COVID-19: Simple Social Media Content Strategies for Tourism
Where do we go to find guidance during a crisis? Especially one we have never been through before? It’s simple, we revert to our tried-and-tested principles and apply those to our new – temporary – reality.
Social Media Marketing in the Tourism Industry
This sentiment is applicable for social media marketing in the tourism industry too, even though this is certainly no time to expect bookings, especially not with the global travel bans, isolation laws and social distancing rhetoric. However, when we consider the principles of the buyer’s cycle and the digital marketing funnel, it becomes clear that staying top-of-mind for your potential guests now, will set your establishment apart when the tide turns later.
The Buyer’s Cycle.
The buyer’s cycle helps us to understand that most travel booking decisions are not made in an instant. It is a process that develops over time. Looking at statistics from the US during March 2020*, we saw:
- Travel ads for bookings decreased with 38%, but
- Social media ads increased by 29%.
This means that many businesses already understand that social media is going to be a lifeline while everybody stays at home. They also understand that this is not the time to focus on advertising for immediate bookings. It is an opportunity to inspire your future guests while they pass time scrolling online. So, for the foreseeable future, it is going to be important to only stick to the top of the digital marketing funnel.
The Digital Marketing Funnel
The digital marketing funnel shows us that online awareness and engagement (yellow and light grey) is the first part of digital marketing. It is the foundation and the most important step to get those direct bookings later down in the funnel.
We must be aware - especially during a global pandemic - that people crave an escape. They need to distract their minds away from the situation and find things that allow them to dream. This is where social media becomes so valuable, as it’s an ideal way to plant seeds and inspire future travel bookings.
Social Media Content
What types of content should you create during this time?
1) Stick to your unique selling points and core values.
Don’t start posting images about the coronavirus or medical breakthroughs now. We suggest the following themes:
- Activities – “wouldn’t it be great to swim at our beach again soon?”
- Establishment exterior – “we will be waiting to welcome you back at our lodge…”
- Friendly staff – “we live for our guests and are already planning for your return…”
- Nature – “as adaptive and resilient as ever…”
- Quote – “inspiration on the balance of life…”
- Establishment interior – “as we find ourselves in a time of reflection and facing inward…”
- Animals – “now that we have time to appreciate the birds in our garden…”
2) Use your best images to fit these themes, or use this extra time you suddenly have to take new photos.
Social media images do not all have to be professionally taken. Just familiarise yourself with the following rules:
- Always take images in Landscape (horizontally).
- Take the principle of thirds into account: Place your object either a third from the left or the right – some phones offer a setting where a guide appears that can help you achieve this if you’re not sure.
- Always have the blue sky meeting the landscape on a line one third from the top.
- Use the edit tool on your cell phone. For images of people, use the ‘Portrait mode’ when taking the image. When editing images afterwards, focus on the Brightness and Contrast settings.
A final word
Stick to the basics and focus on social media so that when things look brighter again – which they will – you’re ready. Remember, we are all in this together, and we are stronger together too.