Indian Tourism is a major contributor to the growth of the economy and one of the most important business sectors in the country. It is a well-known fact that people have started considering travelling as an experience and have become enthusiastic towards exploring and visiting new destinations, it is not just about visiting the same old known and famous destinations anymore.
Dikshant Kumar, Senior Media Analyst, Publicis Sapient
With the newfound obsession with travelling and the massive size of our country’s population, it is extremely important to reach as many people as possible and inform them about the latest trends and destinations, something that the travel agencies need to consider. This may not sound important, but come to think of it people usually travel based on recommendations and opinions, which makes circulating of this information all the more important. But the question here is how should we reach these people effectively.
The solution to this issue is Social Media; platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are flooded with people of all ages, posting pictures from their vacations, sharing articles about the top 10 destinations they would want to visit and whatnot. An average user spends nearly 2.5 hours every day on social media, which provides ample opportunities to reach the target user and create the necessary impact required to influence the decision making.
Now you may think about why social media plays such an important role in influencing the decision making of the audience, here’s why. India has one of the largest numbers of internet users in the world, with the expected growth in Internet usage to go from 33 per cent and 432 million internet users to over 60 per cent and 915 million users in the next 10 years.
Content plays a major role in developing consumer’s mindset. The customer usually searches about a destination online or might gather information through any other source. The information collected becomes a manual for the customer in deciding the structure of their holiday. Now that customer has become so informed and researches everything before a holiday, social media becomes a platform to get such information that may affect the final decision.
So, what are some significant things that a small-medium travel agency may need to create such an impact with their target audience? Here a list below:
Website: A website is a digital visiting card for any brand irrespective of its size. Having a website helps in building credibility in the minds of the user as a business and plays a big role in reputation building. You can flood the website with tons of information about different destinations and ultimately taking the user to a page where they can take some preferred action, which is either capturing an appointment to discuss the holiday or booking the tickets to the preferred destination. Honestly, owning and maintaining a website has become super economical nowadays that even small travel agencies can easily afford it, so if you do not have a website yet, get one.
Social Media Platforms: Establishing a presence on social media platforms is extremely vital in today’s time. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are extremely popular these days and people rely a lot on these platforms for absorbing information. Also, just like having a website, an active and well established social media platform helps in building credibility. Later in this write up you’ll find ways of creating and establishing your social media channels.
Content: You might have heard of this phrase “Content Is King”. Well, content plays an important role in driving efficiency for any social media campaign. A well-made piece of content will not only attract your target audience better but will also ensure that it increases your reach. All you need is a good graphic designer and a content writer. A piece of advice, using shorter and accurate videos will ensure maximum user attention.
Now that we’ve discussed the three most important things that a travel agency may need to promote its business, we now will talk about the technical bits that may help them in improving its social media presence.
- Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with users from all age group actively engaging in the content on an everyday basis. It has an average of 155 million active monthly users active through desktops and mobile applications.
- To engage with these people we need a business Facebook page. A business Facebook page is created with the help of a Facebook profile.
- The most important thing after creating a page is to optimize it for optimum performance and awareness. This would include adding relevant information where ever necessary. The information added should be crisp and clear. Information such as the “About US” of the company, its contact information and its vision and mission statement.
- Now comes the most important part, which is to increase the number of followers on the Facebook Page and sharing the content with them, as per the marketing strategy.
- Instagram is the fastest growing app in the country with over 120 million active monthly users.
- This primarily is a simple photo and video sharing mobile app with your followers with the use of some hashtags.
- Hashtags amplify the reach of any post outside the range of its followers. It is important to use at least 10 relevant hashtags with the posts to ensure maximum reach of the post.
- To be seen as an influential business on Instagram, you should have more followers than the number of people you follow.
- There’s a hack to increase your followers. Just follow people that are relevant to your business and fall under your target audience, grow your account and later slowly and gradually delete them.
- Another important thing that can be done on Instagram is Influencer Marketing. So, there are individual who grow their accounts on Instagram by promoting visually appealing and informative content and have a loyal fan base for them.
- Agencies can tie-up with some relevant influencers, which will further promote the agency’s content to their fan base and help them grow the business.
Based on the requirement, agencies can spare some budget to be utilised for promoting the business and the content to the users. The paid promotion will be done through Facebook and Instagram targeting relevant audience and creating the impact required.
Facebook and Instagram:
There are various objectives that can be chosen based on the need of the hour of business. Each of the objectives helps in promoting the business in a certain way. Here’s a list of the objectives below:
The targeting for such type of campaign will be done through Interest. Interest-based targeting is done on the basis of the behaviour of the audience and their interest in similar kind of services or objectives. Below is an example of how interest-based targeting looks:
Note: The paid objective that we will use for Facebook applies to Instagram as well, as Facebook allows you to select Instagram as a placement option when running ads on Facebook.