Grow your travel business with a Facebook business page: tips and tricks

If you’re a travel agent looking to grow your business, then creating and maintaining a Facebook business page can be the easiest, fastest and most beginner-friendly way to do it. However, many travel agents may not even know this option exists.

At this month’s Travel Market Place West conference at the JW Parq Marriott in Vancouver, Melissa Mackie of Travel Chicks walked attendees through some quick tips for creating a Facebook Business Page.

Mackie called creating and updating a Facebook business page “the easiest, fastest and most beginner-friendly way to grow your business,” even if most don’t even know it exists.

“You’re missing out on a lot of opportunities if you don’t have a Facebook business page,” she said.

You may have good engagement on your personal Facebook profile and all your customer connections may be there as well. So you might be asking yourself if you even need a business profile when you feel like you’re just going to repeat yourself, but you’re missing out on a serious business boost if you don’t take full advantage of Facebook Business’ tools.

For one thing, you won’t have a public presence in your local community if you don’t have a Facebook Business Page – you might miss out on some easy leads from those in your neighborhood who are searching Facebook for a travel agency.

Second, you’ll miss the opportunity to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and run ads.

“There’s huge data on Facebook and a huge opportunity to really capitalize on,” Mackie said.

1. First steps
As long as you have a Facebook account, creating a Facebook business page is pretty easy. You will need to choose a category for your page that can give you some unique features for your business, and then add details about your agency or company. These details include address, area, service, opening hours, website, etc.

Then add a profile and cover photos (more on that later) and invite friends to link to your page.

2. Photo optimization
As you get started, consider how powerful your page photos can be. It’s not just a style choice.

All photos, with the exception of style choices, serve the primary purpose of generating leads for your agency. There are a few things that are important to remember.

The first is to make sure your cover photo is optimized for Facebook, both on desktop and mobile. Your logo or agency name should be clear in both views. Think of the cover photo as a billboard.

“The cover photo is critical to the presentation of your lead magnet,” Mackey said.

Photos are also a great place to link to your agency’s website – a description on both your cover photo and your profile photo is something many business owners don’t necessarily use, but should.

3. Writing a call to action
When people start finding your agency on Facebook (more on that later), it’s important to have a call to action in your descriptions to capitalize on that traffic. While you may not want to be specific when interacting with other Facebook users outside of your business page (again, more on that later), you will on your page.

“What do you really want people to do? Ideally, you want them to call or email you – whoever you’re serving, think about what that call to action is.”

There are many ways to achieve this, but Mackie recommends being clear, concise and benefit-oriented. You can also add an emoticon for a little personal touch.

4. Offering a “gift”
A better term for “giveaway” is a lead magnet – something that compels users to engage with you. Offering them something that is free, easy for you to put together is an effective way to achieve this.

One way to do this is to offer a packing list for travelers, something advisors have experience with and something that can easily be put together in Canva. Another way is by offering them access to your e-newsletter, graphic, e-book, toolkit, etc. – the goal is to get them to give you their email list so you can effectively leverage the leads you generate .

5. Engagement
Engagement can mean many different things to different people, but Mackey kept it simple – while most of Facebook is a “wasteland,” the key to success is simply finding where your customers hang out every day.

“Get involved on social media in some of the better tourism communities,” including pages like Tourism Ireland, Mackie said. Start commenting by offering some advice or anecdotes. Don’t say you’re a travel advisor, just act human.

Want to stay out of the comments – don’t sell anything, but say you’re an expert in this destination. Own your authority and interested users will want to learn more from and about you.

“Eventually, someone is going to click on your profile and say, ‘who is that person?'” Mackey said.

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