I spend a lot of time browsing travel sites for vacations I’d love to take if I had time (well, and the funds) to do so. As Facebook Pages become more widespread, many of these hotels and airlines are actively luring me and other wayfarers to check out their Pages, win free flights and enjoy complimentary perks at trendy hotels.
Here are some best practices for travel and tourism brands on Facebook — borrowed from the big players in the industry — that will help you attract gadling jetsetters and secure more reservations.
1. Brag About Your Brand
Facebook offers engaging ways to play up your brand’s strengths. Custom landing pages enable brands to let users know what’s new with the company. For example, Delta’s landing page is essentially a glorified press release — it’s a visually pleasing panache of Delta news and developments. It lets fans know that more jets are getting Wi-Fi, more routes will be available, and first class is coming to regional jets — and it allows users to “like” each piece of news.
2. Host Contests and Giveaways
Everyone loves #winning, so give your fans something to win. Whether it’s a free flight, a free night at a hotel, a discount or free miles on an airline or hotel credit card, contests are a great way to engage your community. Asking fans to submit things as part of a contest entry — photos, video, feedback — are even better, as they generate content and weed out the lazy people who might only be there for the prize.
For Kimpton‘s 30th anniversary, it’s running a “Write Here, Right Now” contest. Fans can share a memory of their favorite birthday with Kimpton — via haiku, poem or sonnet and a photo — and the top 30 submissions will win a free night at a Kimpton hotel.
Virgin America‘s Chicago Contest is hosted through a special tab where viewers can upload a video in which they “put the smackdown on ordinary.” The winner wins a flight from Chicago to California on a competitor airline, and then a free California getaway and a trip back to Chicago on Virgin America’s inaugural flight to the Windy City. Virgin’s banking on the hope that one leg on a cramped “other guy” flight followed by the Virgin experience will convert a few fans.
3. Diversify Your Content
Status updates are great, but you should also provide a mix of content to keep your audience engaged.Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, posts videos from the weddings that have happened on the beachfront property, which shows that the resort is an ideal wedding site and a perfect spot for a West Coast getaway. The video above was provided by a happy couple, while this one was produced by Terranea and includes footage of several weddings that have happened there. Try mixing it up with videos, photos, reviews of the hotel and of restaurants within the hotel (from sites like Yelp), as well as travel tips and exciting updates from the brand.
4. Offer Booking On Facebook
Consumers want travel planning to be easy — make it that way by letting them book vacations without having to leave Facebook. Travel brands like W Hotels and Delta Airlines do it, and the booking module is usually located on the main landing page. The most effective marketing happens at point-of-sale, so if you can make a hard sell on a decked out Page, you’ll want your consumers to be able to make their reservation without batting an eye. Embedding a booking widget can make that happen.
5. Have Killer Photography
Whether people are traveling for work or play, it’s nice to be around beautiful scenery. Show consumers what a stay at your hotel would offer — spa rooms, poo