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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Monday, 30 September 2013 10:54

Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

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Now that our society has turned toward being on the Internet 24/7, business owners are in a position to get their information out there as quickly as stroking a single key on the keyboard. But hitting that key could mean bad things if it's going to post something that probably shouldn't be posted. So before you jump onto Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel you use, check out these five mistakes to avoid.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 04:03

Seven Super Effective Ways To Get More Leads

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Confused about what marketing to invest in? I don’t blame you. The marketing options out there are enough to make your head spin. Here’s a straight forward, plain speak list of some of my most proven marketing strategies that have got the biggest results for our private clients:

 1. Revamp your website so that it’s not just a pretty online brochure for your business–but an actual mini-marketing system that attracts new clients, pre-sells them on your services, and adds them to your marketing funnel. Hint: for maximum effectiveness your website should look nothing at all like your competitors. If it does, you’re making it very hard for your prospects to decide to do business with you, because you all look and sound alike.

 2. Send a direct mail campaign to targeted homes or businesses that fit your ideal client profile. Make it a multi-step campaign (to improve your response rate). Make a low barrier, irresistible offer with a deadline to respond by.

 3. Create an animated sales and promotional video about your business and write to your best clients asking if you can feature them in it (of course they will say yes and you’ll be able to get glowing testimonials from them). Then hand them a done-for-them campaign to make the video viral so they can send to their own clients, friends, and centers of influence. The viral campaign to their people makes them look terrific.

 4. Buy ads on Facebook, use some powerful, emotional laden copy that really connects with them and point them to a fan page with an irresistible offer in exchange for their email address.

 5. Invest in some ad space in a magazine read prolifically by your target market.  

 6. Network with other local business owners, or those who might not be your geographic market but who also service your target prospects. Create a strategic alliance and promote each others’ businesses. I’ve written extensively about this over the years and call it “piggy back marketing.” It’s one of the best and fastest ways to generate high quality leads for your business.

 7. Create four to six minute “how-to videos” and broadcast them virally with a list of all your keywords and add a link to your landing page in the description.

What strategies are you using to generate leads for your business? 

Adapted from: Written by Julie Guest, founder of The Client Stampede and author of The Only Business Book You'll Ever Need. 

Customers are taking complaints to social media as never before, and nervous organizations are struggling to respond. Most are doing it badly. People have been griping online for a long time, of course, but amplification tools now spread the message with breathtaking speed. With the help of hashtags, Facebook pages, and petition sites such as, one person's bad experience can explode into a global news story in less than a day—particularly if others have similar complaints.

Seven out of ten large companies have experienced a social media-based reputation hit during the past two years, and countless small businesses are buffeted by comments on Yelp, TripAdvisor and hundreds of other peer-review sites every day.

What should you do when customers attack online? You can't ignore them, but caving in carries other risks. Here are five common mistakes companies make in handling online critics.

1. Responding selectively. Once you start engaging openly with customers on Twitter or Facebook, you can't go back, so think first. Most companies still don't have the staff or processes in place to efficiently handle social media complaints. About forty-five percent of questions posed on Facebook go unanswered, according to Socialbakers. Many of those are critical comments that companies can't or don't want to deal with. SocialOps found that seventy percent of the companies it audited had deleted Facebook comments, a practice that can create more problems than it solves.

If you build a branded presence on social networks, you should post a written comment policy, then enforce it consistently. Fans and critics deserve equal attention. Most gripes can be effectively dealt with by simply showing receptivity, and critics often become promoters. One survey of seven hundred problem incidents in the airline, hotel, and restaurant industries found that one-quarter of customers' best memories actually began as problems. People complain because they care.

2. Not responding at all. Creating a Facebook Page or Twitter account is an invitation to converse. If all you do is post press releases and happy talk, you'll be viewed as a spammer. No one “likes” that. If you're not ready for two-way dialogue, then don't put your brand on Facebook. It isn't a federal requirement yet.

3. Responding erratically. You should have a target window for response times with limits at both ends. If you answer complaints too quickly, others will come to expect the same service. Are you prepared to give it to them? A good rule of thumb is a four-hour minimum and a 24-hour maximum response window. If you can move faster, great; but be aware that you may be setting a precedent, so add staff accordingly.

4. Cutting and running. Our instinctive reaction when confronted with a complaint is to dispatch it quickly and get the person out of our face. That typically means either apologizing or promising to “take your comments into consideration.” Neither is a good response.

People complain because they feel an injustice has been done. Most are looking for a receptive ear and a promise to address the problem. If you lead with an apology, it looks like you're not listening. That makes people really mad. By the same token, promising to think about it looks like a brushoff.

If you're really going to take a critic seriously, set a timeframe for a response—such as, “We'll post a follow-up here within two weeks”—then stick to it. By the way, “no” is a perfectly acceptable answer if you have a reason.

5. Appeasing. Coupons, freebies, and giveaways are never a good strategy unless they're accompanied by genuine regret. Once you set the precedent of buying off angry customers, you'll find yourself with a lot more angry customers. Everything gets shared these days.
Make-goods should be given on a case-by-case basis when it's clear that the situation merits it. If you're going to institutionalize appeasement, then apply the policy fairly and consistently. L.L. Bean, Lands' End, and Coach all promise no-questions-asked refunds or replacements. JetBlue distributes a flight voucher to any customer inconvenienced by a problem within its control. If you manage appeasement right, it's actually a competitive advantage.

The customer activism trend is only going to accelerate because people get better results on Twitter than they ever got from the Better Business Bureau. Active social media users usually prefer social channels to traditional customer support lines. Gartner Inc. has estimated that companies that fail to accommodate social support may see churn rates increase up to fifteen percent.

Every company has a few unhappy customers. If you set up shop in social networks, you're going to hear from them. Think hard about how you'll respond.

Adapted from:

Written by: Paul Gillin ( is an Internet marketing consultant and the author of several books about social media. His latest book, co-authored with Greg Gianforte, is “Attack of the Customers: Why Critics Assault Brands Online and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim” (CreateSpace, 2012). Gillin can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Monday, 29 July 2013 06:43

Make Your Marketing Fast

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In an age when consumers decide within seconds whether or not to abandon a website, marketers need to maneuver and adapt in real-time. Here are three ways to pick up the pace:

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