Africa Travel Week

RECAP: #INTHEKNOW part 3

On Thursday, 25 June, we hosted part 3 of our #INTHEKNOW series in partnership with Big Ambitions and Eco Africa Digital

We’ve been testing these bite-sized interactive workshops over the last month because aside from being tired of long-winded webinars, we wanted to bring the industry together to tackle various challenges that we are all facing right now. 

This session focused on social media, basing the agenda off of feedback that we received in our last session, as well as a previous webinar run with Eco Africa Digital and Springnest. 

As an interactive session, we broke everyone up into smaller virtual rooms according to the social media platform attendees wanted to learn more about (chosen upon registration).

Unfortunately, as technology would have it, we lost some of the recording from the LinkedIn session, but you can still click here for the full recap:

As an idea of what was covered in each group:

LinkedIn:

Improving & updating your profile 

  • Using the right type of photo 
  • Services 
  • Experience & education 
  • URL 
  • Endorsements and recommendations 
  • Adding organisations / groups / pages 
  • Interests 
  • Volunteer experience 

Using your profile 

  • Most important – spend time, interact, comment and share content 
  • Groups – join relevant groups to your industry or relevant to your target industry 
  • Connecting with your peers, competition and colleagues 
  • Importance of commenting, congratulating and sharing content 
  • Sharing your work and other relevant content, adding your thoughts and asking for feedback 
  • Searching and efficient use of #tags 
  • Advanced search – by company (current and previous), job titles (current and previous), interests, geographical area, experience.
  • Messaging – a great way to share your work with specific people 
  • LinkedIn articles – using your profile as your own “blog” where you can reshare content from in future rather than a once-off post 
  • The ins and outs of LinkedIn Learning, a great resource of short courses – over 16,000
  • Linkedin Premium – what is the difference compared to a free account. How to sign up for a free account for a month (thereafter R220 per month) 

Facebook:

Transparency & reassurance (messaging during Covid-19 and post)

  • No longer “if” we can travel and getting people to dream, it’s moving towards the narrative of “when” we will open again and being transparent with the procedures in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Please refer to WHO guidelines and mention them in posts to give guests peace of mind when booking.
  • Make people realise that your establishment is going nowhere and that you will be around post-lockdown to increase bookings and trust in your brand.

Sharing user-generated content

  • Get guests to tag your establishment in their photos and captions so that you can reshare them on your own feed.
  • Be sure to always seek permission to share their work first and always give credit by using their names/handles.
  • This will increase your reach too and attract the audiences who follow your guests.
  • User-generated content promotes authenticity and is unfiltered or “staged” which is why potential guests trust reviews and guest photos more than they would images coming directly from the establishment.  

Video footage

  • Gets more engagement than static images.
  • Use Facebook Creative Studio to make short videos (can be 15 seconds).
  • Try post 2 videos/month if you can.
  • Quality Engagement (More to life than ‘likes’)
  • Do not focus on just getting likes, focus rather on how many comments you got and shares as these are better engagement and will grow your reach.
  • Get people to share your posts or comment by asking questions, getting them to tag friends etc.

Have a plan/objective

  • Do not create content for the sake of creating content.
  • Have a clear (measurable & realistic) goals, ie. Drive more traffic to website / get more people to follow your social channels / get more direct bookings / grow database and leads.
  • Use Facebook Ads Manager post templates to achieve these goals.

Awareness posts

  • Build brand identity, therefore, good for brands that are just starting out on social.
  • Tell stories.
  • Use emotive language.
  • Entice consumers.
  • Increase audience.
  • Use trending topics/hashtags.

Conversion posts

  • Used to convert people into booking at your establishment.
  • “Book Now” buttons.
  • Carousel Posts are useful and effective – remember to include at least 5 images and use words to entice underneath individual images.
  • Most NB info should be in the first 125 characters.
  • Clear call-to-action.
  • Hard-sell language and to the point.
  • Keep to one message per post

Lead-generation posts

  • Grows your database and gets people to sign up to receive information about offers via emailers which will be sent.
  • Pre-populated form reduces drop-off rate.
  • Be sure to include clear Ts&Cs and strong call to action.
  • Like a Conversion post, most important info should be in the first 125 characters.
  • You can retarget your database even if they don’t purchase the offer you are currently running.
  • Good to launch a lead-generation post a month before you launch a campaign.

