9 Ways to Size-up your Social Audiences


Do you remember all those books about understanding the opposite sex?  How passé it now seems compared to understanding our social peeps.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to learn what makes your social fans tick, click and share?

Surveys, fan analytics and simple research queries translate into powerful tools to advertise, reach wider organic audiences and select your key words.  Opportunities like this can be found for free and for a variety of levels of investment.

Survey tips

Using tools like Surveymonkey, Constant Contact and polling tools you can write your own survey questions to learn travel aspirations, social media usage or other information vital to your marketing.  Keeping your questions simple will encourage responses from time-starved fans. When selecting a survey tool, you’ll want to be sure it includes a URL so that you can amplify your survey

Advanced tip:  consider providing a downloadable free resource as a thank you.  Think about checklists, destination guides, packing lists that will add value for your respondents.

Tour Operator input: When I reached out to a number of fellow NTA members most responded that they survey their clients or stakeholders about once a year.  Jay Smith of Sports Travel & Tours looks for travel aspirations and some data.  Chris Babb of The Group Tour Company surveys a small group from their database and sends a handwritten thank you note and a $5 gift card to respondents. Other operators mentioned they survey travelers after their return.

Social Research

With a few simple keystrokes and you can learn more about the interests of your fans.  Armed with this information you’ll be able to:

  1. Target your advertising to reach interested fans
  2. Key into key words to increase your SEO
  3. Focus your ad word purchases
  4. Hone your email subject lines
  5. Measure your ROI and ROE (return on engagement)
  6. Provide relevant social content that matters to your fans

target ad gears

Research Tools for Top Social Platforms & What You’ll Learn

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Tour Operator input:  Colleagues are most likely to track Facebook audiences.  Chris Babb of The Group Tour Company also studies the insights of his Twitter fans.  Quebec City Tourism’s Martin Lachance and team follow competitors and travel bloggers.  Meanwhile, Meanwhile, Shelley Zucht-Shorter of Tourism Calgary indicated that her team tracks their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram fans.

Popular Tools

Looking for additional free and paid tools to better understand your audience?  Check this short presentation.

Tour Operator input:  Taunya Wolfe-Finn of Wolfe Tours mentioned that they use the Facebook monitoring tools while Martin Lachance Quebec City Tourism indicated that his team uses Radian6.

What to measure

Successfully optimizing your social marketing means not only knowing the questions and tools to use, it’s also understanding what needs to be measured in your unique business.  Here are a number metrics our industry commonly measures.

Tapping into your social ROI and ROE is attainable with fine-tuned knowledge of your audience.  Keeping up with your audiences’ changing needs can be less of a mystery with these tools.

What will you do differently with an understanding of your fans’ interests, what times they’re using social media and when they’re most likely to interact with you?

Related Articles

Social Metrics for Travel Pros: The Numbers You Need and Where to Find Them

2 Social Metrics Tools + Tips

6 Key Social Metrics you Need to Measure

Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism

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By Catherine Heeg

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