How does social media bring in new leads and boost sales volume? How does social media compare to more conventional marketing methods? And is social media a young person’s game? Anne-Marie Marais, co-founder of Willow Strategic Marketing Inc. (willowstrategy.com) – a digital marketing agency that enables clients to reach their desired target audiences through ‘continuous’ marketing including content, social media, newsletter and search marketing – talks about maximizing social media’s potential.
How does social media bring in new leads and boost sales volume?
Marais: “It’s about having a continuous conversation going with potential and current customers. From creating unique content and marketing that content through sharing and engaging via social media, SEO, SEM and newsletters, the potential customer will likely lead to an actual customer.
“It use to be that you advertised so that customers were seeing you everywhere, like TV, billboards, digital ads and on radio. Now it’s about building a relationship and engagement through continuous marketing.”
How does social media compare to more conventional marketing methods?
Marais: “One of the most important ways to use social media as an effective tool within the travel provider world is for customer service and promotion. From airlines to hotels, they are using social media to more effectively manage their customer service in a much more timely manner.”
Is social media a young person’s game?
Marais: “The over 40 demo is definitely increasing their usage of social media, especially Facebook. I’m constantly hearing people say that the younger demo is decreasing their time on Facebook because of the increase of their parents, and older, generation is now spending more time on Facebook. This analogy is being used: ‘You don’t want to be going to the same bar as your parents’.
“Also with the increase in tablet usage by the 40+ demographic, there too is an increase in the social media usage.
“Certain social media platforms may be a young people’s game, but with the right targeting on the right platforms, travel agents can definitely find the audience they are looking for on social media. Through trial on various platforms, they will be able to find the audience and how they should be talking to them and engaging with them.”
This article appears in Sphere, Travelweek’s monthly e-newsletter for home-based agents.
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