Social media is overwhelming. If I’m saying that as a marketing manager, what hope do you have as a tour operator? There are so many options out there and it seems like every day there’s a new “next big thing!” How do you know which ones to use? Let me guide you through them!

I’ve covered the major social media platforms, but I won’t discuss Nasza Klasa (sorry, Poland) or other localized ones. If you want to target people in a specific country you can join those, otherwise I generally wouldn’t worry about them.

It’s also worth noting that most of these platforms have the option of a business account. Do that whenever possible so that you can see your analytics. This is key for knowing what to post, when, and can even help improve your website by telling you who is interested in your page and which tours they’re clicking to view.

Yes, there are a lot of options below but don’t spread yourself too thin. You can join as many as you like, although I’d recommend picking a couple of them to focus on. You’re a tour operator. If you wanted to spend your whole day posting to social media, you would have become a marketer.

Facebook

What is it?
Facebook is the social media that everyone has. Around 1/4 of the world has a Facebook profile and tour businesses thrive here. They’re able to share photos, blog posts, and other new information to keep their followers up to date. It’s also common for people to check Facebook pages for FAQs and to quickly get in touch with businesses.

The downside? It’s not very democratic; businesses that pay will be seen by more people. This doesn’t mean that you need to pay, just don’t be surprised when your organic (unpaid) numbers are lower than your total follower count.

Should you care?
Absolutely! If you use only one platform for your business, make it this one.

Instagram

What is it?
Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform. People can like or comment on your tour photos and videos, but not much else. You can post these photos and videos to your page, where they will be forever, or to your story where they will disappear after 24 hours. This makes it sound a lot more simple than it is though. People spend a lot of time on this app–looking at their favorite things (pigs, for me) as well as looking for new favorite things (other pig accounts).

Should you care?
Definitely. Show people what they’ll see on your tours and get them excited or use hashtags to reach new audiences. If you do tours to pig farms in Michigan, try #pig #tour #Michigan to target people interested in those things.

Twitter

What is it?
If Instagram is the photo app, Twitter is the opinion & news app.This is where people come to check the news, get a quick laugh (the character limit ensures that the anecdotes stay short), and share their thoughts on life.

Should you care?
Maybe. Twitter is a great place to position yourself as an expert. People are there to get information. For example, if you see someone asking about restaurants in Dallas and you’re a Dallas tour guide, you can give your recommendation. This will allow customers to see your profile (complete with your logo as a profile picture!) and hopefully think of you when it’s time to take a tour.

LinkedIn

What is it?
LinkedIn is like Facebook for businesses. This is where people go to network and find new business connections. You won’t see a lot of posts about vacations or personal time. That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but users typically share business information here.

Should you care?
Not really. Sort of. If you use it to sell tours, you will be disappointed. Although, there is a benefit to having a personal account. You can use it to find new tour guides and contractors, read tips on improving your business, and reach out to potential partners.

Google My Business

What is it?
This one isn’t really social media, but from the business side it works similarly. Google My Business is a way for you to have some control over what Google shows about you. You can upload photos and videos or write posts. Your reviews are also posted here so people can see the social proof for your tours.

Should you care?
Yes. This is a great way to target people in or around your location. When tourists are looking for a tour company in your city, they’ll most likely get your information from Google or Google Maps. Think of it as online street cred!

Pinterest

What is it?
Pinterest is the perfect place online to gather and organize inspiration, things people have seen and liked, articles and news of interest, etc. With a visual orientation, it works like a “mood board” in which you can save, or “pin” images, videos and links and organize them in different boards or categories.

Pinterest auto populates the feed depending on what people have pinned, suggesting other pins and making sure the users aren’t missing out on anything! If you offer dream itineraries, unique experiences, and have the photos or videos to prove it, Pinterest is the perfect place to post those and reach out for the creative travellers!

Should you care?
Maybe. People come here to look at pretty things and make plans (that they may or may not follow through with). This could be really good for you if people follow through with their plans to visit the places in your beautiful pictures.

WeChat

What is it?
THE Chinese platform. The great firewall of China means a lot of social media platforms are unavailable. WeChat stepped in and replaced all of them. It’s used to share photos, news, memes, advertisements, and even to pay for things.

Should you care?
If you want Chinese customers, yes. If not, no.

WhatsApp

What is it?
WhatsApp is commonly added to lists of social media platforms. I’d argue that it’s not social media, but I’ve included it in case you’re curious. WhatsApp is an app that lets people message using their data rather than their credit. This is great for people with international contacts because you can stay in contact without paying to text or call another country.

Should you care?
Possibly. It’s popular worldwide, so if you have a lot of international tourists, this could be a good way to stay in contact with them. This also depends on your country. In Chile, it would be unheard of to make a domestic customer text you any other way. In the US, it would be crazy to expect someone to have it.

Snapchat

What is it?
Popular with Generation Z and younger millennials , this app lets you share photos and videos with your followers. The content is temporary and will disappear after it’s been opened (or after 24 hours if posted to your story). Snapchat is also the home to photo filters. If you’ve seen photos of people with cat faces or flower crowns, then you’ve probably seen a Snapchat photo.

Should you care?
Probably not. If you want to target young travelers and backpackers, then this isn’t a bad place to do it. However, since the users are young, they’re more likely to be admiring your photos than booking your tours.

TikTok

What is it?
Users create videos up to 60 seconds and post them. Other users can like, comment, or share. You should really do yourself a favor and look for the “best of” lists online because people are wonderfully creative with it!

Should you care?
No. You can skip this one. People are there for the funny videos, not ads. A video from your tour might seem like it could work, but it probably doesn’t fit the vibe.


Find this article useful? Enter your details below to receive your FREE copy of 95 Epic Places To List Your Tours and receive regular updates from Tourism Tiger and leading industry experts.

By submitting this form, you agree to Tourism Tiger contacting you via email.