Creating a digital marketing campaign isn’t a simple task. Especially for travel brands, who tend to be competing with a number of other similar companies during peak seasons, it’s extremely important to stand out. Of course, creating a strong campaign on social requires a lot of time, energy, and resources across different departments.
The worst thing that could possibly happen after making a huge commitment to running a campaign is messing up the basics when it comes to sharing it on social. It would be a shame to have invested so much in preparing the campaign, only to make a mistake on something as seemingly simple as posting to Twitter.
On that note, here are three course corrections you can implement right away to make sure you make the most of your social campaigns.
1. Wait a bit before promoting your post.
Many travel brands will set aside budget to promote, say, a summer travel campaign. That’s great, but don’t immediately tack your ad budget onto your posts; first, post your content and wait a bit to see how it performs organically.
From June through August this year, U.S. travel brands promoted 12% of their posts and accommodation brands promoted 8%. When it comes to reaching and engaging with as much of your audience as possible, it’s important to make the best decisions when it comes to what you promote, when you promote, and how much you spend on promotion. If you promote your content immediately, you’ll be missing out on the organic engagement you would have received anyway, and thus you’ll find yourself spending your budget inefficiently. Give your content a chance first and see how your target audience responds to it, before putting money behind it.
2. Don’t post at the wrong times.
On Twitter, there’s a significant drop in engagement if you post on the hour or half hour (e.g., 8:00 or 8:30) and, to a lesser extent, at five-minute increments. This is because your users’ Twitter timelines are so full at these times with a wealth of content scheduled on the hour by brands both large and small. (And while content might be scheduled on the hour and half hour, people in general aren’t waiting until the exact hour or half hour to check their Twitter timelines.) When the feed is overpopulated, content sees drops in engagement, so make sure you avoid these times.
Post time is a big concern on Facebook as well, even though the News Feed doesn’t primarily operate in chronological order. It’s important to see how much post traffic is coming in from your industry. Yes, there will be peak hours where your audience is online, but you can optimize your post time even further by doing a little competitive analysis.
3. Experiment with new social media platforms like Periscope.
As part of a social campaign, it’s important to consider the smaller networks that might have different or unique audiences you can reach. Periscope is a great one for travel brands to consider, especially when you’re kicking off a larger campaign.
Fans love to see behind-the-scenes footage, and Periscope is a great way to add that human element to your travel brand. Southwest Airlines does an exceptional job of using Periscope. Back in August, Southwest used Periscope to follow the life of one of their provisioning agents named Daryl. It’s a great way to show the people behind the company, and the nature of a real-time app like Periscope means you’re able to be more impromptu — and users respond positively to it.
So when it comes to executing social campaigns, travel brands should take a step back and make sure they’re hitting the basics first. Small changes will make sure all the effort put into a travel campaign is valued — and every extra eyeball counts.