Doing business as a tour operator can be pretty tough, the competition can get stiff, and return on investment can be low. A key strategy to staying on top of the business is to make sure you are visible to old and potential customers.
Thanks to modern technology, visibility for your business has been made a lot easier and cheaper. Besides using your website, newsletters, blogs, or bulk mailing to market your tour operation business, another great marketing strategy is social media. While there are a ton of social media platforms to market your business on, if you want to focus on business to business marketing, LinkedIn is your best bet.
Although LinkedIn might not have caught on as quickly as other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, it has evolved well and carved a niche among business professionals and recruiters alike. A good number of LinkedIn users have the decision-making authority on behalf of their organization, which makes business networking for your brand a lot smoother.
Before giving you a few tips on how to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool for your tour operating business, here are a few LinkedIn statistics you should consider:
- There are now over 660 million users worldwide
- More than 30M companies represented on LinkedIn
- Over 40% of users check their account daily
- LinkedIn is available in more than 200 countries
- It is currently available in 24 languages
Now here are the three ways how LinkedIn can be a marketing tool for tour operators:
Include Employee LinkedIn Profile
It is a no-brainer that as a tour operator, you already have your business page profile. So you might be asking, “why do I need personal profiles if it is the business I’m promoting?” Now here is the reason why; a tour and travel business is a highly people-oriented business. And because in the real sense of it, people do business with people, which is why it is vital to include an employee profile alongside your business profile.
Your LinkedIn profile and those of the other key staff in your business are the blocks you need to build up your tour business. People want to know more about who is in charge of the company they are about to patronize, so a well put together profile is going to make a lasting impression on your client.
Make sure your profile is 100% complete, therefore anticipating client’s questions. Add new industry-related skills, achievements, and examples of the top-notch work you do.
Use LinkedIn as a Publishing Platform
One thing I love about LinkedIn is the progress it has made with reinventing itself in the past 2-3 years. An example of one such reinvention is the room it has given its users for long-form posts on a content publishing platform, this allows users to write, edit, and share lengthy articles.
As a tour operator, there is just so much visual and written content you would want to post. The LinkedIn publishing platform gives you all the space to publish your long travel reviews, repost blog articles, tour adventures, and even reach different readers more easily. The great thing about this is that, unlike other social media platforms where people rarely read long posts, on LinkedIn we see the opposite.
Because you have a bigger platform to post more articles, you might need the services of writers such as Online Writers Rating to boost the content quality and numbers of material you post. The LinkedIn publishing platform also allows you to add third-party content to your article, so it’s easy to share articles from other sites. Just make sure you credit your source.
Join a Discussion Group or Create Your Own
There are over two million discussion groups on LinkedIn that have an extensive range of topics for discussion. So it is easy to get a group that covers your business idea. There is a limit to the number of groups you can join (100 groups). So make sure you pick the groups that are relevant and add value to your business. Examples of groups you can join as a tour operator include:
- Social Media Travel
- Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide
- Hotel Industry Professionals Worldwide
- Ski Industry Marketing and Sales Travel Professionals
- Tour Operator Professionals
These groups expand your networking pool, allow you to share business ideas, and also give you room to establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
It is also essential to listen to conversations first before engaging in any group discussions. Taking part in group discussion interaction is a great way to increase the views on your profile. You should aim to fall among the top five influencers, because this is a great way to build your brand reputation. These influencers are seen as contributors whose discussion generates extensive feedback from other group members.
Remember, if you can’t seem to find a group that suits your brand ideas and goals, you can always take the lead and create your own, invite old and potential clients and other service providers. Linked in allows you to setup up to 30 groups at a time
Additionally, you can conduct polls to learn about your competitors and customers and also to stay updated on current industry trends. The results from the polls allow you to share business insights with your colleagues and even place you as an expert in your field.
Whether you’re looking for ways to generate business leads, build awareness for your travel brand, or establish strategic partnerships, LinkedIn is the way to go.
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