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 57, Laura Allen’s goals on social media are twofold: to reach out to new customers and to enhance the client experience.
“A personal favorite trick is to tweet to or direct message @DeltaAssist, Delta's awesome Twitter handle,” Allen said. “I've had them add frequent flyer numbers to bookings, check award availability and let me know flight statuses! They are the best! I often reach out to hotel brands through social media if I need a quick contact in a particular department for a sale or to solve a problem.”
Allen’s focus on helping people paid off in a big way when a bid to rescue a stranded traveler turned into an opportunity for national publicity.
“I am a big fan of SiriusXM's ‘Wake up with Taylor,’ Allen said. “When I saw the host, Taylor, tweeting that she was stuck at EWR during a snowstorm and was joking about needing help with private jet travel, I, of course, replied that I could assist with this request. Through subsequent phone calls and texts we had a great day trying to get her out of EWR, which led to her talking about me on her national radio show! From this I received a few requests, one of which has turned in to a long-lasting client.”
Allen’s top tip? Learn by observing. “Whenever someone tells me ‘I just don't understand Twitter,’ I always recommend them to start like I did...just observing!” Allen said. “I joined Twitter back in 2009 when I was just beginning a career hunt and wanted to follow like-minded people to perhaps get my foot in the door somewhere. I didn't know the difference between a retweet and a reply, but I did sign on just to observe the various conversations happening.”
Allen credits her active social media presence with enhancing her visibility, particularly among the younger demographic. “The internet is most travelers’, especially younger demographics, main source of information,” Allen said. “If I can present on this outlet then I can also become an important resource… Also, one thing even I have to remind myself is that just because someone isn't interacting with you that doesn't mean they aren't seeing what you're saying! I've received countless Facebook messages from people I have not communicated with in years saying ‘wow - we love following your posts! We happen to be planning a honeymoon!”
You can find Laura Allen on Facebook here.