By Emily Peters
Ah, Facebook. As an independent travel professional with a Facebook page, you may have noticed that your engagement taking a hit as of 2018. If so, it’s not your imagination. Facebook changed up its algorithm once again this year in order to give Facebook users a “more meaningful” experience—which means more posts from their friends and less from pages they follow.
Naturally, businesses of all kinds threw back their heads and howled. And while there are still steps you can take to help your posts show up organically (i.e. without paying for it), today we’ll focus on how to use Facebook advertising to your advantage.
Step 1: Get your Facebook Page (and Website) in Ship Shape.
Before you invest in drawing more attention to your FB page or website, make sure your content is clean. Your Facebook page should provide a potential client with everything they need to feel comfortable booking travel with you: a clear brand, lots of high-quality photos, accurate contact information, hours of operation (if applicable), and plenty of recent posts. Your website should also jive with your Facebook page: no conflicting or outdated information.
Step 2. Determine your Desired Outcome.
Are you interested in getting more followers? Likes and shares for your content? Do you want more visitors to your website? Be intentional about your desired outcome. It’ll help you determine the best kind of ad to create.
Step 3. Understand the Basics of how Facebook Advertising Works.
Facebook advertising isn’t like taking out an ad in a newspaper. Rather than paying for an ad upfront, you tell Facebook how much you’re willing to spend over a certain amount of time. You select your maximum budget, the timeframe for the ad to run, and the ideal audience you want Facebook to show your ad to. They’ll maximize your ad to display to as many people that match your audience, and you only pay when someone actually clicks on it.
Step 4. Start with a Boosted Post.
The simplest way to begin advertising on Facebook is by “boosting” a post. Essentially, you go to create a post as per usual, but instead of selecting the “publish” button, you opt for “boosting.” Facebook will guide you through the steps of getting it published as an ad. Remember: use high-quality images (either that belong to you or are free to use!) and compelling copy for your ads. When it comes to copy, less is usually more.
Step 5. Use Facebook Ads Manager to Experiment with A/B testing
For a more customized, hands-on approach to Facebook advertising, Facebook’s Ad Manager platform goes way beyond just boosting a post. The platform is a powerful way to run multiple ads at once (great to see which content is more engaging than others—that’s what we call A/B testing), create ongoing campaigns and even run reports.
While not exactly intuitive, Facebook’s Ad Manager does give you way more control than simply boosting a post. It’s completely free to use, so keep Ad Manager on your to-do list of tech tools to master. And don’t worry—there’s a guided path to creating ads to ease you into using the tool.
Step 6. Review the Results
We hammer this home whenever we talk about marketing your travel business. Failing to gauge the success of your marketing efforts is tantamount to giving your dog cash for dinner. Use the Facebook Ads Manager App and online tools to find out exactly how many people saw your ad (called “impressions”) and how many clicked. Since it’ll be within a defined timeframe, you’ll be able to compare that to how many new phone calls, emails, Facebook inquiries, etc. you received during that time.
Remember: you’re constantly testing! If you’re not happy with the results, explore ways to tweak your images, copy and call to action to boost clicks on your ad. Finding the sweet spot is a process, so be patient and set a reasonable budget—even $50 can be enough to see preliminary results and boost your travel agency’s online presence. Good selling!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.