Does it have any impact on sales? These are important questions that many tour operators seem to be asking lately.
Here’s an interesting story.
Lori Franciose, a reservationist from Western River Expeditions, just got back from a trip down Cataract Canyon. The thing that surprised her the most, was how and why people decided to choose Western River over all the other choices they had.
The most common reason: Facebook.
As a 45-year-old woman on the trip put it, "You can read ‘testimonials’ all day long on someone’s website, but that seems sugar coated to me. Facebook is loaded with real people saying real things and interacting with each other. This impressed me the most."
And she wasn’t the only guest who said the exact same thing.
So what did Western River do to make their Facebook page create this kind of impact?
Using Resmark Systems Tour Operator Software, Western River created a process that generates facebook posts from guests – automatically.
If you look at the page during the summer months, you’ll see that most of the content is not generated by the company, but rather by the guests. This is what made all the difference for the 45-year old woman on the Cataract trip. If the content was mostly generated by Western River, it wouldn’t seem much different from the company website. But it’s full of comments from guests just returning from a trip, from others just about to leave and from others thinking about a trip. Suddenly, the experience offered by Western River comes to life because of real people sharing real feelings with each other.
So, how does Western get this content on Facebook? Simply putting a facebook link on the website doesn’t create this kind of interaction.
Western uses Resmark to invite people to engage with Facebook at very specific times:
These are the key moments when people will truly interact with Facebook. The reasons for going to Facebook are different in each case, but very powerful as the guests are both relating to others in their same situation and creating their own posts.
One important part of this process is that the emails sent during each of these periods are very personalized. Resmark Systems Tour Operator Software automtically creates each email to match the profile of the guest (based on their travel party, their preferences and their trip location). In this way, Western River is able to offer more personalized customer service and make the emails more effective.
In a day when social media can require a decent portion of the labor budget, having a time-saving process like that offered by Resmark, makes a big difference in not only effectiveness, but also cost savings.
Western also does some cool stuff with reviews after a trip.
Are you doing something with social media that’s working well for you?