It’s also a good way to maintain a relationship with fellow tourism businesses if you share their articles or the same with local bloggers.
Put links to your blog occasionally
Posts about your specialty
If you run a wine tour company, for example, you can share information and articles about wine. Easy!
People can then share their own knowledge or preferences. Even play games with it such as “guess this building!”
Using Facebook or any other social media channel doesn’t need to be complicated. There’s no rocket science to it. Just post interesting stuff and do so regularly. If you need inspiration, go and hit “like” on 20 other businesses that are similar to yours from around the world. They’ll fill your feed every day with new ideas for your business to help you expand in all ways.
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