You’d think people would take a break from social media once they go on vacation. But why would they? Even before Instagram and the selfie, our vacations have always been a busy time to take pictures of ourselves and our loved ones.
Whether it’s the view from the balcony, the first cocktail, a celebrity they just bumped into or “hot dog legs on the beach,” people love to post while vacationing. In a study by U.K. insurance company Aviva, close to 80 percent of the 2,000 respondents (social media users) admitted to posting while vacationing. 44 percent of the total number of people surveyed said their reason for posting photos from their vacation was to keep their family and friends updated, while 20 percent were honest enough to reveal that their motivation was showing off the various locations and 10 percent went further, saying they posted to make people at home jealous.
Whatever their reasons for sharing vacation photos on social media, online consumers present a great opportunity for brands to engage with them, bringing them closer and sell to them.
Below are a few tips on how to maximize the vacationing period of your customers to bring them closer to your brand:
Use geotagging/location tags
The potential for marketing opportunities resulting from geotagging services and features cannot be contested. And with so many social platforms integrating geotagging, these opportunities look even more enticing.
For instance, Twitter has a host of location-based features that you can use to promote your brand, including location tagging and advanced search. Facebook also allows geotagging. In fact, it has integrated itself into Instagram such that if you have a business page, your business will be automatically shown as a location choice on Instagram.
From rewarding visitors to recommending the best service, there are a vast number of ways to make use of geotagging. While some have argued in the past that the opportunities are for the large national brands, many have come to realize that the point of geotagging is actually the “local” business, with the greatest advantage of the feature being the ability to reach people who’re in the vicinity of your business.
“With this kind of access and limitation to a small area, brands are able to tailor their messages, services and rewards to fit the local or visiting customer,” explains, Bob Jenson, CEO of Small Business Loans.
One of the greatest advantages of geotagging is how much it boosts engagement. Studies have shown that posts with tagged location see up to 79 percent higher engagement than those without.
Apart from location tags, there are other techniques that you can use to ensure that brand engagement with your audience remains effective even as your customers take a break.
During vacations, people use their mobile devices a little more than usual to check email, social media and other information relating to their vacation. So, they are there and are looking to engage. But how do you ensure that they remain engaged?
One of the ways to do this is by looking for relevant stories to share. If you happen to be on vacation yourself, you might find a story that could make an interesting read. Whether it relates to your organization’s mission, it’s branding, a key public relations lesson or just something funny that happened at the airport, your own vacation experiences can be fodder for an engaging story. While you’re at it, be sure to show off the fun side of your organization and remain relevant at all times.
If you need to, make plans for when you don’t have a social media manager in order to ensure that your customer’s messages don’t go unanswered and the stories keep coming.
Offer recommendations and give your own opinion
There’s a lot to take from what people post while they are on vacation, and you can use it to better your brand. With 72 percent of people posting vacation photos while still on vacation and 70 percent of travelers updating their Facebook statuses while vacationing, you might just be in time to save someone’s vacation by giving an excellent recommendation.
You’ll be surprised to know the number of people waiting for that recommendation. Up to 49 percent of consumers rely on influencer recommendations and up to 74 percent trust social networks to help them make important buying decisions. These recommendations don’t have to be around your own products.
Vidya Armogan, CEO of Sweetfield Manor, advises giving comprehensive recommendations. “The majority of our visitors come from direct recommendations, so we’re very concerned about how someone recommends us,” he says. “Instead of giving a list of places or activities you feel strongly about and leaving it at that, offer your own opinion to support the recommendation. The owner will be happy, but the customer will even be happier.”
Armogan argues that because consumers trust you to give them recommendations, it’d only be a waste of time if you didn’t offer your opinion when doing so. And as such, it’s of no impact. To remain authoritative, you have to be sure of yourself. That includes standing by your recommendations.
There are various effective ways to reach your customers while they are vacationing. Depending on the type of product you’re offering, coming up with clever marketing and advertising ideas shouldn’t be too difficult. From revamping tools like customer service to creating entire campaigns specifically for reaching your vacationing customers, the holiday season is a time for your brand to implement as many of these ideas as possible.
What matters most is that you’re not left at home or the shop when they break for the holidays. Stay top of mind through initiating or contributing to relevant discussions online and using simple tactics like location tagging to optimize your message. Also, most of your consumers are using their phones during that time. Your website must be mobile-friendly and target zero glitches with your mobile application. Revamping your customer service will ensure that you don’t break up during the holiday.