If you are like most Travel Professionals, you are overwhelmed by the constant updates and innovations being made to social media. It seems like just when you learn and get comfortable with a social media platform, along comes something else you have to learn, right?!
Well, you are not alone! It seem like we are communicating at warp speed these days and often times you might feel like you are throwing spaghetti against the wall, so to speak, to try to leverage your time on social media without getting caught up with who are what for dinner and the latest cute baby or dog picture!
What if we told you there was a social media platform that was all professional and amazingly laser-focused?What if you could keep all your conversations professional and find strategic partners and alliances to promote high end travel or get published in magazines for your specialty/niche?
Rest assured! This actually exists! It’s called LinkedIn! LinkedIn is the largest most powerful professional social media platform and arguably one of the most under-utilized by Travel Professionals. We do want to state for the record that Facebook is absolutely where you want and need to be to connect with your clients and/or future clients, but LinkedIn can help you grow your professional network, increase your exposure and offer you more business development ideas and opportunities than you may not even know what to do with!
Does this sound like something you would like? Here is what you need to know first:
1. Visit www.LinkedIn.com to get started
2. LinkedIn is based on the following principle: It is not about who you know, but about who knows you. The name of the LinkedIn game is to “connect” with as many people as possible. Don’t limit yourself to people you know – one of the biggest advantages of Linkedin is that you can connect with people whom you may never had the opportunity to connect with.
3. You will need to invest time into building your profile. Like most marketing efforts, you get what you put into it. So take some time to build a profile and then grow your network from that point.
TIP: LinkedIn is about YOU. Set your profile up under your name and not your business name. This is your time to put your best professional foot forward.
Here are a few ways Travel Professionals are using LinkedIn:
1. To connect with editors of local magazines to pitch the idea of writing a weekly/monthly travel column in a print or online publication with strong distribution channels
2. To forge strategic alliances with luxury Realtors, Jewelers, Car Dealers, etc. This can be a great lead generation sources.
3. To connect with travel industry suppliers that they may not have been able to connect with at a recent Trade Show or Travel Industry Event.
4. To connect with Meeting Planners to pitch incentive travel and/or meetings at sea and resorts via their Agency
5. To connect with Concierge Professionals or Directors of Sales for major hotels and resorts so their clients can get upgraded and receive additional amenities.
Ultimately, the best way to use LinkedIn is to grow your network. You can only be in so many places at once! LinkedIn allows your networking to be multiplied and the more people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them – the better chances you have for a result. Make a conscious effort to connect with people whom you genuinely want to add into your network and use the ABC rule: Always Be Connecting! Expand your reach and sphere of influence and you will undoubtedly expand your earnings!
Lastly, don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/meredithhill