What to Post on Social Media

what to post on social media

Your social media profiles are an important channel to distribute your marketing content. When appropriately used, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even Facebook can help you build a community and drive quality traffic to your website, contributing to lead generation.

The problem most of us have when thinking of business-related social media profiles is to identify appropriate content to share. 

In this blog post, I provide tips to keep your business travel social media feed relevant and effective.

 Begin With the End in Mind

A Twitter account or a LinkedIn page serves several purposes:

  • It’s a communication channel enabling direct, non-filtered, engagement between a business and its users.
  • It’s a community-building tool where followers of your company and products congregate.
  • It’s a PR conduit for journalists and analysts to track your business and to reach out to company executives.
  • It’s a prospecting channel to reach future customers/users.
  • It’s a lab and trend-gathering solution where new concepts can be tested and upcoming ideas identified.
  • It’s an employee retention tool.
  • It’s a hiring channel.

Your objective is to feed your profiles with content that will help you achieve all of the above, catering to all your audiences in a personal and engaging way.

I like to think of social media as a cocktail party: when mingling with people and having small talk, you chat about the industry, business, and your company as well as sports and hobbies. No one likes to spend time with someone that goes on and on about her company – after a while, people will move on to a more entertaining guest.

Engaging means having a conversation, listening, asking questions, showing interest, and sharing good stories. The same is true on social media. You will create a community by following influential people in your area (look at the number of followers they have) and following your clients and prospects. On social media liking and commenting on an update is the equivalent of small talk and retweeting an interesting activity is considered a kudos. Get into the habit of sharing exciting content you read, adding a few lines about your take on the story.

I strongly feel that even company social media profiles shouldn’t be too polished or corporate. As long as you respect your company’s values and your community’s interests, I think it is okay to take a stand. It’s absolutely fine to post content that isn’t directly related to your company. People expect it and are even looking for information that makes your brand feel more human.

Take the American outdoor clothing company Patagonia; their Twitter feed never mention their products, rather they share content that speaks to their community and their environmental values. And they’re willing to defend their reputation as environmental stewards when customers question their commitment.

In the business travel industry, KLM used its Twitter account to engage with customers. A very bold move for an airline since, according to Hubspot, ninety-nine percent of all messages they receive are from disgruntled passengers who are mad about flight delays, lost luggage, and disappointing mid-flight snacks.

KLM does an amazing job at pleasing its customers. In 2014, they launched a campaign to encourage customers to reach out on social media if they had lost items during transit. It kicked off with an adorable video featuring a dog named Sherlock returning forgotten possessions to happy travelers, which racked up over 24 million views.

Recently KLM launched a campaign on its social profiles in favor of the Climate Emergency, calling on travelers to fly responsibly. “It certainly makes sense to try to get ahead of policymakers and public opinion in responding to aviation’s big contribution to pollution (the industry is responsible for about 2-3% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions),” wrote Chris Bryant in Bloomberg.

Pro Tips

Engaging with your followers on social media doesn’t have to be a chore. Use your smartphone to make use of idle time. Turn to apps such as Feedly to spot interesting stories and to Buffer to share content on all of your profiles at once.

Secret Twitter Tip: The Lists

Most of the influential people on Twitter are members of lists. These lists are a great way to find similar people. Let say you want to follow business travel journalists; search for Jay Campbell of The Company Dime, for example. Jay is a member of many lists created by people listing journalists. Click on Members, and you will discover many journalists that you might be interested in following yourself.

 

Twitter List

 

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5 things not to say to a travel journalist

tips for press interview

Disclaimer: As an ex-journalist, I may be slightly biased…

Journalists aren’t influencers or publicists. They are paid to ask difficult questions and to fact-check. In recent years the profession has gone through many changes, resulting in more pressure on fewer journalists to produce more stories. Publications have folded, while others have flourished online.

Despite blogs and social media providing free content, people continue to turn to the press for verified information. A story written in a trusted publication continues to carry much more weight than a thinly veiled advertisement or article based on questionable information.

All that said, public relations is crucial for companies in the travel industry.

Unfortunately, not everyone respects the profession. Sometimes, executives and marketers view reporters only as generators of “free advertising.”

As PR professionals, our job is to guide our clients in finding the best angles to pitch their stories to the press and to help the media understand the news element and value of our clients’ announcements.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when conducting a press interview.

1. “Did you receive my press release?”

