By Taz Bareham — 8 Mar 2012
It’s no secret that social media is a great way to promote your business – or should we say place to promote your business – because that’s where your customers are; social networks are their virtual hangouts. The problem is making sure you do it right. First of all, you need to commit to developing a sound understanding of:
Social networks know that users value an informative, engaging, and visually-stimulating experience. Status updates that show you are active in your community, combined with visuals that create a ‘feel’ for your brand, complement each other perfectly. They give people an idea of what you’re all about. Since your business is a tour or activity, there’s an opportunity to be more visual than many other businesses…take advantage of it!
Here are three examples of how to do it right on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, using examples of three tour or activity businesses:
@BodyMindLife Yoga Studio in Sydney has a great mixture of status updates. With just a glance at their Twitter stream you have a good feel of what their brand is about – it isn’t overly self-promotional and it’s run by humans:
They integrate three different kinds of tweets here:
Twitter is less focused on visuals than Facebook or Pinterest, since it’s more about giving short, timely updates. Still, you should take advantage of their recent update that integrates image-posting for accounts:
The kind of images chosen here work to humanize the brand by giving you a look into what goes on behind the scenes. You instantly feel like you have peeked into a day in the running of the studio.
SubAquatics provides scuba diving services and education. To increase credibility on their Facebook page, they have one recommendation top-right, and start their defining sentence with “40 years of scuba experience!”
Besides their exciting visual content (videos of diving through shipwrecks and photo albums), they share more mundane visuals of their product – but not in a way that is obviously promoting it. Instead, they phrase it in the context of lifestyle, so that you imagine yourself diving with it:
Another important development to note is Facebook’s ability to integrate with online booking systems, like Rezdy. Take advantage of this! Make sure the suppliers you use have easy integration with social media.
Because Pinterest is highly visual in nature, there is so much potential for tour and activity operators to get in on it. Hidden Secrets Tours use Pinterest boards effectively by choosing topics that are broad (books we love, other experiences we love, global visual inspiration), as well as those that appeal to niche communities:
Niche board topics like vintage, arts, and brooches are good to target because they’re so specific, and the people you attract will be passionate about them.
Make sure your social media accounts have elements which are educational, highly shareable and eye-catching. Focus more on how your products promote your audience’s lifestyle rather than the products themselves.
How many social networks have you created business accounts for? How effective do you find them? Let us know in the comments below.