Social media expert Bruce Martin told members of travel agency consortium The Global Travel Group they should focus efforts on Facebook.
The founder of media agency Ginger Juice told delegates at the group’s annual conference in Chester, that they were advised to be great on a few networks rather than average on many.
He said that of the three main platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ its the first that offers agents the most potential.
“Its audience is great for you,” he said, “it’s a very broad demographic. It has really brilliant advertising options which allows you to target very closely.
“Web traffic is really good and it has a really good community. Facebook refers many more people to other platforms.”
However, Martin warned that Facebook was cracking down on overtly promotional posts threatening to bury them out of reach of users.
Facebook is also reducing the amount of content in users’ news feeds, trying to present them with only the most relevant posts, so access to followers is being restricted.
“There are ways around it. You can advertise, but also be more subtle. Out and out commercial messages you have to be more careful of these days.
“Don’t be busy fools. Think about how you build your audience. Post less but post smarter. If you have something important to offer make sure you pay to play.”
Boosted posts costing $5, targeted marketing using Custom Audiences and Retargeting on Facebook are all effective ways to reach customers, said Martin.
He added: “You need to be playing to your strengths. Be helpful and informative. Be generous with your knowledge, share some of your secret sauce, it will create some credibility.
“Be fun, be responsive, be patient and be human. Be agile and react to events, piggyback on trends, what’s happening on TV.”
Martin said video was becoming increasingly important and pointed to the viral Thorne Travel promotional video made by the Scottish agency that caused a social media storm last year.
Agents should also be conscious that when they are creating posts and messages that people are likely to be accessing that content on mobile.
He said agents needed to create “scroll stoppers” by using imagery, and a really clear call to action. Martin suggested delegates use the free service on canva.com to create content.
They should also think about timing and post content when they know their audience is engaged, not when it is convenient for the business.