Tone and approach
Of course, social media is essential for organizations in the global travel and tourism industry to survive this crisis. It will allow you to stay connected to future travellers regardless of physical distance and is invaluable in ensuring ongoing interest and in planting the seeds of future travel plans.
- Offer calming but evidence-based messages and continuous engagement. Prospecting opportunities will come, but you may want to put some paid media behind your posts to ensure ongoing visibility.
- Memories of previous trips can provide comfort to shaken consumers. They will want to recreate memories and your social media channels can provide this opportunity.
- Engage in advocacy campaigns and re-engage with past comments from visitors on your platforms.
- Make your marketing unique by steering clear of echoing similar messages to other businesses. How can you differentiate?
- Strike a different tone. Can you be funny, memorable, empathetic or thoughtful?
- Engage in lead generation by building out email contacts. Promote visitor guides, or access to a special passport to your offering build anticipation and curiosity about your destination and/or offering.
- Do your best to keep consumers dreaming about what they want to do; through continuous engagement you can build their commitment to make their dreams a reality.
- Be responsive to shifting travel planning trends, capture consumers who are shifting plans from cruise and international travel to road trips, domestic travel, and staycations.
While the gradual re-opening of services might be overwhelming, consider the long-term strategy of showing consumers why they should visit your destination. Such a strategy could include:
- Ongoing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts to preserve website rankings.
- Adjustments to homepage to focus less on current events and more on general destination information.
- Temporary pause on media campaigns around specific annual/seasonal events or time periods.
- Inspirational storytelling to encourage website visitors to dream of future travel.
- Only showing any activities that are still scheduled.
- Additionally, this can also be a time for internal ‘housekeeping’, working with your website development team to address backlogged tasks or long-standing issues that have not been prioritized.
Although it is essential to take this very seriously, this crisis will pass, and when that time comes, your primary marketing efforts will need to be ready for the return of visitors and operations. All of these steps can help you prepare and make that recovery period healthier.