Build & Engage Facebook Audience Using Simple Techniques
In our previous post we discussed the best practices for setting up your Facebook business page. What next? The next step is to start building your audience and keeping them engaged. Here are some simple steps to help you do just that.
How should I start building my audience and who should be my audience?
Your aim undoubtedly is to drive traffic to your Facebook business page and eventually to your business. Click on Build Audience, upper left on your admin page, to import contacts from your existing accounts and invite your Facebook friends to come visit. Increasing your likes is, of course, a nice goal to have but the main focus should be to tap into that set of people with travelling interests. You may be able to generate a good amount of likes but the odds are that a sizeable number of those visitors are not really interested in your tour or worse still, hate travelling. You are then fighting a losing battle!
Start out by building brand advocates, mainly clients who have already experienced your incredible tours, probably by booking through your holiday system. You can use the review feature on your page. Get clients to post their reviews and ratings as part of your tour social media marketing. Send emails requesting them to do so. You should look to increase and improve your ratings more than ever since prospective travellers have come to rely significantly on online reviews. Reviews by fellow tourists can make or break travel plans.
You could also provide a link to your Facebook page on your website. Allow people to share, like, post or comment from your website. Facebook has quite a few plugins you could use for this.
And how do I keep my audience engaged?
This is perhaps the most important question. Targeted activity (posts, events etc.) not just helps in keeping the existing followers interested, it also helps in building new ones.
Let’s put your Facebook business page activities into 2 broad buckets:
- Timeline posts
- Events, contests, quizzes, sweepstakes, deals, offers etc.
Let us discuss both.
What should I post?
The first thing is to know who your audience is. Once you know that, your goal is to post stuff that they are interested in, something that will keep them engaged.
While posting images of your tour is a no-brainer, you can still spice it up. Your tour marketing imagery should give your audience a virtual experience. Post enticing photos of locations, scenery, buildings, trails, eateries and everything else on your tour. You could add historical tidbits or fascinating facts along with these images. Throw in a few interesting well-made videos of what your clients have to say about you, funny incidents, or experiences.
While this is the very least that you must do, you can also engage your audience in much more ways. Here are some examples:
- If you are a scuba diving operator, your audience (people who would want to follow your page) is most likely a diving enthusiast. Apart from regular photos of your dives, you can engage your followers by posting useful & interesting information about diving, best dive sites in the world and so on.
- Similarly, if you take cooking classes, regular posting of interesting recipes and information about world cuisine are some good starting points.
Here are some other cool tips for your tour social media marketing :
- Make sure that there are enough photos out there of happy waving customers. Better still, tag them to get yourself a couple of brand advocates. You could also share some of the posts or pictures posted by clients.
- Why not post photos of your tour guides and tell your Facebook audience a little about them? It creates a sense of familiarity and is an opportunity for you to let potential clients know that they are in safe hands. You could use gists of the info already up on your tour booking platform.
- Cross-promote other related businesses associated with you, in your neighbourhood. Show some love. It will go a long way in helping you connect with each other’s audiences and grow together.
- If you plan to hold any special tour or fixed departures, then post it as events. Also, don’t fail to use your milestone feature. Completed ten years of successfully running your tour? Post it.
A Facebook business page also allows you to create custom tabs. This helps users know the kind of content you have and helps the user navigate your page easily. Visit developers’ page to get started.
What about events, contests, deals & offers?
These will be less frequent than your timeline posts and should be aimed at building excitement and participation on your page as well as tour booking platform.
There are a number of things that you could do – contests, special deals and offers, sweepstakes etc. Here are some nice case studies of businesses using events on their Facebook page.
Lay’s (the wafers brand) in its attempt to crowdsource a new flavour, started an extensive campaign, encouraging people to submit their flavour ideas to win a whopping $1 million prize money. The contest has already seen over a million entries and the results are to be announced at the end of this July 2014. Final four flavours will be selected and made available at retail stores, after which the public can vote for them. The last time this contest was conducted, votes were registered on the Facebook page and comments on the flavours were encouraged. The finalists also took to Facebook to reach out to their friends and contacts. Lay’s thus effectively used their Facebook business page and gained the personal connections of contestants. Social media marketing at its best.
The ongoing Traveler photo contest open till 30th June 2014, has seen some amazing entries, all of which are posted on Facebook. National Geographic travel with two million likes, looks to expand its popularity through this contest and encourages people to rate photos, based on which, the viewer’s choice winner will be decided.
Page Yourself has a few interesting apps to put up quizzes, deals, etc. on your Facebook page. You can check it out for ideas for your own tour marketing. And, for the management of all the tours that come in through this channel, you can use the Vacation Labs booking engine.