Social media and a travel business – Ideas for the RTA!

One of the great things about YTB is that there’s not a wrong way to work your business.  You just have to try different things and figure out a marketing strategy that works to your strengths.  And, talking to others and asking questions is a great way to start figuring out your plan.  Last week, Gordon asked a great question regarding Facebook.  I’ve included our conversation here.  What other ideas would you add?  Get creative and post your thoughts in the comments!

 

Gordon: “Hi Caryn,
 Do you have any tips on setting up a business page on FB, making it look nice? I am trying to get more of my FB friends to “Like” my business and show them and their contacts the value of doing business with me.”

Caryn: “Hi Gordon! Setting up a business page with Facebook is a great way to spread the word about your business.  However, it’s not a small task.  You have to be dedicated to posting great content for your fans.  (Something I know you can do!)  With the new timeline features, you have some amazing real estate to grab attention.  Can I ask what side of the business you’ll be promoting?  In other words, are you promoting your travel business for people to book travel with you or are you thinking about marketing our Travel Program and other products as a Rep?  Let me know, and we’ll continue to discuss.  One word of caution, the timeline format, which allows you to choose a cover photo…  There are specific rules for that.  You can’t have any call to action, price or purchase information, or any type of contact info.  Meaning – Don’t put your web URL, email or phone number on that piece as it is a violation of Facebook policy.”

Gordon: “Thanks for that tip! I am promoting buying travel. I want to grow my team and I am working on that. Do you think promoting that I am looking for travel agents to join my team that I will pull in more travel customers too? My independent travel agency specializes in Honeymoon Registries, Group Travel and non-profit fundraising. I am trying to work with churches, non-profits to raise funds and have affordable travel solutions for their people. 
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! I have 800 plus people on FB friend list, but only 100 liking my business. I want to capture more!”

Caryn: “Hey Gordon! I think you’re doing it right.  I wouldn’t mix your Rep and RTA businesses.  Those are separate opportunities that need to be marketed separately.  The key is going to be content.  Keep posting content that will engage people, ask questions, and post content that people will want to share.  Particularly in travel, several of our vendors have Facebook pages with videos and photos you can reshare on your page.  With non-profit fundraising in particular, Carnival has a great fundraising program that I doubt many people know about. How about putting together a group to raise funds for the church youth group?  Maybe a marriage encounter with the pastor?  Then, ask them to share photos of their trip and recap how much money was raised for the youth group.  Get testimonials and post them on your page letting everyone know you are their travel professional of choice.  Another way to help grow your page, make sure that you’re telling your clients about it.  When you meet newly engaged couples, tell them to connect on your Facebook page.  (If you have some current clients with honeymoon registries, ask them for an engagement picture to announce on your page and tell people about their registry.) There are so many things that you can do.  Get creative.  Don’t be afraid to start conversations.  One more, if you know any area RTAs who have pages, ask them to help you get the conversation going by responding on your page, and then you do the same for them.  Sometimes if you can just get a few of your friends talking, the conversation will follow from potential customers.  I hope this helps you Gordon! Just remember to have fun!”

Remember to share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s discuss!

That’s Thursday’s Beat. If you liked it, share it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504115889 Gordon Rogers

    Caryn, thank you for all the great ideas! I appreciate it! Do we have any vendors other than Carnival that offer fundraising opportunities? I am looking for different options that I can offer churches and non-profits. Are there tour vendors for example that offer fundraising opportunities?
    Thanks again for all the help!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Smythe/100000897475601 Tom Smythe

      Hi Gordon,
         My name is Tom Smythe. I am  a RTA with YTB. I live in Fort Mill,SC. Check out
         StepsofPaul.gr.They offer Christian cruises as fund raisers for churches up to
          one hundred thousand dollars.Plan to talk to a church tomorrow. let me hear
          from you.  email tsmythe@comporium.net

    • YTBforYOU

      Hey Gordon! You’re welcome! I hope it helps you increase your business!  One of the great things about fundraising travel is that you don’t necessarily have to work with a vendor that provides it.  (Although, when you can it is smart! More money for an organization is always a great thing.)  And here’s why I say that – As a travel professional, you can adjust the
      price of the trip to include a donation.
      This is called an overcharge, and it’s a great way to increase money
      received by the fundraising group.  To do
      this, you’ll need to have it approved by the vendor and the appropriate
      paperwork must be filled out.  Our
      support department can help you locate this paperwork and walk you through the
      steps your first time as it varies by supplier.
      Once you learn the process, it’s really easy and a great fundraising
      initiative for the group.  And, some
      cruise lines will offer a matching contribution as you know.  You can find more info on this in First Class Training, too.  It’s in the “Finding your Niche” module. Great question! 

      • YTBforYOU

        One clarification – when I say work with a vendor that provides it, I mean provides a matching contribution such as Carnival.  Sorry! Just realized that was not very clear.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ETOIUK5JTQWZNO5TXFMQT35Q7M janet

    Hi Gordon I’m new to this and I’ also trying to get my travel business started. My name is Janet and if there any tips you can offer would help me please let me know..

  • http://www.facebook.com/wrhoe1 Wilhelmina Rhoe

    Great info.  I just heard a webinar today with similar info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Jackson/100000136222092 Angela Jackson

    Great info to adopt.  I have a business page with Facebook and still in the premature phases of getting my friends to like the page.  If I can adopt these same suggestions and apply them in my own way will that be ok?

    Another thing I have done is partnered with a classmate of mine who has his own business (2 separate entities).  What he does is promote any cruise I announce on his business page and website.  It’s how we support each other.

    Thanks

    • YTBforYOU

      Hey Angela! Way to work smart! Keep being creative and expanding on the ideas here.  Particularly with social media, there’s not one recipe for success.  It’s fluid and ever changing.  Work on being dynamic in what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to try different things.  Thanks for the comment Angela! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/martigoh Martha Gohring

    Thanks Caryn for the great tips.  I have one question.  You said it is illegal to post your phone number, but on my page, facebook has an option under my profile picture on my Page to add phone number.  Why would they have that option if it was against the rules?  I removed my number and now it says “Add phone number”.  My page is MG Travelwise.  Thanks

    • YTBforYOU

      Hey Martha! Great Question! When I’m referring to not displaying your business phone number, I’m only referring to having it on your cover photo.  Basically, Facebook is saying that you should display any pertinent business info like your URL and phone number in the about us section, and not in your cover photo.  So, add it back to about us.  I’m sorry for the confusion! Thanks for asking and allowing me to clear that up! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/martigoh Martha Gohring

    We have the greatest travel company in the world.  We have the most awesome support and Caryn you are part of that awesome.   Jeff Scott, Coach and Scott, WOW.  You must be working 24/7, just like our website!   Shortly we will be the #1 travel company.  We get better and better.  We are all blessed to be a part of this.  Who could ask for anything more!

  • http://www.fierceover50.com Julie Labes

    I have been using FB for my travel biz for the past 18 months at my FB page “Fierce Over 50″. Every day is a different subject (Mon-disability travel…Tuesday, cruises etc) It has been very popular. You have millions of potential clients/customers at your fingertips with Facebook. You can also join travel groups. ask questions, do a poll of favorite places visited. The possibilities are endless with Facebook

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-Pestana-Gonzalez/1029562224 Diana Pestana Gonzalez

    This is great check this out!!! “The Best Business in the Planet” for more information jus read the book ABC of Making Money on page 193!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-Pestana-Gonzalez/1029562224 Diana Pestana Gonzalez

    This is great check this out!!! “The Best Business in the Planet” for
    more information jus read the book ABC of Making Money on page 193!!!