Imagine targeting your ideal client quickly, effectively and affordably. Seems pretty good? Even better, it’s right under your nose.
It’s called Facebook.
Digital media expert Adrian Brijbassi is a strong proponent of using Facebook to build your business. Brijbassi is the managing partner and editor of Canadian consumer travel and culture website Vacay.ca (over 100,000 visits per month) and VacayNetwork.com, the online travel magazine. Together they have 3,500 friends on Facebook.
Brijbassi believes you should market through Facebook because, as he puts it, “It’s where your customers are and it allows for engagement with your product, word of mouth buzz and provides insights into what your most popular products are.”
Even if you don’t have a personal Facebook page, he suggests you have a business one. It’s easy to sign up (just go to Facebook.com – it’s a slightly different process from a personal page signup as there are more analytics).
You can even have more than one FB business page: not a bad idea if you have more than one target audience. For example, you can have pages based on your niche (‘Wine-tasting vacations’) and another by your location (‘Red Deer’s Favourite Travel Agent’). Specificity is very important based on what potential customers are going to be searching for.
How often should you post? Brijbassi suggests a minimum of five times and a maximum of 10 times a week. Programs such as Hootsuite allow you to create multiple posts at one time yet stagger the timing of their posting. You can also ‘Schedule’ content on Facebook so you can write a week’s worth of posts in one sitting and designate each one to publish at a specific date and time in the future.
If at all possible include a visual as they are hugely important (video even more than still) as your views will increase with visuals. You can link visuals from, for example, a tourist board YouTube page –da but don’t forget to obtain permission from a tourist board or tour operator to use their video. Even better: if you can, post your own videos.
Next month we’ll discuss how to build your followers – which means clients – which means business!
Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, Lynda says she “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.