by Lori Hardegree, Magical Memories Travel
Facebook has become a staple of most of our lives. With more than 1 billion (with a B!) users worldwide, it’s become a go-to source for connection and information for a huge number of people. Did you know the average person checks their Facebook news feed
about 7 times per day? With all of this happening, it’s become pretty much imperative
for your business to have a presence on Facebook somehow.
Like most travel professionals, I spent quite a bit of time confused and frustrated by Facebook and was starting to wonder if it was even worth the effort. Every email I sent to clients said “like us on Facebook” at the bottom and I spent all this time posting to my agency page but not only were the number of likes not growing, but the people who had liked the page weren’t interacting with it at all. Sound familiar?
When I made a commitment to seriously growing my business, I decided that Facebook was one of the vehicles I would use to make that happen so I devoted myself to finding a way to make it work for me. It was very clearly working for many other brands, so why couldn’t I do the same? Fast forward 24 months and Facebook is a major source of business for Magical Memories Travel. On an average week we typically book between 3 and 7 vacations for people who say they found us through Facebook.
Here are a few tips to help you establish your business presence on Facebook:
1. Stop using your personal Facebook profile to market your business.
2. Social media is all about connection. Stop selling and start connecting!
Even with using a business page, it’s still about connection with the people you’ve attracted to your page. Remember people do business with those they know, like and trust. Let them get to know you! Share some of your life with them. Post information relevant to them other than your services. Post travel info without saying “contact me for a free quote” on every post. You are building a connection with them and still reminding them that you are the “go-to girl” when it comes to your travel niche. Social media is never the place for a hard sell.
3. Show your face!!!
People connect with people, not with logos. Unless your agency’s Facebook page is well established as the brand already, you will want to use your photo as your profile image. Seeing your face associated with your posts helps to build that know, like and trust connection. Posts made with a profile photo that is a headshot image where your face is clearly visible typically generate more engagement than those with a logo. In fact, you may want to consider having your business name display as either your name or your name and your business name. Many of your clients probably know you by name more readily than they do by your agency name. Remember, the name of the game is connection and people are on social media to connect with PEOPLE, not businesses.
4. Be consistent
This applies both to your message and “voice” and to your posting schedule/routine. You want to make sure that you are putting forth the same image everywhere your clients can find you. On your web site, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus and in face to face meetings. If you have mixed messages, people will sense that you are not being genuine and authentic and nothing destroys trust faster than that! You also want to be consistent in your posting. Showing up regularly in front of your “fans” increases that connection and will encourage them to interact with your page.
5. Don’t forget to be SOCIAL!
Post often and be sure to come back and interact with your fans when they comment. Don’t just like their comments and move on, speak to them! Ask a follow up question, thank them for commenting, respond to something they’ve said. Be friendly. Use their first name when you reply to them. A big mistake a lot of travel professionals make is to schedule all of their posts in advance and never go back to read what their fans are saying in reply. The more you interact, the stronger the connection!
Facebook can be a great tool for building your business, but just like everything else you work at it! If you’ve been struggling to make Facebook work for your business, make sure to join us on the tomorrow’s GIFTE “Proof Facebook Works” webinar. I’ll be sharing lots of tips from my experience using Facebook to generate new leads and travel bookings in my business.