Just what can a travel brand do with social media?

Here are a few thoughts to spark inspiration and evoke conversation. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

Manage your brand and image

  1. Listen for mentions of your brand.
  2. Crisis communication.
  3. Uncover and get to know the influencers of your brand.
  4. Listen when no one is talking.

Gather industry intel

  1. Listen to how ‘the other guys’ are doing it.
  2. Pay close attention to the language of your target audience.
  3. Use social media as a means to research the market.

Build a community

  1. Foster interactive safe spaces where fans and friends can comment and engage.
  2. Tell your story through a corporate blog.
  3. Find personal connections and engage.
  4. Identify with your customers.
  5. Take advantage of user-generated content such as pictures, videos, and guest posts.

Create a Peer to Peer environment

  1. Initiate social recommendations versus simply giving them.
  2. Provide space for a forum or facilitate a tweet chat.
  3. Don’t ignore the customer review.
  4. Encourage and lead in crowd sourcing.

Be fun and rewarding

  1. Create Facebook apps such as location-based maps, quizzes, and games.
  2. Loyalty reward programs just for ‘liking’ your page will be seen and shared by friends of your fans.
  3. A Social Media VIP program is a great way to reward your biggest fans.
  4. Competitions with prizes like airfare or a sunny getaway will get lots of traction and shares when done well.
  5. Check-ins on apps such as Foursquare and Yelp are fun and useful.

Stand out and be noticed

  1. Instagram pictures shared by your guests and staff alike give you a personal and visual touch.
  2. Create compelling YouTube videos.
  3. Organize pin boards on Pinterest of experiences you offer.
  4. Use SEO to ensure you get the most and best traffic to your site.

Provide exceptional customer service via social media

  1. Respond to customer service issues as they come up.
  2. Recognize and respond to inquiries using the platform your customers prefer.
  3. Uncover your brand evangelists.

Make money

  1. Utilize a listening platform for sales & lead generation.
  2. Use Twitter to post last-minute deals and sell off otherwise vacant spots on trips or rooms in your hotel.
  3. Use Twitter and Facebook to push special promotions that you can easily track and manage.
  4. Implement a paid campaign or take out an ad on Facebook.
  5. Use keyword searching/targeted listening to find would be travelers who are looking for the very service you offer and strike up a conversation.

Often we tend to complicate strategy and overthink the must-dos.

It’s helpful to take a step back, and simplify our plan of attack.

This post was contributed by Jenn Seeley. Jenn is a Community Engagement Specialist at Radian6 specializing in the world of travel. What that really means, is she monitors the happenings in travel and tourism where social media is concerned, watching for industry trends, and creating helpful content to share with an awesome community of professionals. You can read more of her content here and connect with her on Twitter.