“Sharks on the NC Coast!”
“Poachers shot & killed in Tanzania!”
“8 tourists found dead in Cancun!”
“Trump revokes travel to Cuba!”
“Zika resurfaces in south Florida!”
“Another traveler dies in the Dominican Republic!”
These are just a few of the headlines that have been surfacing in our news outlets and social media in just the last month. In fact, if you look at any of those posts, you will see that they have been shared hundreds and hundreds of times throughout social media. The fact is that some of these stories are true, some are not, and most are in-between. “Fake news” is as rampant in the travel industry as it is in our bipolar political climate.
As a travel advisor, your first instinct may be to share these posts to prove you are “connected” and to keep your followers informed, but you should really think about this for a minute before hitting that “share” button. Your social media should be used to inspire people to travel and to help establish the “know, like & trust” so they will think of you first as the expert. If you look back at the last month of your posts and see that the majority has been sharing of these negative and scary stories, you are not fulfilling those goals.
Of course, It is extremely important as a travel advisor to be knowledgeable and aware of these situations that are being shared. Your clients may come to you with their concerns and you want to be able to address those concerns in a professional way. Many of these stories are scary and obviously, they have lots of travelers and soon-to-be travelers concerned.
You may even want to share a very important safety update regarding these concerns BUT the key is to do so carefully and thoughtfully. If you are going to share a post:
- You should verify that the post that you are sharing is accurate and current (check those dates!) and comes from a well-respected source. Some of these stories circulating are from years ago that have gotten renewed online “life” as people search and share.
- Provide some form of commentary in your own words explaining why you feel like the subject needs to be addressed. Don’t become a part of the problem by sharing the sensational (and only partly true) content that is circulating around.
And PLEASE reserve the vast majority of your social media posts for inspirational, informative and motivational subjects that encourage your prospects and followers to get out and explore this beautiful world. You can always address these topics through a carefully-crafted blog post or feature article in your Ezine and leave Facebook and Instagram for those killer photos of travel experiences!