Basics for Your Travel Social Media Strategy

According to a recent study by Sprout Social, travelers are turning to social media to influence them more than ever before. In fact, only 48% of those that used social media to research travel followed through with their original plans.

Blog-BasicsTravelSocial1 Basics for Your Travel Social Media Strategy

As a destination, you certainly rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, so this is a trend that you simply can’t ignore. What are you doing to take advantage of these trends? At Advance 360, we recommend a few places to begin.

Develop Goals

Without a headline, call to action, or supporting text, an ad is just a pretty picture. Any ad unit you craft must have a goal and a purpose before it’s created. If you seek an increase of 1.75% in revenue over the next quarter, draft advertising units for the social spaces that push your customers or visitors toward that goal. Or if you rather change the makeup of the visitors to your property, seeking to expand your footprint to new geographies? Social media’s audience targeting can help with that, too.

Craft Something Beyond the Click

It isn’t enough to have a great ad. You also need something to explore once you’ve gained the click. You earned that click – but you won’t earn it again unless there is value to the action you’ve enticed.

Be Useful

Serve up tips, tricks, and the unexpected, and curate it well. Four Seasons, the luxury destination properties that nearly everyone knows, saw a 1000% increase in daily average visitors to their site, using this kind of strategy on Pinterest.

Don’t Bite Off More than you Can Chew

If you can’t manage SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and a YouTube account, don’t go there. Take on only as much as you can, and then grow only once you’ve achieved success in that platform. Your audience will feel that you’ve diluted your identity and your product, and you probably won’t disagree while you’re feeling stretched too thin.

Monitor All, Measure, Repeat

Track everything. Google Analytics will help you see your work from ad to conversion. Manually analyzing metrics across platforms is time consuming and cumbersome. Instead, use the aggregating tools available to you to automate as much as you can, and make more impact.

83% of travelers trust recommendations from family and friends. Use the social space, where those conversations take place, to your advantage.

Honda Case Study

Introduction and Background

A Northeast Ohio Honda dealer committed to implementing a complete digital marketing approach, transitioning away from traditional media such as television and radio, as well as third-party lead providers. This shift took place over the last three years, and has resulted in the dealer moving from a 4th place position in regional market share to a #1 ranking starting in the summer of 2016 that continues through today.

The Outcome

This Honda dealer saw a 55% INCREASE in sales over the time period, a difference of 850 more units sold per year in a market where the manufacturer brand has seen flat sales growth.

The Strategy

They reached these results by turning their own website into a lead generation engine, seeing nearly 1,400 direct trackable marketing leads each month (450 website leads, 900 phone calls).

This commitment to a digital-first approach centered on the dealership’s owned assets (i.e. their website) is evident in these lead figures, but stems from dramatic increases in their site traffic:

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Site Visitors increased more than 100% over the last 3 years – from 5,750/month to 11,700/month

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Site Sessions increased more than 95% over the prior 3 years – from 9,800/month to 19,100/month

So how did all of this growth happen?

The Honda dealership adopted a holistic approach that emphasized multiple traffic sources that both generated traffic alone and magnified organic and direct traffic at the same time.

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SEM/PPC 135% + TRAFFIC GREW from 2,100/mo. to 5,000/mo.

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SEO/DIRECT TRAFFIC GREW 36% over the last 3 years – from 6,700/mo. to 9,200/mo.

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SOCIAL PPC TRAFFIC GREW FROM 2,600+ VIRTUALLY NOTHING PER MONTH TO 2,600+/mo

The shift in budgets, traffic sources, leads and sales didn’t happen overnight, and wasn’t the result of the dealership “flipping a switch.” Instead, it was an investment to try a different approach that kept yielding better results than what they’d previously done.