With billions of users worldwide, social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. And talking about social networks, Zuckerberg’s is by far the most popular. So why not selling tours with Facebook help?
In fact, that’s not something new. Nowadays having a business profile is the standard in digital marketing. If your business doesn’t have one, you are leaving money on the table.
The question is, are you using this platform the right way as a tour operator?
You know, tourism is a sector with its own peculiarities when we talk about digital marking and online sales.
For this reason we have prepared this short guide. It’ll assist you in creating an effective plan to sell tours, activities and attractions with the help of Facebook.
After the TikTok boom you may be thinking, who needs Facebook for social media marketing? The fact is, Facebook is still relevant and I can prove it.
To begin with, 2.7 billion people use Facebook every month. You didn’t expect it, did you?
All those users spend on average almost one hour per day on this social media. That means a one-hour window for your brand to be noticed by your ideal customer!
It’s not for nothing that 95.8% of marketers believe their Facebook efforts pay off.
Looking at the travel industry, 76% of leisure travelers use Facebook for travel-related activities. These are really exciting data for travel brands, don’t you think?
You should be convinced by now that this is the place to be for tour operators. But what is the best approach for selling tours using Facebook? This is what we are going to see next.
Having a clear idea of who is your target customer is the first step for an effective Facebook marketing plan. This is the basis of your selling strategy and will guide all your efforts inside this social network.
Based on your ideal customer profile you will choose the best cover image for your page, create a compelling description of your business, plan what type of posts to share, define the tone of your texts, and many other aspects of your page’s communication.
Once you are familiar with your buying personas, time to set your goals and define your metrics.
Those are extremely important for your success. If your metrics are underperforming and your results are poor, maybe you need to tweak your strategy.
Examples of goals:
Examples of metrics:
After carefully planning your presence on Facebook, you are ready to create your business page.
If you are using your personal profile to promote your business I highly recommend you to create a business page on Facebook.
The main reason is that a Facebook Business Page makes it easier for people to discover and interact with your brand. Don’t worry, creating one is simple and free. So, hands-on and have your page set up 🙂
On your page, add all the information your customers are looking for:
Another advantage of the business page is the access to Page Insights. With this tool, you can analyze key data that indicates if your content strategy is working or not.
When creating the copy for your Facebook Business Page make sure to optimize it for the keyword or keywords that are most relevant to your business.
If you are selling bike tours in Paris, the keyword “bike tours in Paris” should be present in the About section.
Also, try to fill out all the fields in the page info. This will help you get found by users.
One last thing, make sure the following points are clear in your business description: who you are, what you do, for whom, and how to book a tour or activity with you.
Take Walks Facebook Page as a good example. This is their page’s about section.
As you can notice, they have a complete description of their business. By reading it, their audience knows exactly if the tours they offer suites them, and what to do in order to book a tour.
Facebook is a place where users not only share their travel experiences but also search for inspiration for their next trip.
Travel brands can take advantage of this and leverage sales by enticing the wanderlust of their audience. And there is nothing better to do that than using images and videos.
This type of content is very appreciated by the Facebook algorithm, leading to better engagement than other formats. So use this in your favor and make sure to have plenty of visuals in your publishing calendar.
One tip, avoid using stock images. Instead, take your own photos and make your own videos. You can also ask guests for that. User-generated content can be a gold mine for quality material to promote your business.
If you check Intrepid Travel page on Facebook you will come across different posts of their guests sharing their experience together with a picture.
As you can see they are mixing a social proof of their services together with amazing user-generated content. I call that killing two birds with one stone.
This not only boosts your views but also gives a taste of how is the on-site experience. For that purpose, Facebook has a tool called Facebook Live.
If you are short on money, you can use a mobile to broadcast your tour. If you have a budget, I would recommend you investing it in professional material. That is a microphone, a gimbal and a camera. Just keep in mind that you need internet access during the entire itinerary.
Organic posts are great to generate engagement, brand awareness and leads. On top of that, it’s free to post!
Unfortunately, over the past years their reach is on the decline. As the end of 2020 the average reach for an organic Facebook post is 5.2% compared to 7.7% in 2019.
To make sure your best content will reach as many potential customers as your budget allows, use Facebook Ads.
Facebook paid campaigns are very flexible regarding ad types and goals. As a tour operator, opt for ads that showcase your experiences through images and videos.
Also, promoting last-minute offers might be something interesting to do using paid campaigns. This way you can fill up empty seats few days before a tour.
Another great advantage of paid campaigns is the audience targeting functionality. Facebook Ads filters can limit who sees your ads by demographics, interests, behaviors and more. Use it smartly and you will save a lot of money.
Tip: Prepare different versions for the same ad and start your campaign with a limited budget. This way you test the ad’s content and audience before increasing the investment.
Remember the metrics that you have defined when creating your strategy? You can do their follow-up using Facebook Business Suite.
This platform comes along with your Facebook Business Page. Basically, it’s a hub where you can control all the content posted on Facebook and Instagram. There you can also manage your Facebook Ads campaigns, receive notifications and get insights about your audience.
It’s highly recommended to check the Page Insights report in your Business Suite. It will give you an overview of how your posts are performing and help you understand your audience’s behavior.
Focus on the content that generates more views, interactions, and most important, bookings!
In case your engagement is high but booking numbers are low, maybe you are attracting the wrong audience to your page.
Checking this is easy. Go to the Audience tab inside the Insights report and get the information about the age, gender and location of your followers.
If the majority of your audience has a different profile than your target customer, time to rethink your content strategy.
Putting all the steps above into practice will certainly help you selling tours with Facebook. However, there is always something extra you can do to improve your results.
How about adding a chatbot to your Messenger and an action button on your page?
With more than 1.3 billion monthly users, Facebook Messenger is definitely a popular communication channel. So, why not using it as a bridge between your brand and your customers?
The point is, taking care of all the requests manually is time-consuming. Especially when you start receiving lots of queries after implementing your Facebook marketing strategy.
The solution? Add a chatbot to your Messenger.
A chatbot is nothing more than an automated messaging software that uses AI to converse with people. In other words, it will interact with your audience without the need for human supervision.
That means you will save time and money. In fact, its benefits go beyond. A chatbot can do the following:
Of course, nothing can replace a real customer agent, but you can avoid a lot of noise by using such a system.
Facebook has a built-in call to action button that you can place on your Business Page. Make the most of it by adding a link that is aligned with your business goals.
A good practice for tour operators is to use this action button with the CTA “Book Now“. By clicking on it your customers will be redirected to your tour page so they can book directly with you.
That’s the case for Gray Line Iceland. Their action button redirects straight to their website where visitors can choose and book a tour.
If you offer multiple tours or activities, you can create a Linktree. This way you can place different links inside one root link giving customers more booking options. Check out Orioly Linktree for a live example of how this tool works.
To learn how to place an Action Button on your page, read this fast guide.
Selling tours with Facebook help is something tour operators should definitely consider doing. This social media is still popular and has no sign of weakening with billions of monthly users.
In order to increase your bookings with Facebook, you need to get to know your target customer, create an optimized business page, develop a strong content strategy and do the follow-up of your metrics.
For a complete digital marketing strategy, I strongly recommend you to download our Comprehensive Guide on Digital Marketing in Tourism for 2021. There you will learn about other online channels to announce your tours and how to increase your direct sales online.
on October 1, 2021
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