Don’t Forget Your Website

For most home-based travel agents, their websites are their face to the outside world. With all of the emphasis on social networking lately, however, they may be giving short shrift to their own websites and counting on Twitter and Facebook to draw business. Social media should be used to drive business to your website, but what can you offer potential clients once they get there?

Peter Shankman, a social media expert and founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, in a recent Miami Herald interview says that when they get to your site, have something to offer them. “Whether it's a 50 percent off coupon, a terrific sale or something for free, give them something that will keep them interested in your site and the services you offer,'' he said. “You can do this very effectively through Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.''

Take a good look at your website. Is it up to date? Are the graphics cool while not overwhelming your message? Is your contact info and other important information easy to find? I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve been to where finding a phone number or address is next to impossible. Not everybody wants to fill out an e-mail form and wait for a response.

Once your website is up to speed, then you can go full steam ahead into social networking and fully reap the benefits.

“Everyone looks at social media as a great way to broadcast themselves and their business,” said Shankman. “But it's also an essential tool for listening to your customers, and it's all free. What could be better than that?”

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