When to schedule posts

  • Studies have shown that the highest times of global engagement is on Wednesday’s at 11:00 and between 13:00 – 14:00.
  • Least impactful day to post is on a Sunday.
  • Posting at the correct times will help you get the most reach.

Optimise page

  • Keep your FB Page up to date.
  • If it’s winter have a winter cover photo and profile picture that best shows off your establishment.
  • Pin Special Offers or NB messages to the top of your page.
  • Use bitly.com to shorten links – and also helps when it comes to tracking how many people clicked on your links.
  • Earn the “Very Responsive to Messages” badge by always responding to comments/messages within 24 hours.

Instagram:

What are brands now doing that is working really well?

  • Sending a reassuring message through their social content: “Travel is slowly beginning to resume around the world, and we are proud to share that we’ve welcomed our first guests back”
  • Giveaways: Starts with proper planning. When your establishment considers a giveaway seek possible brands, micro-influencers that you can partner with. Through partnerships, you grow the size of the audience that engages with the content. Create a clear call to action: “To enter, follow @.., sign up for mail,  and @partnership accounts, tag x number of friends, share the post to your story.” 

These call to actions are clear and not only do they increase the following of your account and the partners, the boost engagement. Likes don’t necessarily represent popularity, comments and shares ensure that your account remains relevant to your audience. Have clear terms and conditions where you mention what is included and what is NOT included. This could assist you in filtering out any individuals who are likely not to be possible bookings in the future. After all of the abovementioned are set up, people will enter and you grow a database of potential clients that you can send special offers to, updates about your establishment, etc.

  • All of the users who engaged with your account, or post over a period can be retargeted for future campaigns. Furthermore, you are able to create a look-a-like audience to reach even more people with your upcoming campaigns.
  • If your establishment offers experiences for guests, use Instagram stories which allow the user to virtually participate with you. This could be a breathing meditation session where guest can participate or taking guest along for a virtual game drive.
  • Use your establishment name as a hashtag and place it in your bio, so guests know which one to use. Use call to actions in your copy which encourages users to share an image or video content from their experiences. User-generated content, with permission of the user, can be shared by you on your account.
  • If you are running any specific campaigns use hashtags that users can include in posts or stories, which you are able to track as well.

More tips and tricks

  • Be consistent: Plan your upcoming content from your social media strategy for that month. Ensure that you plan your content with enough time to make any necessary changes before you schedule it. Post regularly and test different days and times. Ensure that you cover the complete experience of your establishment, from activities you offer to popular sites or restaurants which guests can visit.
  • Tell stories: Use your content to tell the story of your establishment. Share image or video content that provides guests with a summarised experience of your establishment simply by looking at your feed. Social media user activity increased significantly over lockdown and well-planned content will get great engagement and has a high likelihood of being shared by guest to their profiles.
  • Embrace Instagram Stories: More of your organic followers will view your story than view your post. Share your posts or any updates as stories to communicate with your followers. Use “invisible hashtags” on your stories; enter the hashtags that you think are relevant to that story and make the text a colour that is prominent on the image and decrease the size of the text so small that it appears invisible.
  • Host a giveaway (as elaborated above).
  • Choose the right hashtag: Research popular hashtags that are in the industry aligns with your establishment, is relevant to the image, video or experience or simply trending at the time. Users on Instagram follow hashtags like they follow users. This allows your brand to be discoverable to new potential followers. Use both hashtags that have a high number of posts and those with a low number of posts, this will show you to different audiences. Use establishment specific hashtags or campaign hashtags to find user-generated content.
  • User-generated content: Your unique hashtag or alterations of it is often used by guests. From this, you will find content that you can share to your account and create a deeper and authentic connection with your followers. You will also cut some costs from getting photographers to come out frequently for new photos.
  • Do some networking: To grow your followers on Instagram find accounts that are competitors and start to follow their followers. However, it is important that you don’t simply follow them and engage with their profile as well. Like some photo’s, comment on content as well.
  • Track and learn: From your Instagram business profile, you can track your insights. From your insights, you can evaluate the number of users that engaged with your content, the popular days and times that users engage with your content as well as demographics of your followers. Your insights allow you to be consistent and start adapting your content for the upcoming months.

Are you ready to get #INTHEKNOW? Join us for our next session on Thursday, 9 July at 2pm. Register here.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.