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When Hannah Breckner, an advisor with Fora Travel, decided earlier this year to get serious about her travel advisory services, one of the first things she did was create a new Instagram account, @TripsByHannah. “It was daunting to start from scratch,” she said, “but I knew that sharing travel content was going to be an important part of growing my business.”

In the few short months that she’s been actively posting, Breckner has already received inquiries that have turned into bookings. In one instance, an Instagram Reel she created about a boutique hotel caught the eye of a prospective traveler already interested in the property. Once they learned of the VIP perks Breckner could offer them as a preferred partner agent, they chose to have her book their stay.

Breckner’s instinct to promote her business online mirrors the advice of many successful marketers and executives in the travel and tech industries alike: If you’re keen to increase your sales, it’s more important than ever to create content and nurture a following on social media.

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to grow and elevate the reach you already have, consider these tips to ensure you’re making your clients’ scrolling work for you.

1. Focus On Platforms Your Clients Use Most

You may be tempted to post across multiple social media platforms, but not only is that unnecessary, it’s a quick way to burn out or risk seeing your growth stifled if you fail to keep up. Users flock to each respective platform for a specific style of content, and algorithms favor accounts that follow unique trends and use in-app features. 

The content you develop should feel natural and authentic to your brand, your audience and the platform. When choosing which platforms are best for you to use, consider the following questions: 

  • Who is your target audience, and where are they spending time online? 
  • What type of content does your target audience regularly consume and engage with?
  • Which platforms are you most familiar with? 
  • What type of content (e.g., short-form video, graphic posts) do you feel comfortable creating? 

The most important consideration when choosing a platform is where your audience is actually spending time. Consider who you’re trying to reach: Retirees who love to cruise, young families headed to theme parks and millennial travelers with remote jobs all use social media very differently. Keep demographics like the ages and locations of your prospective clients in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask them what platforms they use. 

In general, older travelers tend to be more comfortable on long-established social media networks, such as Facebook, whereas younger generations quickly adapt to the newest platforms and technologies. 

That said, don’t rule out the ability to reach your target demo on a specific platform. A little experimentation — and staying open-minded about who your audience is — can also go a long way.

Alle Pierce, an advisor with Scorby Travel & Cruise and founder of Gals Abroad Getaways, which offers bespoke group trips for women, initially dismissed the value of having a TikTok account. She was convinced that her target clientele, affluent travelers in their 30s to 60s, wouldn’t be using the app enough to make it worth her time. She then had three different travelers join a group trip she organized to Italy, each mentioning that they booked it after learning about it on TikTok. After this experience, she quickly pivoted to prioritize posting on her TikTok. 

"The TikTok algorithm is fantastic for new discoveries and a wider reach,” Pierce said. “If I see that my audience growth on a given platform is stagnant, I experiment sharing the content on TikTok to see if it reaches a wider audience.

Take this example, too: Breckner chose to launch her social media strategy on Instagram because it was the one she used most in her personal life; transitioning to sharing professional content there “seemed less overwhelming and risky,” she said. She recommended the following tactics given the early success she’s seen in growing her account:

  • Follow other travel advisors and influencers to gain inspiration for the types of content that perform well.
  • Templatize your social media posts to make content development more efficient. 
  • Take the time to learn, through workshops and webinars. 
  • Maintain an editorial calendar. For Breckner, that takes the form of a working list of content ideas in her Notes app, from hotels she wants to spotlight to different trends of Reels to customize.
  • Experiment with boosting posts to expand reach. Identify high-performing, organic posts and allocate a small paid budget to promote your content to more people.  
  • Study your own content’s performance to understand which formats and styles of content result in more views, follows and direct messages.
  • Don’t branch out to other platforms until you’ve mastered the one you’re currently using.

2. Create Content That Offers Value

Determining which social media platform is the best fit for your audience is a critical first step. But once you’re ready to execute and create content, where should you begin? 

