Using Social Media Strategically: It Works If You Work It

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Ever since “social media” became a household term, there’s been a mass obsession with getting large numbers—more followers, more likes, more engagements. It feels like a popularity contest all the time.

Many agents and agencies slap up posts and photos just to feed the hungry social media beast…but to no avail. It’s like cotton candy—makes you satisfied for a moment, but then it’s gone and you’re hungry again.

The truth is, unless your agency is doing it the right way, you’re completely wasting your time and in some cases, may be doing more harm than good.

Here are some tips to help you have greater success in reaching the clients you want.

• Start by hitting the re-set button on how your agency is handling social media. Even if you fancy yourself a social media whiz, it’s important to evolve with the ever-changing digital landscape. Take time out to re-examine your objectives, analyze what works and what doesn’t work and re-direct your efforts.

• Have a senior person on your team handle social media. While Millennials may be more digitally aware, this is not the job for an intern. That said, listen to your young staffers—their digital street smarts provide valuable input.

• Try to channel your clients and identify what their interests and needs may be. Provide pragmatic advice as well as great ideas to inspire them.

• Keep standards high. Use high-quality images (giving credit where credit is due) and never be sloppy with writing posts and captions.

• Don’t give it all away. Too many agents freely give away their secrets on social media. While you want your followers to know you know places (hotels, etc), give them reasons to call you.

• Too many agents get caught up in posting about their own travels and experiences. While this can show potential clients how active, interesting, well traveled or lucky you personally may be, a little goes a long way and it’s quite easy to turn off a potential client.

• Make it easy to reach you. As wonderful as social media may be, it’s far removed from the human touch—which is what so many travelers need when planning trips. In all your social media efforts, make sure it’s clear that you can be reached by phone or e-mail. Also respond to comments, engage with
your followers.

• Lastly, stop obsessing about how many followers your competition may have. It’s more important to have the right people following you. If you are always posting about what you do best as an agent—whether it’s adventure trips or cruises—you become a go-to source. Key is to be there when they’re ready to book a trip.

Susan Farewell is the owner of Farewell Travels LLC (, a travel design firm based in Westport, CT. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @FarewellTravels.