Digital Etiquette for Travel Companies
It’s just as important to treat people with courtesy and respect online as it is in real life.
Parents, teachers, and every other adult in your life taught you about manners and respect. Well, it’s just as important online as it is in person. Yet - I’m continually surprised at the low level of digital etiquette, or netiquette, of many travel brands. It’s just as important to treat people with courtesy and respect online as it is in real life and to make sure your actions are creating loyal and happy customers. There are tons of options for travelers to choose from online, from destinations to tour providers, luggage sellers, hotels, you name it.
Not sure whether your digital etiquette is up to par? Here are some digital etiquette tips all travel companies should live by.
Keep it professional. Promote your business with a Facebook page and not a personal profile. For starters, a personal profile used for business purposes is against Facebook’s policies. Second, the openness of a fan page allows for unrestricted access to your company’s information and services and is an easy way to drive more traffic to your website for free. Just keep it all business, all the time. If you use a Twitter account, it’s the same thing. Twitter is an exciting new way to advertise your products and promotions, so don’t delay and keep it polite even within 140 characters.
Be You. While it’s important to keep a professional persona, it’s imperative to let your brand’s personality shine through online. Take note from your target audience and stick to a company voice and tone that supports your branding and is appealing to your target audience.
Listen. Unlike traditional marketing efforts, marketing online is a two-way street. So, as much as you share, you should listen twice as much. Monitor your accounts closely. Keep an eye on what’s going on and what your clients are asking for. Listening also goes beyond the confines of the online properties you own. What is the market saying about your brand in forums, blogs, and industry reports?
Respond. Give people a way to connect with you. Always accept the kudos graciously. However, when addressing negative comments, take a deep breath. The last thing you want to do is say something you’ll regret. Address the situation head-on in the public forum. Apologize for the inconvenience and invite the customer to discuss the problem further outside of the public forum. Words to remember: “Speak politely to an enraged dragon.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
Don’t Be Annoying
- Don’t overuse hashtags. Hashtags in Facebook and Twitter are a great way for customers and potential customers to find you, but over-using them dilutes your message and can be a pain. Pick just a few phrases key to your brand and forget the rest.
- Don’t info dump. Space out your posts and updates. Don’t bombard your community with 56 photo and status updates in 15 minutes. You’ll surely lose several readers quickly for flooding their timeline or feeds.
- Don’t make it all about you. Make it about them and what interests them. Also, mix up your posts and share news about not only your business but also about your industry or region or even your clients (with their permission, of course).
- Don’t beg for likes and shares. You don’t need to. If you create compelling content and are consistent with your postings and outreach, the likes and shares will come.
Your company’s online representation and level of service should match if not exceed the level of service once provided in person. Ensure your online presence is straightforward and follows your company’s digital engagement policy and basic digital etiquette. They’ll help you grow your community and revenue.
April D. Thompson
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Last Updated: October 9, 2013