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10 Nov 2017
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How to succeed at making sales with Facebook

Helen Hays, social media manager at Ginger Juice, gives some practical pointers on how to use Facebook to sell.

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"Those who have made social media work for them will swear by it..."

Most agents fall into one of two categories when it comes to social media: it works for selling holidays or it doesn’t. Most people fall into the latter category.

 

Those who have made social media work for them will swear by it, they’ve gained numerous new customers and have built their business using it. Those who don’t believe that it works might think: “I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work”; “it’s a waste of money” and “it’s full of timewasters”. Sound familiar? All of those phrases are true: it doesn’t work, it’s a waste of money and it’s full of timewasters, but only if you don’t follow the process.

 

So how can you sell on social media? To quote the Jackson 5 – it’s as easy as 1,2,3. The process described below is designed for agents, not OTAs. It’s designed for selling off the page, not directing people to a website, and it’s designed for Facebook B2C.

Step one: Offer post

Your post needs to have:

  • A specific offer. Outline dates, price, board basis, duration and departure point. This is important. “I sell holidays, call me” won’t get you very far.
  • A strong post title. At Ginger Juice, we call these “scroll stoppers” – something that grabs viewers’ attention. It might be a digital marketing cliché but think mobile first. More than 90% of people access Facebook from a mobile device. Make sure your post title isn’t split across more than two lines on mobile. Bookend it with emojis for maximum effect.
  • Five or more images. This increases engagement and your reach figures as a result.Your best image first. This image will be displayed bigger than the rest of your images as a header/hero image.
  • A strong call to action. Include who you are, where you are and how to book the offer.

Step two: Facebook advert targeting

To make a splash on Facebook in 2017, you need to pay to play. This doesn’t mean you need to break the bank; you’ll be surprised what you can get for £5. Use Facebook Adverts Manager or Power Editor for better control and targeting options. When targeting, consider:

  • Key demographics: Age, location, parents, engaged, upcoming birthday or anniversary, income or net worth*.
  • Interests: This can be nearly any interest. However, try to be specific. Instead of choosing a general interest such as “skiing”, choose an interest in ski companies, ski magazines or ski brands. You’ll reach an audience more responsive to ski content this way.
  • Connections: People who like your page or friends of people who like your page.
  • Behaviour: People who’ve recently been on your website, previous customers or people who have recently engaged with your Facebook content. How specific your targeting should be depends on what your holiday offer is. For example, targeting for a bucket-and-spade holiday should be more generic than an adventure travel trip in South America.

Step three: Respond correctly

If steps 1 and 2 have been executed well and people are receptive to your offer, you should have lots of interest, which can come in varying forms. If it’s direct – they’ve rung you or popped into your branch – then the activity has done its job. However, what you’ll also get is lots of interest on Facebook, on the post, on your page and in Facebook Messenger. This is where a lot of people miss a trick or end up wasting their time. We call this the “Goldilocks rule” – you don’t want to respond too little (or not at all) and you don’t want to overdo it, spending too much time and effort. You need to find a level that’s just right.

 

Try the above steps and don’t be afraid to give Facebook advertising a go if you haven’t already. It has some of the best targeting options available to marketeers in 2017. I look forward to seeing you in my Facebook newsfeed.

Top tips for responding to interest on Facebook

1 Respond to anyone asking you a question directly.

 

2 Sign off with your name, especially if they can’t see your name.

 

3 Explain why it’s a fantastic offer.

 

4 Provide next steps: “Pop me a direct message” or “Give me a ring on…”

 

5 Never give a quote directly over Facebook.

 

6 Be friendly and have fun with it – it’s social media after all.

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