In the travel industry, showing your customers that you are reputable and can be trusted is essential.

Proving your credibility is crucial in any sector, of course, but travellers harbour unique concerns about travel brands that need to be calmed before they make a purchase. Given recent events, how can blame you them for being especially apprehensive about hitting the 'Buy' button?

Only a couple of months have passed since budget travel firm Lowcost Holidays went bust, leaving holidaymakers thousands of pounds out of pocket.

The collapse might still be in travellers' minds next year, making them seek out the most reliable companies to travel with.

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So, then, now's the time to put the hard graft into proving your travel firm's reputation. With three-quarters of consumers now relying on social networks to guide purchase decisions – according to an ODM Group study – it's clear that if you want to increase trust with your fans and followers, social media should be your first stop.

Social Media Examiner has come up with a number of ways to protect your business's reputation with social media, which we think will go a long way to increasing consumer confidence in your travel brand:

1. Keep your comedy clever

Humour is an essential part of most brands' social media strategy, as it has the power to make your business appear more accessible and more likeable. However, humour can prove to be a risk – an unfunny or offensive joke can make your followers question everything they thought they knew about your brand. So keep your comedy clever – ask someone if you're unsure whether a post is appropriate.

2. Proofread your posts

Social media is meant to be 'in the moment', with users posting their thoughts as they come to them – it's part of its appeal. But, it's a little different for brands. They have to be more considered, composing posts that are relevant to their business, which have been fact- and spell-checked. Errors in your social media posts will give your followers the impression you're slapdash. Not to mention it can prove wholly embarrassing.

3. Remain active, all the time

For travel brands that get regular engagement with their posts, it's important that they don't leave their followers waiting. We'd advocate that you have somebody running your social media accounts all day, every day, but if you don't, you still need to give the impression you do. Consumers want immediate answers to their problems, and the longer you leave an issue unresolved, the worse it is for your reputation.

4. Search for duplicate accounts

Such is the way with social media, people have a habit of creating 'fake' or duplicate pages, of both brands and individuals, which serve to damage the reputation of that person or business. Generally, the more successful and well-known a brand is, the more fake pages they'll encounter. Some duplicate pages manage to garner enough followers to fool both users and Google into thinking it's an authentic account. Therefore, it's crucial to do regular searches for your brand and report those pages which are not of your creation.

Download our free guide to social media for more insights on how to give your travel business leverage by making the most of the platform.

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