With millions of people across the globe either self-isolating, in quarantine, or social distancing, social media platforms are receiving more visitors than ever before. Many tour operators who are unable to carry out tours and normal activities have turned their attention to improving and updating their various channels.
Social media output can be mind-boggling at the best of times, but in this uncharted territory, it’s hard to know what is the best approach to take. People are feeling more sensitive than usual so tour operators feel they have to tread carefully.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to share some of the accounts we think are getting their social media right and why.
Advertise New and Alternative Services
Jamaican day-tour operator El Sol Vida, have temporarily reinvented themselves (opens in a new tab)as a delivery service and they have used their Facebook page(opens in a new tab) to market their change in tactics. Although changing strategy is not a possibility for everyone, there are operators out there who are able to adapt and embrace new services. Social media is a great space to promote new additions to your business and get the word out locally. Not only do they give you a positive reason to post, but they also connect you with other local businesses and your community.
Or even to market your products in another way, Big Sur Adventures(opens in a new tab) are offering their bike rentals as an alternative to public transport. These innovative ideas show tour operators seriously considering their audience’s needs and therefore building a great base of trust to further develop their client relationships.
Live Streaming and Virtual Tours
We’ve seen the rise of virtual tours in Coronavirus times, from virtual street art walking tours(opens in a new tab) to interactive museum experiences, tourist sights are pushing their imagination to the limits to keep interest up and entertain the masses. The famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam dedicated to art and history has used all their social media platforms to promote their interactive experiences, where guests can virtually wander around their current exhibitions.
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Today we’re re-opening the Gallery of Honour! ✨ With our new interactive experience you can visit the home of Rembrandt’s The Nightwatch and The Jewish Bride, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and all the other highlights. So come on in and navigate through the gallery virtually from the comfort of your home. Link in bio! 💚🧡⠀ ⠀ #Rijksmuseum #Amsterdam #Rijksmuseumfromhome #Museumfromhome #Rijksmuseumthuis(opens in a new tab)
Many of the smaller tour operators have done the same, Salida Walking Tours(opens in a new tab), based in Colorado, are using their Facebook page to live stream their daily history and ghost chats while they are unable to carry out their guided ghost and history tours. It’s a great strategy to pique people’s interest and remind their audiences of their presence.
Reach Out to Your Audience and Be Honest
Everyone is feeling uncertain. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are definitely all affected by the tension. A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours(opens in a new tab) is a great example of a tour company opening up to their client base and explaining their situation. Being honest really lends weight to their appeal for clients to help out. Remaining active on social media and keeping everyone informed of reopenings helps to further reassure customers.
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Maldives tour operator Secret Paradise Maldives(opens in a new tab) has taken a similar approach in sending out positive messages to their client base. They are encouraging people to stay safe at home and reminding them that the tours will be available when times return to normal. While also tempting us all with some dreamy beach images.
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The President advised yesterday that from 00.00 27th March 2020 The Maldives will temporarily suspend on arrival visas for all passengers arriving by air or sea. With the exception of those arriving with special permission granted by the government. Stay safe, stay well, stay home and we and the Maldives will be ready and waiting to welcome you in the future . Maldivesislands #maldiveslovers #maldivesbeach #maldivesmania #maldivesisland #maldivesinsider #maldivesparadise #maldivesphotography #maldiveslife #maldivestourism #maldivesholiday #maldiveslove #maldivesdiaries #letusguideyou #ecotravel #ecofriendly #maldivesexperts #Maldives #sunnysideoflife(opens in a new tab)
Encourage People to Support Local Business
Destination marketing organization Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores and Islands(opens in a new tab) are using their Twitter page to promote local business and let people know what’s open and what’s not. Up-to-date news and reliable information about your area is incredibly valuable to the local community and to future travellers. It’s been predicted that post-Coronavirus, local travel will be the first to make a comeback, so make sure to focus on your local image and connections.
Horse Creek Lodge(opens in a new tab) in McKenzie River, Oregon have taken to their Facebook page to encourage local business and give advice on how the public can support those who are struggling. They prompt people to buy gift vouchers now that they can spend later. It’s a good way to save and contribute to the local community at the same time and their positive tone makes it even more encouraging!
Keep Interest Up
You may not be carrying out tours and activities, but it’s essential to keep posting. People want to be kept up to date and daydream about travel ideas for their bucket list. It may be sharing articles about your destination like Maika Tours(opens in a new tab) in Vietnam, or using the time to upload pictures from past tours like Soul of Nola(opens in a new tab) in New Orleans. We’ve spoken numerous times about the importance of having current images(opens in a new tab) on your site. Instagram is a great space to spike interest in your tours for the future, something that Australia’s official tourism(opens in a new tab) page has really hit upon.
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Now is the time to daydream 💭 To imagine and plan those trips you’ve always wanted to take. There’s plenty of #outdoortherapy in @ntaustralia and photogenic #SimpsonsGap is just one of many incredible places to discover in this part of Australia. @nicklovinadventure snapped @maddieclancy exploring this stunning spot in the West MacDonnell Ranges of @visitcentralaus, where the permanent waterhole is the perfect place for a refreshing dip, especially after cycling here along the 17-kilometre bike path from #AliceSprings. #seeaustralia #ntaustralia #redcentre #nature #travel(opens in a new tab)
Also, try sharing or creating a few memes(opens in a new tab). Memes are one of the most effective ways to send a message among the millennial generation and comedy is a lifesaver at the moment. If you can make people laugh, they are more likely to check out the rest of your profile. Added points for going viral!
It seems people are using different channels for different purposes. Twitter appears to be the go-to platform for sharing news stories and official information. On the other hand, Instagram is the favourite for uploading photos from past tours and helping people cultivate their daydreams of escaping their homes after quarantine is lifted. Facebook is a mixture of both, people have been alternating local news stories and government announcements with information about their tours and uploading promotional videos.
Here at Tourism Tiger, we are sharing as much information as possible. We have increased our posting activity with our new Quick Tips(opens in a new tab) short-form posts. It’s also important to keep up normal post scheduling, if you can, to keep to a routine and avoid unnecessary change.
- It’s important to consider the situation of your audience, people are bored and looking for entertainment. News stories are abundant online, so don’t share just news articles. Try to make them laugh or show them something different.
- Update your social media pages. There’s nothing worse than trying to choose a tour operator and checking out their social media only to find an out-of-date Instagram or Facebook page. What’s more, in Coronavirus times, people expect companies to keep them updated.
- Remind and inspire people to book trips when this is all over. It’s dawning on us that life is precious and as people have more time to daydream, take your opportunity to show them how great your tours are.
If you need any further tips on what platforms to use(opens in a new tab) or some guidance for the novices(opens in a new tab), check out our previous blog posts(opens in a new tab) or contact us(opens in a new tab)! We are always happy to point you in the right direction.
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