Distaste for preachy sales tactics and a natural inclination to interact with people drive a Canadian agent’s social media strategy and have resulted in better client relations.
But Janet Camsell, CTC, owner of TRAVELSAVERS agency World Travel Warehouse in Newfoundland, never actually created a social media strategy. She just took her natural personality and tendencies and put them online.
“I don’t have an online façade,” she said. “My social media personality is my real personality.”
Camsell shared two years’ worth of social media experience with Travel Market Report.
“I didn’t have much of a learning curve. I did a little bit of research on how to post and read some stuff on Mashable [a social media news blog]. It took maybe two days. But I’ve always been into IT.
“When I first went on social media, it was just to interact with people and offer a professional opinion if someone needed it.”
Just another medium
“Facebook gives client another medium to interact with me, and it’s a different mode of information deliverance because everybody likes something different. I don’t look at it as a medium for sales.”
Facebook is for current relationships . . .
“Facebook has driven more business, but mostly because of existing relationships that I have on there. It could be friends that live far away, and they’ll ask me something and that turns into business.”
. . . and Twitter for supplier interaction
“Twitter is kind of like a live LinkedIn; that’s how I look at it. If I have a hotel supplier I want to deal with and I know they’ll interact with me on Twitter within a 24-hour window, then instead of emailing them I’ll post a message on Twitter and say, ‘This is happening,’ or, ‘I need this for tomorrow.’ It’s a good interaction.
“I actually wish more of my suppliers were on Twitter.”
“Something I love about Twitter is that it’s immediate interaction. If someone has a question, you can talk about it immediately and I’ve always been insanely over the top about immediate response times. That’s why I started interacting on Twitter because I love that immediate interaction.”
Sales pitch be gone!
“I’ve never liked salespeople that are really preachy, even in my personal life. So in terms of regular marketing, I never did it on social media and I won’t do it.”
. . . except for rare instances
“If there’s something particular that I think is a really fantastic product or deal, I’ll put that up. But that only comes around two or three times a year.”
. . . or in a very soft sell manner
“The most recent thing I put up was pictures of my travels in Vietnam and Cambodia. I also linked it to a good package for Vietnam that one of our tour operators has going right now.
“The pictures and the stories drew my clients and new people in, and if they’re interested in going to Vietnam or Cambodia, then there’s something there to think about in terms of a product. So it was mostly pictures and stories, but also a little bit of marketing.”
“I don’t like to be too ‘I know everything.’ I don’t get on there and say, ‘Hey, listen to me. I know everything about Turkey and Greece.’ If someone engages me about something I know, then I’m very passionate about it and I’ll talk on and on about it.”
Spread the word
“I let everyone know on my email signature line – this is my Twitter, this is my Facebook. So people can choose to follow me in different ways.”
Frequency: not every day
“Generally, I spend five to seven hours a week on social media. I’m definitely not posting to Facebook everyday. Mostly I’m talking to people. I try to take part in the Traveler’s Night In [#TNI on Twitter] if I’m not busy with real business.”
“I’ve had a personal blog for five years, and it’s really about all my travels. I usually post to my blog when I travel, which is every couple of months. But if I see something like an article or something else that would appeal to most travelers, I will put it on there.
“It really varies. If I’m not really busy, which hasn’t happened in awhile, I’ll spend a bit more time on it. Over Christmas it’s a little bit slow, so I have time to work on it.”