When it comes to the best travel advertising platforms, social media is at the top of the list in the new digital age. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Yet frequent algorithm updates, oversaturation, and shortened attention spans are all challenges that advertisers must face on social media when trying to gain momentum with organic posts alone. According to Hootsuite, the average organic Facebook page post nets a subpar 0.07% engagement rate and reaches only 5.5% of followers.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on organic posts. Organic posting remains a smart online travel advertising tactic to build relationships, inspire customers, engage at different buying stages, and provide personalized customer service and support. However, advertisers will face challenges using organic posts alone to drive conversions, promote new deals, or generate leads. That’s where paid social media advertising comes into the equation.
Paid social media advertising compliments organic social media posting because it picks up where organic posting drops off. This is why travel advertisers need to leverage both components to ensure their advertising efforts are worthwhile.
Tips on How to Advertise on Social Media
If you’re ready to take advantage of the benefits of paid advertising on social media, consider the following seven best practices to help set up your advertising campaign for success.
1. Divide posts into “organic” and “paid” buckets.
Although advertisers enjoy many benefits when investing in paid social advertising, not all posts should be turned into paid advertisements. Posts that are most likely to be enjoyed and shared by followers (based on your historic engagement data) might do well to stay organic. On the other hand, if you believe paying for a post will help achieve a KPI objective, investing dollars to flip the post from organic to paid could make sense. Consider which posts should fall into “organic” and “paid” categories based on what makes sense for your business and your audience.
2. Repurpose successful organic posts.
Take a look at your organic posts. Which drove the most conversions or brought in followers? Compile a list of your top performers. Then, repurpose those posts by boosting them into paid versions to see more exposure and breathe new life into campaigns that may not have performed as well the first time around.
3. Use your current followers to target new ones.
To better understand the behavioral, social, demographic, and occupational statistics of your audience, start by conducting a deep dive into your organic post followers. You can use the information you gather to target audiences for your paid social media posts through lookalike targeting. That way, you’ll be able to get in front of more users who are likely to become followers, too.
4. Vary up your paid posts.
In some instances, it can be difficult to know what type of paid social media travel advertising posts will work best for your business. To offset potential roadblocks, consider testing a host of creative varieties. Play around with different CTAs, swap visuals, and conduct A/B tests. Not only will you see what works best, but you’ll be more likely to figure out what your audience prefers and what is most cost-effective for you.
5. Explore retargeting.
As you become more comfortable with paid social media advertising, don’t be afraid to experiment with retargeting. A retargeting campaign can woo back people who checked out your social page, e-commerce store, or site. Done well, retargeting can encourage re-engagement in a big way.
6. Strive for automation.
Even in the digital world, time is money. The more time you can save, the more efficient your team will be. Therefore, look for ways to automate your organic or paid posts — or both. An example of this would be creating and scheduling all your organic travel posts weeks in advance. Once done, you can concentrate your day-to-day efforts on their paid counterparts.
7. Prepare for the end of third-party cookies.
Third-party cookies are on their way out the door, as we explain in our latest whitepaper. Paid social media posts don’t rely on third-party cookies, which means you can try strategies that will be useful on other channels as well once all third-party cookies are gone. Even if it takes time to see substantial success from your paid online advertising campaigns, you’ll have more knowledge about how to navigate advertising in a cookieless world.
Social Media Platforms to Try
Are you eager to try your hand at paid online social media advertising? Below are some of the sites that are most appealing for travel advertisers to find the right audiences.
- Facebook: More than one-third of the global population is on Facebook, making it a social media hot spot. You can share just about any kind of content on Facebook, including videos, reviews, events, and more. Perhaps best of all, Facebook’s advertising setup makes it simple to get started and track your advertising efforts.
- Instagram: With its visual leanings, Instagram is a travel brand’s go-to social site. Roughly 4 in 10 Millennials rely on Instagram to help them pick their next vacation locations. Be sure to make use of hashtags on Instagram: They’re essential. Also, feel free to springboard paid ad content from user-generated content from your biggest fans.
- Twitter: When people want to rave about travel experiences, they head to Twitter. Social Insight research shows that about half of all travelers were influenced by Twitter recommendations and rants. Similar to Instagram, you’ll want to keep tabs on trending Twitter hashtags and use what you learn to ultimately better inform your paid social posts.
- Pinterest: Travel imagery is all over Pinterest. If you want to inspire people to be curious about a brand or destination, Pinterest is the place to be. Another benefit of advertising on Pinterest is that it’s not as saturated as other social media sites.
- TikTok: As the newest member of the social media scene, TikTok has a growing audience and evolving advertising platform. You’ll have to be comfortable engaging through imaginative, buzzworthy videos as part of your organic and paid TikTok advertising. Fortunately, the potential to go viral makes it worth a try, particularly if you’re targeting Gen Z, Millennials, or under-50 Generation X.
There’s no doubt that paid social media advertising belongs in your travel advertising toolkit. So jump in and get started. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll find what works for your brand. At Digilant, we’re here to help. Contact us here to begin your travel advertising journey.