Yes, You Need Facebook and other Social News

tour guides and social media

Maybe, just maybe THIS chart will make it sink in…. If You Want To Be a Tour Professional and want some new work in the year 2012 and beyond, you will need to be on Facebook (and other social media networks).  Case closed, shut and sealed.  Next??

When I started touring in 2005, I remember leading a group of retired Brits.  All over the age of 60.  Most were well over the age of 60.  On a day off in Phoenix, they were all sitting around the pool.  Want to guess what they were all doing??  Remember, this was 2006.  They were texting friends, family and others about their trip.  Were you texting in 2006?  If you were an American tour director, I sincerely Doubt it.

We Americans laughed it off as a “teenager thing” until about 2010.  That’s when “adults” got into it with smartphones.  Same with Facebook.  Ok, I will admit, the MySpace thing almost had us.  Thankfully we recovered and survived…  But other nations are on the Social Media bandwagon and way in head of us.  That means you.

Neglecting International Markets

Some of us at the Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild, may only do work in Vegas and think they don’t need to be on Social Media.  You are wrong… knowing what is up in other parts of the world and having “friends” and clients in other counties can make us more marketable to the local DMC’s.

So take a look at this article on International Social Media trends:  The dangerous neglect of international hotel marketing – Do Not shrug it off just because it relates to hotels.  The information in that article is excellent for Tour Professionals.

Two Other Trends

Reading further down the article, it shows how social media has consolidated and changed over the last three years.  Yes, Facebook now rules the world.  But two other trends also are emerging.  Mobile and Local…  I know from my own Internet Marketing work, that it is growing daily.

Mobile

More people are communicating via mobile devices. We saw this trend in Japan, now its coming to America.  In the websites that I manage, I am seeing an average of 23% of the traffic to the websites come from mobile devices.  (tablets, netbooks and smartphones).

Local

This is more for the marketing.  Being where the customer is on their “soil” electronically speaking.  As in their country’s favorite domain or that country’s version of forums.

What I mean by that is a tour operator trying to attract the Canadian market should have a website hosted on a .CA Like mytourcompany.CA  (unlike America, where it’s mytourcompany.COM).

Same theory holds if you want to attract credibility from the Canadian markets.  You want to be known as a tour professional in Las Vegas for Canadians to call on??  Go to a travel or tourist forum on their domain and post. Ask questions and answer other peoples questions about Las Vegas.   As an example; Answers.yahoo.ca  Its Canadian for Canadians.

FYI: On my tour website, I get some nice traffic from answers.yahoo.com.  Several inquires a month from TO’s and others looking for information.

 

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