TORONTO — They’re the biggest demographic the world has ever seen, and while they grew up with the Internet, they’re seeking out travel agent services in record numbers. Millennials are an opportunity not to be missed – but how do you get the leads?
Youth travel specialist Contiki offers up 7 tips for connecting with and generating booking from Millennial travellers – through social media, of course – in its latest outreach to the trade, ‘The Young Traveller’s Report by Contiki’.
From talking to talk to hashtags to Throwback Thursdays, here are 7 sales strategies straight from the #NoRegrets experts…
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
While the term ‘millennial’ is often applied to everyone in this generation, there are two different groups, notes Contiki. Gen Y are those born before 1994 and Gen Z, those born after 1995. Each group is different from one another from the way they consume information to travel preferences. Gen Y is typically more on Facebook and Twitter, while Gen Z is on Instagram and Snapchat – or whatever new social media platform is available.
2. TALK THE TALK
Millennials are extremely Internet-savvy – after all, Gen Y came of age with the Internet, while Gen Z has no concept of a world without the web. Social media especially is key. Even if you’re not the most socially inclined, it’s important to build your social media following and ‘talk the talk’ – it’s all about authenticity, because young travellers can smell a sales message from a mile away.
3. TRAVEL ON TWITTER
Always use #hashtags! They allow you to see conversations with a particular topic to engage. For example: #travel #traveltuesday #ttot (travel talk on Twitter) are all great places to start. Remember, don’t put any punctuation, symbols or spaces in the hashtag and use capital letters to emphasize multiple word hashtags such as #TravelToEurope. Emojis are always a great way to catch people’s attention and every millennial uses them – you’ll definitely be talking the talk.
When talking to young clients on any social media platform, Contiki advises agents to make sure to use beautiful and inspiring images such as epic shots of the Swiss Alps and YouTube videos. Millennials are visual creatures and are more impacted by a beautiful shot than words. Agents can access ready-to-use Contiki images via ContikiU.
5. THROWBACK THURSDAYS
Create a content calendar and plan ahead. Theme each day such as #TBT (Throwback Thursday) by sharing an old travel picture with a fun fact, or posting #traveldeals on a Monday. This will make your social media planning that much easier and more organized, says Contiki.
6. SHARE THE LOVE
“Now you need an audience for all of your catchy posts,” says the company. Invite friends and clients to your Facebook page and to follow you on Instagram and Twitter. “Go ahead and like other people’s pages or follow those with a significant following – they’ll be more likely to share the love back to you.” A surefire way to attract followers, says Contiki: host contests on your accounts with prizes. “Prizing doesn’t need to be extravagant – branded merchandise works just as well. You’d be surprised of how many people will clamor for free items!”
7. INCENTIVES WORK
Contiki advises agents to set themselves apart by adding a gift with purchase, “or highlight why a client should book with you versus someone else.” Talk about what you can offer and why a young traveller should trust you with their vacations over booking it themselves.