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Has Facebook stopped showing your posts to your followers?
You’re not alone. Many tour operators are now struggling to figure out how to make FB work – but what if you could change just one thing in your strategy and improve your sales just from doing that?
To help you with it, we asked 5 tour & activity marketing experts the following question:

What’s the one change tour operators can make to their strategy which will increase their sales from Facebook?

Want to see what they think? Just keep on reading.

‘There’s no recipe for success for tour providers on Facebook. Some companies have hundreds of fans while others have tens of thousands.
That said, the easiest thing that tour operators can do to make better use of Facebook is to make full use of all the analytics and reporting tools available for business pages.
There are so many “social media experts” out there that try to proselytize one time of day or one piece of content that performs the best on Facebook. But the great thing is that now, Facebook has armed all of us with our own data sets in the Insights section of our profiles.
That means tour providers should be experimenting and posting content as strategically as possible according to what results work best for their audience, and not adhering to some generalized tip from an expert.
You are the social media expert when it comes to your fans — so long as you learn with every post!’

Julia Barrero is the head of marketing at Xola(opens in a new tab), a booking and marketing system for tour & activity operators | Like Xola on Facebook(opens in a new tab).

‘Besides the obvious of having a reservation system that directly integrates with Facebook to allow online reservations, the other change is to develop a routine that encourages participants to engage about their experiences with your company.
The end goal is to get a customer that just had a great experience with your service to post or acknowledge a complimentary report of their day.
An easy way to get started is to post QUALITY pictures to your business facebook page on a frequent basis. Then encourage your guests to visit your business facebook page to see and tag the images. By “tagging” the image it will appear in their newsfeed so all their friends and connections will see it.
It is important that the images are of good quality. People are excited to share a good picture of themselves with their Facebook world that shows them doing something interesting, hardcore, funny, in a beautiful place, etc.
There are other facets that need to be included, but starting with quality images is an easy place to start!’

Craig Langer is the CEO at The Flybook(opens in a new tab), a reservation management system for the outdoor industry | Follow The Flybook on Twitter(opens in a new tab).

‘The #1 most important thing tour operators can do to capitalize on Facebook is to put the free Facebook Custom Audience tracking pixel on their website, which will give them mountains of free market research data.
This is particularly true if they are doing SEO or PPC, as these pixels allow them to run highly targeted, super inexpensive Facebook ads to the 98% of website visitors that do not make a purchase the first time they visit a website.’

Chris Laub is an online marketing consultant and helps adventure travel companies sell more tours and packages | Visit Chris’ website(opens in a new tab).

‘As a tour operator, you probably work your Facebook page like no other (and if you aren’t, you definitely should be).
Facebook is a great place to attract prospects and get them to book with you. But why losing sales by forcing them to click through to your booking page when you can have it as an app on your Facebook page?
The Rezdy Facebook app(opens in a new tab) allows customers to book directly from your Facebook page so they don’t have to leave your Facebook page. They can message their friends to confirm how many seats and extras they want on every step of the booking process.’

Duncan Waterman is a Partnerships Manager at Rezdy(opens in a new tab), where he helps tour & activity operators sell their tickets online | Follow Rezdy on Twitter(opens in a new tab).

Social tends to be a magnifier of booking traction rather than a straight addition.
E.g.: if you do 500 bookings a month, it may make you move to 505, but if you do 50 bookings a month, it won’t take you to 55.
Hence, the one thing you should be doing is spending time on the low hanging fruit so you get the traction in the first place:

  • great website
  • big images
  • tech capability to work with leading online travel websites
  • product operationally that has low cutoff (e.g. being able to book on the day, rather than cutting off at 2 days notice)

Once you have that all done, THEN social, including Facebook, can be where you can invest time.

Alex Bainbridge is the CEO of TourCMS(opens in a new tab), a bookings management & distribution system for tour operators | Follow him on Twitter(opens in a new tab).

Thanks to all of our wonderful experts! The quality of the responses here was excellent, and I’m proud to have been a part of this. Thanks goes also to Ludy, our Content Manager, for putting this together.

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