Thanks to COVID-19, the only place we’re travelling to this year is to the mailbox and back. But as devastated as we are to not be sippin’ Sangria in Spain, the effects of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism industry as a whole have been much worse. Beyond planes, cruises, buses, trains, taxis and hotels are facing uncertain times in which they need to adopt a strong corporate social responsibility model to promote a trusted brand image.
“Wait, that was a lot of words, what do you mean by that?”. We’re glad you asked! To ease the peace of mind for travellers and tourists of all sorts, it’s crucial that the industry focuses on developing marketing campaigns that instill trust and display resilience through these tough times. For those feeling a little lost on where to start, we’ve pulled together the top 4 tips and tricks we’ve seen emerge to help your travel and tourism business come out on top of COVID-19.
Imagine rocking up to your favourite ice-cream shop that you visit every single Sunday, and seeing that they’re closed. No warning, no signs, no Facebook update – nothing. THAT’S how your customers will feel if you go silent on them now: pure disappointment.
You need to keep them in the loop with everything that’s going on with your business and make them feel like they’re valued. We’ve seen this through companies like Qantas, who have been posting frequent updates on their Facebook to keep people informed about plane maintenance, travel cancellations and other issues that directly impact their business and their customers.
Think of ways you can go above and beyond in this time to offer your customers something valuable. You could look at implementing a Facebook chat bot to speedily answer frequently asked questions, or using Instagram story highlights to keep all COVID-19 related information in one space so your customers don’t have to go searching through your feed to find it. Your goal is to make this time as stress-free as possible for them and bring a little normality into their life.
Be community minded
Ever heard of a staycation? If not, now’s the time to get across it, because it’s the buzzword of the season. To give you the low down, it’s basically all about taking the holiday of your dreams right in the comfort of your own home. Tourist hubs such as zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums have latched onto this idea by offering virtual tours, talks and live streams for their customers. Airbnb have even launched online experiences that offer unique activities such as cooking classes and comedy shows that customers can do from their very own home.
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Think of ways your business can jump on board this trend to increase your virtual exposure and bring a little fun and entertainment to your audience. In shifting your social strategy, you’re not only showing sensitivity towards the current climate, but ensuring you remain relevant at a time when a lot of the industry is struggling to.
It’s time to take control of your future. Use the coming months as an opportunity to set yourself up for success post-COVID. We’ve seen many brands in the industry do just this, with hotels and resorts offering “buy now, choose dates later” policies. Consider implementing a similar scheme through Facebook retargeting campaigns to those that have visited your website in the last 60 days, offering them discount codes which they can save and use at a later date. Facebook will even send them a reminder when their offer is about to expire, which acts a second-wave of marketing.
To keep engagement levels up on your social media channels, you might even consider running a giveaway that your community can use post-COVID. Simple like, follow and tag competitions are a great way to get your followers talking and organically spreading awareness of your brand on your behalf. An added bonus? Instagram favours engagement in the form of likes and comments, which means your content will appear higher in the news feed – exactly what you want at a time where virtual visibility is extremely hard to come by.
Ask for advice
Yeah, we know – the times are a’changin’, and it’s tough to keep up with the latest and greatest trends. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, have no fear – L&A is here 😎. We’ve been working closely with our clients in all sectors to help them shift their social strategy and get the most bang for their buck. If you’d like us to do the same for your business, drop us a line!