With a summer season in sight, it’s time for operators to get on top of their social channels and make sure they’re converting
Roadmaps out of lockdown are currently being published in many countries. Operators should hopefully have a rough idea of when they can begin to restart again, and who their customers will be. And that means it’s time to get your products in front of consumers on your social channels.
The most efficient way to do this will be through social media. Most people are seeing an increase in their screen time, and much of that is being spent on Facebook, Instagram and other channels.
They’re the perfect place to try and reach the people who are fantasising about what they should do this summer. All that pent-up demand means there is a huge amount of travel intent that should be easy to target.
So, the first thing to do is carry out a social media audit. We’ll focus on unpaid traffic.
How to carry out a social media audit
Start with your branding — is it consistent across all social channels and does each image complement the others to create a compelling story at first glance? Imagery will be the first to be seen and each aspect should build on the last. Pictures of your operation should be inspiring and show people enjoying themselves.
The next step is to examine your copy. What do your bios and descriptions say about your operation? Again, these need to be inspiring but should also contain the relevant information about what you do and where you are. Make your brand voice speaks in the right tone, and every post is written in that voice.
Then check your stats and the frequency of your publishing schedule, and compare these against your goals. Are you aiming to increase followers, for more click-throughs, or to increase reach. Publishing more content may limit your reach but increase your followers, and vice versa. Ask yourself if your publishing strategy is achieving what you need.
If you’re aiming to increase click-throughs to your site, then every link should be directly to your site. A quick, snappy write-up of a piece of news about your company published on your blog will be better than a direct link to another publisher. Clicks are expensive for the consumer. Don’t ask them to make more than they need to.
If 100 people click on Travel & Leisure’s feature on Tour the World from your page, and one of those clicks through to your site, why not put out “Tour the World featured in Travel & Leisure” on your own site to gather those 100 clicks yourself? Make sure your UTMs are correct so you know exactly where the traffic is coming from.
Finally, assess how your experiments are going. Roughly 10 per cent of your social content should be experimental. Be brutal with these, otherwise you’ll waste time and harm your channel. If something doesn’t work, don’t do it again. If something has a middling performance, how can you improve it? And when it flies, throw your resources behind it and hit it hard.
Once you’ve carried out your audit and you know your strategy is tight, it’s time to think about tactics. What needs to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
Daily social media tasks
The first thing to do is to check your mentions from the previous night and reply to every single one, especially those about customer service. Depending on your scale, you may need to split this into separate teams — one for service and one for fun and inspiration. There’s plenty of social media channel managers that allow you to do this. Make sure you’re listening.
Then publish. Try to time this for when people are taking their break from work. People will often stare at their phone over lunch, for example. I prefer publishing links manually over using a scheduler. This reduces the possibility for errors to creep in. It takes no more time to publish something manually than it does to put it into a calendar, and it allows you to see exactly what’s being shown before it goes live. A scheduler requires you to fix a broken link that is already out in the wild.
If your brand uses its social channels to jump on trends, begin to search for these opportunities and get the content written and into production as fast as possible. Do remember that an awful lot of people think brands behaving in this way is one of the worst things about social media. Others love it. Know your audience.
Finally, look at your stats from the day and make quick decisions about what is and isn’t working, make sure everyone’s been replied to and followed (or unfollowed), and check that the next day’s content is good to go.
What to do on a weekly basis
On a weekly level, you need to be carrying out deeper dives into your stats. Look for positive and negative trends contained in this information. If you’re putting your energy into content that works, you should be seeing generally positive numbers. Make sure these are aligned with your goals.
Are your campaigns shifting the way you want them to? Are influencers doing what’s expected of them? What needs to be turned off, and what needs a little more time to cook?
Decide what you’re going to experiment with and look for any content opportunities that you can jump on over the next week. What free events are there that you could get a bit out of?
Check your strategy every month
Check your strategy with your key stakeholders and team, if you have one, every month. Do a full analysis of every bit of information you have. Social media strategy must be data driven. You can’t rely on the luck it takes to get a viral hit unless you have the cash and reach to knowingly produce a viral hit.
Do an audit at the same time. Think about whether changing your header pic had the intended effect and search your stats for information that backs up that decision.
Be honest about where things aren’t working. The only way to fix those and get everything on point is to realise that not everything will work. At this time, you may see that a certain form of content that sang when it first went out has begun to go flat. It might be time for a course correction. Don’t worry about it, just change it.
Stay on top of social to drive traffic — and conversions
Social media is a much faster and snappier way of reaching consumers than through SEO. It also speeds up the whole SEO process. The more traffic you can drive to a site through social, the more interesting it will look to Google and the higher you’ll rank. Social relegated SEO to a tactic in a content strategy, rather than the end goal of that strategy.
Make sure your strategy is driven by the data. The more information you have the easier this is. You want to be putting out content that converts, and that information is not hard to find.
If you can get the content that you know converts onto the screen of a consumer who’s pining for a holiday right now — without them having to put in the effort of searching for it — then you’ve won half the battle. Make it easy for your target market.
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