We're pretty active on social media (who isn't nowadays?!); but when it comes to maintaining a business presence on such platforms it can be incredibly difficult to find the line between sounding professional, and sounding too personal.
But with social media sites now more popular than ever, it is essential businesses from every industry to get it right. For example, 72% of internet users in the US are active on Facebook; on YouTube, more than 100 hours of video is uploaded every minute; and sites such as Instagram and Twitter engage millions of users on a daily basis.
With figures like these, social media cannot be ignored. So what can the travel industry do to maintain a presence that generates engagement, excitement and (hopefully) more business?
Divert interaction achieve business goals
This may sound heartless, but this is one of the key differences between personal and professional social media sites. If someone expresses an interest in going travelling on social media, create and steer the conversation towards the certain products or services your business can offer.
Always be polite and friendly in these interactions, however, as social media is a very public space, emphasis should be placed on building an engaged community that is active and friendly – not necessarily on gaining as many followers as possible.
Be authentic and creative when it comes to sharing
While there is a time and a place for sharing memes or amusing anecdotes from others, what people on social media really crave is authenticity and creativity – particularly from the companies they follow. Always try to emulate the tone and style of a business on social media and not just in face-to-face interactions with customers; consistency with this helps to breed authenticity on what can be considered superficial sites.
When it comes to the actual content, be sure to keep it creative and relevant. Blogs and articles should be written by people with an understanding of the business but also don't be afraid to share images and reviews from happy customers; this again builds engagement and will help achieve business goals.
Use multiple platforms and data-driven insights
Finally, be sure to maximise your online presence by using multiple sites, but (and this is crucial) only those relevant to the company. We have a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ but whilst Instagram and Pinterest are highly popular sites, for us to have a presence on these may be considered contrived.
If you're not able to utilise a platform effectively or regularly, then it's best to concentrate efforts onto those sites most likely to garner a positive response.