Global Travel Group Logo

Tapping into socials to gain customer loyalty

Andy Stark, managing director of the Global Travel Group, encourages agents to utilise social media & strengthen their online presence in order to build customer loyalty.

Blimey, it's mid-September already – where has the year gone? It won’t be long until we’re all rooting around in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations.

It’s a consequence of getting older that time seems to pass quicker. Another thing about getting older, if you’re anything like me, is that you continue to be amazed by the pace of technological developments.

Now that summer has officially ended, I’m guessing that the majority of readers will have enjoyed a holiday of some sort. In fact, I know that to be the case, because the team at Global Travel Group regularly show me great examples of envy-inducing social media posts that our retailers are producing.

I certainly can’t claim to be an expert in the social media field. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m always looking to up my game in this area, though I have to admit that I’m still a bit befuddled by some of the jargon and qualifications needed to be a bonafide influencer.

Luckily, there are lots of incredibly talented people at Global Travel Group who do know what they are talking about – and are busy handing out advice and helping members when needed.

There can be no doubt how beneficial social channels can be. In fact, having a solid presence online is a vital part of the marketing mix for retailers.

To really reap the rewards it is an important skill to master and one that does require your own investment of time and engagement. Often, stores set up a Facebook page and use it simply to post deals, thinking this will prompt an influx of enquiries.

While one or two bookings may come your way with this passive approach, the lack of engagement really is the antithesis of ‘social’. The great examples I get to see are the stores that have developed a personality online. Instagram is a great place to post aspirational pictures – even better if these shots are from the shop’s own staff, on their holidays or from fam trips. Holidaying like a travel agent is a much more compelling offer for clients. Agents who engage with their followers to ensure that social activity is a two-way conversation, and not just a mouthpiece to push offers, always yield the best results.

The big social channels are also brilliant tools to use when it comes to reaching out. Savvy advertising, the so-called ‘micro-targeting’, can get your message delivered to exactly the people you want to attract, whether that’s by age, location, interests or social status and pay dividends in terms of building that all-important customer loyalty. The age-old pre- and post communications sent to customers wishing them a great holiday and then welcoming them home after the trip can work just as well via an app or email. Similarly, quick online polls asking your database for their feedback on destinations provides you with data to use within your marketing. Being able to confidently claim that 75% of those surveyed recommend a trip to Spain as being good value can only strengthen the social post highlighting the latest deals you want to sell.

Right now, in the slightly quieter booking period before peaks, I’d urge everyone to reappraise their social activity.

Booking patterns this year have been unpredictable – perhaps down to Brexit uncertainty – but what we do know is that luxury, cruise and long-haul is still pretty buoyant. Attracting this business in as many ways as possible makes sense since it is where agents can do best financially and show off the benefit of their knowledge, creating a virtuous circle that brings in more bookings further down the line.

With luck, you’ll be so busy you won’t know where the next year has gone too.

More Industry Insights...

Iceland a great alternati…

Iceland a great alternative summer family destination

Jenny Lane of Blue Eye Travel says Iceland is more than just a winter destination

Andy Stark from Global is…

Andy Stark from Global is optimistic about 2020

Andy Stark, managing director, Global Travel Group, is excited about what 2020 might hold for the travel industry, especially with new destinations and great products to sell.

Elite’s John Escott on th…

Elite’s John Escott on the mixed news for travel in 2019

John Escott, general manager, Elite Travel Group, reflects on what he describes as an “interesting year ... of mixed business with no real patterns”.

How a passion for travel …

How a passion for travel helps you sell more

Andy La Gette from Travel Counsellors explains how to create lasting client relationships to sell better.

ANTOR on technology that …

ANTOR on technology that is transforming travel

Tracey Poggio, chairman of ANTOR, shares the myriad ways that members are leveraging technology to boost destination promotion and facilitate training for travel agents.

The ups and downs of the …

The ups and downs of the travel industry

Andy Stark, managing director of Global Travel Group, says that even with the travel industry’s ups and downs, the passion of the people who work in it remains strong

How to sell high-end holi…

How to sell high-end holidays

Nick Harding of Travel Designers shares his valuable insights into selling luxury holidays.

Reflecting on a post-Thom…

Reflecting on a post-Thomas Cook travel industry

John Escott, general manager, Elite Travel Group, reflects on the knock-on effects of the collapse of Thomas Cook and what it will mean for the travel industry in the long...

What to expect at World T…

What to expect at World Travel Market

Tracey Poggio, chairman, ANTOR, offers a round-up of some of this year’s trade shows at WTM.

The best business practic…

The best business practices for agents

Andy La Gette from Travel Counsellors explains what it takes to become a successful travel agent.

Are you ready for the ris…

Are you ready for the rising trend of adventuremoons?

Adventurous honeymoons are on the rise for couples tying the knot.

Lessons learnt from the c…

Lessons learnt from the collapse of Thomas Cook

As the collapse of Thomas Cook sends ripples through the country, David Moon, head of business development at Advantage, discusses the potential ways in which the industry can better prepare...

Prev Next

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?