First, be intentional about the value your account offers your audience. Each post should serve a purpose and have a specific job: Are you educating clients about a new destination? Inspiring your audience by sharing a luxurious experience? Offering a discount designed to drive leads? For each post, set a tangible goal that you can use to measure success. You should also: 

  • Study your audience on an ongoing basis to understand their needs and questions. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president at Google who oversees Google Search, nearly 40% of young people use social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, as their preferred search engines. Create content that answers specific questions (e.g., “best hotels in Paris”), and use relevant keywords and hashtags to get more eyes on your profile. 
  • Start with your expertise. If you have a niche, like selling travel to a specific region or booking a certain style of accommodation, make that the focus of your content. 
  • Don’t be afraid to weave yourself into your content. That could mean showing your face on screen, or simply sharing personal perspectives on travel. 
  • Get specific. Not only do travelers want to know where to go and stay, but they also want to know why. Mention specific locations and travel tips, experiences that you can book for them and any potential perks that go along with it.

Pierce, who’s known as “Alle Abroad” to her followers, said she would not have a client base without social media. When she launched her first group trip online, it sold out immediately. She regularly dedicates time to observing trends and planning posts that she wants to create to provide value to her current audience and attract more followers. When she sees a trending video that she’d like to recreate, for example, she saves it to a reference folder and then creates a checklist of all the shots she’ll need to record and splice together. This can be particularly useful to do in advance of a trip so you can plan which days you’ll want to shoot content, and where. 

“When you start shooting travel footage with no advance plan, you wind up with a bunch of random shots that you don’t know what to do with,” Pierce shared. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed and, ultimately, not create anything.”

3. Leverage Tools, Resources and Specialists To Support Your Strategy  

There are many resources that can help you share content and engage with your audience. One industry favorite is Travel Agent Collective (TAC), a tool that provides paying members with a vast library of social-media-ready images, videos and caption prompts that can be edited, customized and shared directly to your Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn feeds. It’s a great option for advisors who may not be naturally savvy at social media but want to maintain a professional and high-quality presence, and for those who truly don’t have much extra time to invest in their accounts. Breckner shared that she’s gotten ideas for her own content simply from following TAC on Instagram.

If you have the budget, it also can be a worthwhile investment to hire a social media specialist to work on your accounts. This is especially valuable if you want to reach bigger audiences using trending audio and themes on Instagram Reels or TikTok but aren’t much of a video creator yourself. You can provide the specialist with your own photo or video assets to create something upscale or have them source the content themselves.

If you’re confident creating your own content from scratch, general social media management tools like Later and Planoly can help you visualize and schedule your upcoming posts. Once you determine the days and times that your audience is most active online, aim to have your posts go live then for a better chance at increased views. (This information is usually accessible through your platform’s account insights, but you can also pick up on it yourself. Do your clients like to scroll while drinking their morning coffee or at night before bed? Take note of when you’re receiving the most notifications and lean into it.) 

4. More Than Anything, Be Consistent 

Sharing valuable content on a consistent basis will build trust with your audience and strengthen your brand presence. If your brand is continually in front of your audience when they’re on a platform, you’ll be top of mind when they have a booking need. Plan ahead to ensure you have a posting strategy that meets this goal. 

Whether you’re traveling independently or on a FAM trip, it can feel overwhelming to create content on the road. Pierce recommended capturing content while traveling but waiting until you’re home to share any posts so that you can be thoughtful about what exactly you want to share. The occasional in-the-moment sunset selfie is fine, but you’ll better serve your clients and yourself if you can be fully present on-site and then reflect properly on and share your findings once you return home. 

Don't feel the need to post all your content immediately, either. You can spread it out over the course of a year, or even longer. It’s a great way to continue posting consistently even if you haven’t traveled recently.

Originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of The Compass magazine. 

About the Author

Author image

Jenny Hart is an American travel writer and advisor based in Mexico City. She specializes in writing about and selling travel to Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean and is passionate about promoting tourism in her adopted country and beyond. Follow her on Instagram at @jennyjhart.


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Donna C | 06/04/24 - 09:01 PM

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