For many of our clients, Facebook is an important link between the customer and a vacation destination. With more than 500 million users (the majority of whom are younger and tech-savvy), reaching out to this market becomes more important every day as potential travelers turn to the web for their vacation research.
Marketing on Facebook looks pretty easy, at least on the surface. On a typical day…
One of our clients’ Facebook admins might post pictures that remind former visitors of how beautiful/exciting/fun their last trip was.
Visitor A comments on how much he enjoyed his last trip.
Prospective Visitor B sees that comment and decides to look into our client’s destination more.
Voila. Facebook Marketing success.
But what a lot of businesses (and destinations) don’t understand is just how many hats your social media manager really wears. In traditional marketing, the marketer crafts her message, determines who to target, and fires away. But Facebook marketing isn’t like that. On any given day, the person “marketing” to your Facebook fans is a:
Monitor—You’ve got to check every comment, every post, and every fan-uploaded picture for spam, trolls and inappropriate behavior.
Customer Service Representative—Someone wants to know the latest on the trails? A family wants to complain about their last trip? Yep. You’re handling that too.
Community Builder—Need more fans? Need fans to interact more? Your content determines the quality of the community you’ll have on your page.
Conversation Starter—A fan page is only as good as the conversations going on at any time there. And the best way to get those conversations going is with a great post by your admin.
Webmaster—Something’s broken? Your page is down? A post malfunctioned? Better get ready to clean up when Zuckerberg’s massive servers go down.
And, last but not least, that social media marketer is also…a marketer—When you justify your destination’s Facebook page to your board/CEO/chamber members, this may be the easiest sell for what you do on the page. But it’s certainly not the only thing.
For most destinations, this circus of responsibilities is worth it. Nowhere else can you combine the water cooler discussions that lead to trip-booking with e-newsletter-type marketing, a fresh and friendly community of fans, and the massive potential that Facebook’s ever-growing user base offers.
But the next time you get ready to update your fans, consider just how many different things you’re doing at the same time, and how far you’ve come from traditional marketing.