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Most Social Travel Advisor – Marie SmithJune 21, 2013 By: Adam Leposa
In conjunction with our recent cover story “Social Media Tips From the Experts,” we reached out to travel agents who are at the top of their game when it comes to social media. Each day we’ll be highlighting one of the top five applicants, ranked by Klout score.
With an average Klout score of 60, Marie Smith is responsible for overseeing and training travel agents in social media at her host agency of KHM Travel Group.
“I host all the advanced classes for our agency whose total agent count is over 3000,” Smith said. “I do classes covering insights, changes, updates and better uses for ads and marketing efforts. Social media is the most effective way to stay connected and with there being new advances and programs daily, I help weed them down to the most importance essentials so our agents can be effectively and actively selling and still maintaining their own sites.”
Smith’s top tips? Have a plan. “It is imperative to have a social media marketing plan, not unlike other business plans,” Smith said. “The more thought out and written processes allow you put into play your exact ideas and market to your fullest intent. It is also important to review and analyze your efforts, so I also take time once a month (sometimes more) to review insights to see how my results vary to my expectations and whether or not ad dollars were wisely spent.”
Additionally, Smith advises agents to go where there audience is. “There are so many different avenues that a single agent can become overwhelmed and find there is no time to do everything,” Smith said. “I highly believe that the most effective tool is one's own personal Facebook page secondary to the business page. It is important to understand the correct balance of postings between the pages. Many agents starting out want to flood their own feed with their business posts and not their personal experiences. Social media started as a ‘social’ site and people need to remember to focus back on relations and less on high power sales.
“I also recommend setting up Instagram as the more visual we are the better our engagement results can be. As travel agents we do get to explore and see the sites many of our friends and fans want to see and experience. It is also great because as most social apps do, Instagram posts directly to your Facebook feed.”
You can find Smith on Facebook here.