How travel brands can add flair to their social media strategy

Social media strategies come in all shapes and sizes and are being adopted by businesses from every industry imaginable. For businesses dealing with the public as opposed to solely private or corporate clients, a well-crafted social media strategy is integral to business success.

For those in the leisure and tourism industry, staying in touch with customers through online channels such as social media platforms and keeping them engaged via these portals can make a real difference to a brand's success. Not only does a fantastic social media strategy attract new customers, it can help to keep existing customers coming back for more.

But even the most innovative social media strategy can become stale after a while if it isn't updated or refreshed from time to time. Here are a few ways leisure and tourism businesses can ensure their strategy is kept fresh and engaging:

Let the customer do the work

Not only is this a time-saving approach for stretched marketing departments, but it appeals to the customer as well. Encouraging customers to share and create content for online sites may be daunting – it does mean consumers have some control over a business's social media output – but with 71% of 18 to 45 year olds frequently sharing images on social sites anyway, it makes sense to take advantage of this wealth of content by retweeting, sharing and favouriting.

Video and mobile are the future

The use of video is due to explode in 2016 as customers seek to experience as much of a brand as possible before committing to a sale, and video lets them experience what it's really like to stay or work with a brand. Many social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all incorporated video services, so there's no excuse not to create such content.

But when it comes to videos posted on traditional websites businesses need to make sure it can be viewed on mobiles as well as desktops, as the number of users accessing such information via their mobile devices is increasing.

Utilise recommendations and feedback

This again links to the first point about utilising the content created by customers, but instead of opting to share just visual images created by them businesses should seek to share authentic reviews and recommendations, too. Inform customers via social media that you not only value their contribution but their honest feedback as well, and the majority will be willing to share their experience with others.

And there's no need to be afraid – only 10% of participants to a survey said they would use social media to post a negative experience, and 54% said they would visit or stay at a venue based on positive social reviews. So sharing this information can be incredibly lucrative, and needn't be scary at all.

For hoteliers and those specialising in the travel and tourism industries, taking account of consumer needs whilst responding to emerging online trends will help to keep any social media strategy fresh and full of flair.

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