3 Timeline Tips for Travel Pros Using Facebook

Exciting changes travel quickly! Facebook’s Timeline for business pages is HOT news!

As a travel pro, here are 3 tips and tricks, plus an important bonus tactic, to keep you ahead of the game. I know, you’re probably overwhelmed by bookings, accounting and keeping up with supplier changes. Now you wonder how you’ll manage to tackle another Facebook change. I’ve put together a quick update for you with how-to’s and strategy designed for the travel and tourism pro.

#1 – Your new Cover Photo

This exciting change gives you the opportunity to showcase your specialty visually! From a marketing standpoint this is awesome news! You can now highlight:

• Your best-selling destination
• Upcoming group departure
• Your latest family trip destination and focus on your credibility
• Photos of people enjoying your services (you may want to get a release from those pictured)

Tech stuff: This new cover photo needs to be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. Most people choose a high-definition photo that captures the essence of their brand, the business model and their key specialty.

Tip: don’t use a photo that doesn’t belong to you and follow Facebook’s rules on cover photos.

How to add your cover photo:

If you don’t have a cover photo yet, log into your business page and you’ll see a bar at the top that will walk you through setting up your new page. You can choose where to upload a photo from, see example Cover Photo

If you already have uploaded a cover photo and would like to change it, hover over “Change Photo” when you’re logged in as an Admin on your page.

Tip: you can reposition the photo up and down, but not sideways. Be certain to do any cropping prior to uploading your photo. See example below: How to change a cover shot

Here’s an example of a travel consultant who has used the cover photo extremely well to highlight her business: Journey’s by Jo example of Cover Photo Tips for Travel Pros:

You may consider changing your cover photo to highlight destinations during their peak selling period. For example, in fall when you’re selling ski vacations, change your cover photo to ski photos you’ve taken, purchased or acquired the rights to use.

Highlight the destination you’re focusing on in your regular Facebook posting calendar. For example, if you’re talking about Italy on your page and highlighting things to do, fabulous museums and cycling tours, change your cover photo to match the theme.

#2 Messages

Great news! Your clients can now send you private messages in addition to posting on your Wall. This gives you a chance to have a private conversation about bookings, dates or concerns without the Facebook world knowing. You can turn this feature on or off from your Admin dashboard by clicking Manage Permissions. How to change the Message Feature The message feature is enabled by default. To disable it, click and remove the check-mark. As a page Admin you can reply to a message, but not send one to a fan. The reverse of this is also true, you can now privately message another page owner. Think of the power of messaging a supplier.

#3 Highlight posts on your Timeline

Imagine your best photos and videos you’ve included in posts being spread out across the width of your wall. What a great way to showcase photos from your last fam trip and visually entice clients to book with you.

When you ‘Highlight’ a post by clicking on the star (see example below) it enlarges the post to the size of the bottom post in this example. (see arrow) Talk about attention-grabbing!

How to Highlight a post

Travel pros love the benefit of being able to showcase upcoming group departures, packages that are hot-sellers as well as unique destinations that will excite and inspire clients.

BONUS!

Pin to the top of your Page Do you ever wish your best posts could stay at the top of your page? Leverage that article you’ve written about an upcoming group departure so it doesn’t get hidden in the flow of other posts. Now you can ‘Pin’ a story to the top of your page for a week. Making it stick to the top of your page gives you the chance to fully market a unique product, highlight a new destination or a special you’re providing to your clients.

Here’s how it works:

• Find the post you’d like to appear at the top of your page.
• Hover and click the pencil icon at the top of the pos
• Click ‘Pin to Top’
• A small ribbon-like graphic will appear at the top of your post indicating it’s been ‘Pinned’ How to Pin a Post

Savvy travel marketers are using this feature to Pin stories, promotions, offers and events to maximize their visibility. Only 1 pinned story is allowed at one time. You can change the pinned messages at any time. The potential for pinning is powerful! Imagine: pinning a top suppliers’ newest product to the top of your page prominently featuring your next group departure showcasing an article you’ve written about your latest travel discovery providing a link to your website or on-line booking engine

This is just the beginning of a series of articles on these changes at Facebook and how they will affect you. For a quick cheat-sheet, Facebook has put this together to highlight the newest features.

If you run out of time for your own social media presence, remember I’ll do the work for you! Build your site? YES Maintain your site with multiple postings? YES Coach you on your social marketing? YES Connect with me online Join me socially: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.