How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

If you run a tour and activity company in a particular area, and you don’t have a Facebook page, you are missing out on a big opportunity.

More than half of the population of the United States has a Facebook profile now — and those people are using Facebook to plan their next vacation. It’s not uncommon to hop on Facebook and see a status from a friend that says “Heading to Paris next month, what should I go see?”

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image tour operator marketing facebookHow Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

Facebook is a cheap (as in, free) way to connect with your customers, generate buzz and increase your profits.

In 2011,

  • more than 51% of travel brands that had a Facebook presence noted that they had an increase in business that year.
  • Just about half of the travel brands on Facebook found that their bookings increased because of their presence on the large social networking site, and
  • 71% of travel brands on Facebook found that they had better engagement and conversation with their customers.

This is an opportunity to hear directly from customers, to build excitement about what you have to offer and ultimately grow your business into the 21st century.

Facebook Page Essentials for Tours and Activities

You will want to make sure your Facebook page looks professional and provides valuable information to those who are looking to connect with you.

Cover Photo & Profile Picture

To start, add a cover photo and a profile picture.

Your cover photo is the main image that customers will see when they click on your page, and it spans the length of the browser. Choose a high resolution image that gets across a message about your business. If you provide tours of San Francisco, perhaps a cover photo of the Golden Gate Bridge taken on one of your tours is a good choice. It should be attractive and interesting, inspiring the customer to dig deeper into your Facebook page.

Here’s a great example from Melbourne By Foot walking tours:

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image melbourne by foot facebook resized 600How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

Your profile picture should consist of your brand name or logo — something the consumer can easily identify with when they are conversing with you on the site. The profile picture will show up next to any comments or status updates that you post on the page.

About Section

Be sure to fill out all of the relevant fields when building your profile.

You will want to include contact information such as phone numbers, e-mails and other social media accounts so that customers can easily stay in touch with you.

For instance, if you offer bike rentals on Mackinac Island, your about section could say “We rent out the best bikes of all shapes and sizes to visitors of Mackinac Island. You won’t find better prices or better quality bikes anywhere else on the island.”

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image facebook about melbourne by foot resized 600How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

In the “About” section, provide a brief description of the services you provide.

Posting on Your Tour and Activity Facebook Page

Lee McCabe is the director of Travel, Global Vertical Marketing at Facebook, and he recommends that tour and activity operators spend their time creating light-hearted posts that help to engage potential Facebook fans.

Post Frequently

Be sure to post frequently to your page in order to stay relevant on your customer’s news feeds. Strike a balance because you don’t want to post too much. Once a day is perfect.

Interesting blog posts about the area work well, as well as industry news items. Asking your customers a question at the end of the post is a great way to get the conversation started, and interested customers will likely share your post with their own set of friends. This is the perfect way to get the word out about your business.

Post Visual Content

In addition to news items and interesting stories, you will want to post relevant photos and videos to your Facebook page.

For instance, as a tour operator, you will want to post plenty of photographs of recent tours. If you do walking tours throughout London and came across an interesting find one day, snap a quick photo on your iPhone and upload it to your Facebook page right then and there.

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image fb update melb by foot resized 600How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

Your Facebook fans will love the instant updates and it will get them excited about their upcoming tours with you.

Promote Yourself

Also be sure to promote sales, specials and new products through status updates.

Again, see how Melbourne By Foot is doing it right:

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image fb update 2 melbyfoot resized 600How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

Clever tour operator software vendors like Rezdy allow you to include links to your online booking software so that customers can quickly and easily make their reservations through your Facebook page.

Generating Buzz with Contests on Your Facebook Page

Contests are a great way to get a lot of fans very quickly, but it’s important to recognize that these will not always be quality fans. However, the more fans you have the more likely other friends will find you and that increases your odds of securing quality fans in the future.

General travel contests often have a giveaway as a reward, such as a free tour or a discounted activity or excursion for someone taking a trip in that area. People love to get free stuff, so contests are always a hit. As part of the contest rules, ask your participants to share your status or promote the business on their personal pages. This will help you generate buzz and get more people to like your page.

Start Using Facebook Professionally

Once you get your Facebook page up and running, it is important to make it a part of your daily routine. You will want to update your Facebook page several times throughout the day, providing your friends with valuable information, interesting stories that are worth discussing and high-resolution photographs and videos.

Facebook is not only a great way to advertise the tours that you offer and the activities that people can participate in on their next vacation, but it’s a wonderful way to connect with your customers on a personal level. It allows you to become a part of their daily lives and conversation, something that is not possible on any other medium available today.

To learn more about online marketing for tours and activities, download our free ebook:

How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business image b1dd698f e485 4ccd baa7 4b23121dde44How Tour and Activity Operators Should Use Facebook for Business

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