It’s not easy figuring out when and how it’s appropriate to promote your business in a social group setting. That’s why we’ve done it for you.
Chances are, you’re a member of several different groups on Facebook. And as such, chances are pretty great that you’ve been annoyed by posts by members of them. Multi-level marketing, unsolicited opinions, and snide comments are par for the course online and on social media, which makes it even harder for your business posts to stand out as quality content. But as a small business, you ignore this free marketing opportunity to your detriment, because social media groups, especially community or special interest ones, are absolute treasure chests for leads.
To help your posts get approval through admins and engagement with members with minimal irritation, here are some of ALG Vacations® best tips on how to publicize your business without coming off too pushy or sales-y.
- Review the group’s rules and follow the guidelines for posting. If they request that you do not post advertising, unfortunately, you’ll have to rule it out. Violating rules will definitely get you banned quickly!
- Jump in organically. If someone else posts something that is travel-related, make a comment about how it’s one of your favorite destinations to book. If someone mentions a favorite dish that reminds you of something you had, comment how much you love it, too, and that the best version you had was in XYZ destination. Just make sure that you acknowledge their initial post first, and then add on from there.
- Be respectful and sensitive. Remember that members of a community or group are made up of a lot of different types of folks, lifestyles, experiences, and personal and political viewpoints. Keep your tone relaxed, even, and neutral, and avoid fetishizing or romanticizing cultures when you speak of travel. For instance, “quaint colonial” and “exotic” may have been a common descriptive phrase, but nowadays, it can be seen as glorifying oppression or othering, respectively.
What Not To Do
- Do NOT end each post with a catchphrase, phone number, email address, etc. This feels like a commercial sign-off and will come off as disingenuous.
- Do NOT steamroll the conversation. You want to contribute and add to the conversation, not take it over. People post because they want to be heard!
- Do NOT approach posting like a sales pitch. You’ll get flagged as a spam account since people join groups to learn and connect, NOT be sold to.
- Do NOT be patronizing. Some members may be new to the group or new to the interest, and talking down will alienate them from ever working with you.
- Do NOT try to one-up. Bragging about your own experiences is great to do on your own feed to your own friends and followers, but going into a forum or group to do so will just feel tacky.
Inserting yourself into a conversation organically can be easier than you think. There are actually a lot of opportunities where you can do so, but it’s really important to jump in mindfully and selectively. Be thoughtful and choosy about when you push your business versus when you type a regular, personal comment.
Here are some examples of good call-and-response ways to promote your business without coming on too strong.
“I was just in XYZ destination, and I loved it!”
You can respond with: “I agree! As a travel advisor, I’ve gone to so many places, but XYZ is one of my favorites. Let me know next time you want to revisit! I love booking this destination and have so many recommendations I can share!”
“I was in XYZ destination and I hated it.”
You can respond with: “Oh, man – I’m so sorry to hear that! So disappointing, since as a travel advisor, I know we live for our vacations! For your next one, feel free to contact me so I can help make sure it’s not a bust!”
“I’m planning a family vacation. Any tips?”
You can respond with: “I learned early on in my career as a travel advisor that family vacations can be really tough to plan if you’ve never done it. Let me know if you want professional help! I’ve been doing it for XYZ years now.”
“I need help deciding what to do for my honeymoon. Do you have any advice?”
You can respond with: “Just like with partners, there’s no one-size-fits-all honeymoon! Honestly, as a travel advisor, my best advice is to enlist a pro. You’re busy enough with wedding planning without the pressure of figuring out an epic vacation. Personally, honeymoons are my favorite to book, so let me know if I can help you with yours!”
“This local restaurant is so good; it brings me right back to XYZ destination!”
You can respond with: “Ooh, you’re right! I’ve often thought the same thing. I’m a travel advisor, so I’m pretty picky. When I’m in XYZ destination, I like going to XYZ restaurant there for XYZ dish, but I could go on forever about the food there. Happy to talk to anyone thinking of going to XYZ destination and share my best dining and travel recs!”
Starter Post Templates
For Small Business Saturday, several community groups will encourage local owners to promote their small business. If so, or if your community group allows it throughout the year, here are some great starting points for writing a post to promote your agency.
- Please delete if not allowed, but I just wanted to introduce myself! My name is Jane Doe and I own XYZ Travel Agency right here in town. My specialties include honeymoons, family reunions, destination weddings, and gay getaways, and I can talk for hours about Cancun, Dominican Republic, and Hawaii. I’m happy to chat with anyone at any time
- Hi everyone! I noticed there’s been a lot of chatter about travel in this group lately, so I just wanted to chime in to introduce myself. My name is Jane Doe and I’m a professional travel advisor right here in town and I’d be happy to answer any questions and, of course, book your dream vacation. We all know we deserve a break these days!
Want more tips for Small Business Saturday? You got it. Just click the magnifying glass at the top of this page and type in Small Business for all-new content plus classic tips, tricks, and tools for making a big splash this #SmallBusinessSaturday.