Chances are that, yes, your press release is buried among a hundred others in the reporter’s inbox. Journalists are working under pressure with stressful deadlines. Asking questions like this will only put you in a bad light. If your release has value for the publication it will be sorted and you will be contacted. If you’ve developed a proper PR strategy, you’ll already know the best ways (email, social media, phone, text messaging, etc.) to reach reporters working on the topics that affect your organization. If you don’t, get to know the reporter and his or her preferences. Above all, learn to pitch your news so that it stands out.

2. “When can you publish my press release?”

Remember that most journalists won’t take your word on face value. They won’t publish a story with a single source. Your press release might be published as a short brief on its own. If your story calls for a proper article, reporters will conduct interviews and contact other sources. Journalists rarely have a say on when a story might be released. It is for the editor to decide based on other news. What might seem urgent for you will probably be much less critical for the news editor.

3. Don’t say “No comment.”

If you do, be ready for the journalist to start digging. If you believe you might one day be in an awkward position, prepare for it in advance. Other people will be happy to provide comments so do your job and control the discussion.

4. “Are you speaking to my competitors?”

As we’ve seen above, good journalists aren’t publishing single-source stories. Chances are the reporter you are speaking with has or will reach-out to competitors so don’t bother mentioning it. However, you can build trust by offering sources to beef-up the story. Clients using your products are always appreciated, as are independent consultants or renowned experts. The journalist will welcome saving time on research and will probably return the favor.

5. “Let me check your story before you publish it.”

Each publication has its internal policy about this issue. As a rule of thumb, news media are free to publish what they want. They don’t have to let you review their story or even your quotes.
Expect not to approve the story before it goes to press; this is why you must be extremely careful during the interview. Make sure to speak clearly. Never use jargon and double check that the reporter understood you. Not everyone is an expert in your field. It might be the first story the reporter writes about your industry. Reformulate complex issues and offer to send additional information by email. Use this opportunity to rephrase essential facts. Pay attention to the reporter’s note taking. Pause when needed to let the journalist catch-up.

I could go on forever about the do’s and don’ts of PR. The best way to conduct an interview is to come prepared and to be honest and empathic. The best interviews are discussions between trusting professionals.

Learn about the journalist and the publication. What is the reporter usually writing about? Who are his or her readers? Keep this in mind to craft your message and find the right angle for the interview. Remember that journalists work on deadline be ready to give impromptu interviews when called. If you aren’t prepared to answer their questions, they will find someone else.

Contact us to learn more about our media training workshop.

This is How Inbound Marketing Can Make the Sales Process More Efficient for Travel Companies

inbound marketing

On a recent flight to San Francisco, I was seated next to a very outgoing, talkative man. The guy works in sales for a B2B software procurement company. Of course, before long we were talking shop.

Mike told me that despite all the efforts of his marketing department he was still cold calling on most days. The leads he got from marketing were poorly qualified, he complained. He preferred to trust his intuition to identify valuable prospects.

I have met many Mikes, and I fear that traditional marketing techniques are responsible for the mistrust that sometimes exists between sales and marketing teams.

Heads of sales in the travel Industry are sometimes hesitant to use digital marketing techniques to handle and nurture leads.

In order to grow, however, I believe that there is no way around it. Inbound marketing matches today’s buying cycle. We all know that before buying any goods or services, we like to do a little bit of research. We read reviews, speak to friends, and, when possible, we want to try the product. At Dots and Lines the inbound marketing process we implement for our clients helps them close more deals quicker.

Inbound marketing is about creating valuable experiences that have a positive impact on people and your business.

How? You attract prospects and customers to your website and blog through relevant and helpful content. Once they arrive, you engage with them using conversational tools like email and chat and by promising continued value. And finally, you delight them by continuing to act as an empathetic advisor and expert.

Unlike outbound marketing, with inbound marketing you don’t need to fight for your potential customers’ attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.

The travel industry is competitive and sales teams have ambitious quarterly quotas. Sales can’t survive relying on cold calling and nurturing prospects on their own over long sales cycles. I find this stat interesting:

Up to 70% of product information is found online, not through sales reps. (Hubspot)

This is why, with inbound marketing, salespeople can focus on closing deals with well-qualified leads ready to be sold to. They are more successful because they manage their time better.

Interested in learning more about how our team at Dots and Lines can help you implement a successful inbound marketing strategy? Check out this post on optimizing your website to understand one of the first steps to take.