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Education resource for the group travel supplier

 


Wednesday, 25 July 2012 08:08

Social Media: Here Today, Here Tomorrow

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Remember when e-mail marketing started, they said, direct mail is going to be a thing of the past. But even now, catalogs, donation requests, credit card offers, and local business promotions still show up in the mailbox. Direct mail is not dead.

Now they’re saying social media is going to decimate e-mail marketing, but it won’t. It also won’t harm direct mail, but social media is here to stay. So what does it mean to your business or the business for which you work? Answer this question: Who are your clients and do they use social media? Your travelers are mostly matures and Baby Boomers (student tour companies not included) and they are on Facebook.

Based on travel statistics from U.S. Travel Association, Baby Boomers and matures make up 57 percent of leisure travelers. You could go look at a motorcoach tour, a cruise, or visit an airport, and know this figure is correct.

According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and other social media is 65-plus with 100 percent growth and 50 to 64 with 88 percent growth in 2009.

If you are not a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest user or only use social media a little bit, start using it more, or get someone in your office who is involved in marketing to do it. Look at interactions between users, examine the advertising, see what your competitors are doing, see what companies you admire are doing. Being that Facebook is the most popular of the social media sites, you should start there.

Set up a company Facebook page. Facebook will provide you with help to get started. Ask your grandson, he probably knows. Think of the information you want to share, and be creative. If you are a hotel, post great images and talk about what is cool around your hotel. Operators, post pictures of clients on tours, and fun facts.

Engage your followers, friends, etc. Ask questions, have surveys or offer free travel advice.

Start at the pace that is right for you. Social media should not dominate your marketing budget. If you do not have a lot of cash on hand, start slow and build up over time. Find ways to track progress and ask customers to like or follow you.

Click here for more tips on expanding your business using social media.

Source: Eric Gordon is the founder of Beyond Times Square 

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