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You’ve set up your social media, maybe posted a few photos and your followers are slowly but surely growing. But maybe not as much as you’d like. If you’re new to the game, take a brief minute to read an additional introduction to getting started with social(opens in a new tab). The reality is that most small businesses don’t have piles of money to throw into promoted posts or social media ads. Accordingly, it’s important to strategize the best tactics to organically (meaning at no cost to you) increase your social media numbers in general as well as being sure you understand the benefit of each individual platform as a tour operator(opens in a new tab).

It’s essential to remember that you can’t be everything for everyone. While each platform has its own individual merit and audience, it’s not worth spreading yourself too thin by being on all of them. Growing your social media does take time, but by being strategic with your efforts, you can work smarter not harder. Focus your efforts on one or two platforms and gradually expand as you get more comfortable.

While social media numbers are not an exact science (after all, we’re dealing with people and changing circumstances), that doesn’t mean you don’t have any power or control on improving your profiles. And that doesn’t mean that there’s no data science involved either. Just start by taking a look at your account insights on any platform and you’ll already have demographic information to get you started such as the age, gender, and location of people interacting with your profile. When it comes to growing and maintaining your numbers, in some aspects, consistency is key, and in others, it’s about mixing things up to not come across as stagnant. After all, you likely don’t have a whole team of people working on maintaining your various social media platforms so you need to be strategic with your time and effort. Social media remains a vital marketing tool to help sell your tours online. Improving those numbers means more eyes will be redirected towards your site.

Types of Social Media Metrics: Understanding the Terminology

There are a few factors to consider when looking at your social media numbers. First and foremost, is the number of followers. But that’s not the only one, and it’s not the only one you should be focused on. You could have a lot of followers but fall short in the following numbers. Impressions are the number of times your post is seen. Engagement refers to reactions (such as a ‘like’), comments, or shares.

Gain Insight by Taking a Look at Your Competition

Start by taking a look at your current numbers(opens in a new tab), that way you’ll have a starting point and you can set a realistic goal. Do a bit of research into the types of numbers a page like yours should have and then what it could have with a bit of extra attention. If you notice a competitor has not just a higher number of followers, but also a higher level of engagement, dig deeper to make sense of what they’re doing right. Look into what type of content they’re posting, who/what brands they are partnered with, who is following them, and what time they are posting. You may also notice an area for improvement that you can implement on your own pages.

Tips That Work For All Platforms

One thing you should absolutely keep consistent is your branding: your logo and your company name should always be present on your page, in addition to a link to your website. This way people will know it’s your business right away without giving it a second thought. Stay on top of your accounts, if you get comments, respond, and be sure to do so in a timely manner. If you engage with your audience, they’re more likely to engage with you. When it comes to frequency, understand that posting ten times a day doesn’t mean ten times the interaction. In fact, it’s likely the opposite, followers will become annoyed with such a high amount of material and may even unfollow you. Instead, look to make quality postings at regular intervals, but not overwhelm your followers.

What you post is also key (and we could go on and on about it). As a general note be careful to maintain the balance between engaging content and promotion. Genuine and authentic content always resonates better with people. If you’re looking for inspiration for what to post, there are tons of options for you to consider(opens in a new tab).  Another simple way to get people more engaged is to ask questions or for feedback in your posts, in addition to everyone’s favorite, a giveaway! Suggest people tag their friends in the comments sections to get your content seen by more sets of eyes. Lastly a simple and straightforward way to get people to your social media platforms is to tell them. Whether you remind your newsletter subscribers or have visual buttons, these reminders are a tool at your disposal.

Developing a Platform-Specific Strategy

Understand that content should be adapted for different platforms, whether that be different captions or quantities of text, or posting photos versus news. Consider each platform like a separate entity. What works great for some platforms will not be as successful on others, so adapting is essential. Facebook(opens in a new tab) and Instagram(opens in a new tab) are the main two platforms which will serve your tour or activity business, if you’re keen on having a presence across additional platforms you can also look into Twitter(opens in a new tab) and Linkedin(opens in a new tab). One of the first things to keep in mind is a posting schedule. Here, there is some actual data which has shown the ideal times of day to post for the different platforms(opens in a new tab). This is an element that can contribute to improved impressions.

Mini Case Study: Facebook

Facebook continues to reign king of social media. As we’ve said before, if you’re only going to have one account this should be it. Facebook allows for a good combination of visual (photo and video) and textual elements, so look to take advantage of both of these. Again, only one or the other will make your page feel stale and repetitive. Post photos of your city, sites you visit on your tours, guests having a great time, and more. And write up information to go along with them. To take things to the next level consider trying your hand at Facebook targeting(opens in a new tab).

Mini Case Study: Instagram

For its emphasis on visuals, Instagram is the other must-have platform. Additionally, Instagram is particularly popular (though not exclusively) among millennial travellers. Like Facebook, variation is your friend. Different types of photos plus video content will help contribute to a dynamic page. If you’re ready to take things to the next level then look to incorporate Instagram Stories(opens in a new tab) in addition to your posts. There, you can include polls, quiz questions, and ask for suggestions. A great way to not only keep your content dynamic but also increase interaction is to encourage user-generated content(opens in a new tab). Post photos of your guests having a great time, tag them, and ask them to tag you in their posts.

Converting Your Social Media Success Into Tour or Activity Sales

Now that you’re well on your way to improving those numbers and getting people to your social media pages, how do you convert that to sales? Well, you’ve gotten them interested through your appealing content but now it’s about getting them to transition over to your website. Make sure your site links are clearly visible and direct them to those pages. Once they get to your webpage it’s now a whole new playing field. Does your website have that same level of appeal, and is it designed to help secure the sale? If you have any doubts, then leave it to the experts at Tourism Tiger(opens in a new tab) who build websites specifically for tour and activity operators. Now that you’re inspired to go and grow those numbers, check out our blog page(opens in a new tab) for more insight on the different platforms, what to post, how to use social media as a tool for your tour business, and much more!

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