Social Media Etiquette…Please

I truly believe that social media will be the travel advisors’ main source for finding and retaining clients, if it isn’t already for many of you. But I have to say, more of you are using it incorrectly than correctly.

First, you need to practice what is called “channel voice.” This is simply deciding to whom you are speaking on the social networks. Is it your clients, your personal friends or your industry colleagues? You can’t, and shouldn't, talk to or share your business with all of them, all at the same time. Unless you're also life-long friends, your clients do not care about your son’s graduation. Another pet peeve? Observing advisors on Facebook who are asking industry colleagues for destination or product recommendations. This clearly shows your clients that you don’t know what you are doing, that you're not the expert they perceived you to be.

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Do share some personal experiences to bring a human element to your pages, but limit them. Showing photos of destinations and key experiences is what work best. Photos of yourself  with general managers and amazing tour guides around the world will impress your audience. That's what you should do—here's a list of what not to do:

* Checking in at an airport? Why, unless you are looking for a companion?

* Showing off your first class seat or boarding pass as if it were your first time out of coach? Another no-no. Your clients should assume you fly first class all the time. Post when you get great service.

* Stop posting after that first cocktail. Nothing good happens after the second.

* Posting more than twice a day is annoying unless you only have two followers…and they are your mother and father.

* Keep politics out of it unless all of your clients are all within the same party.

Think about what you are sharing, with whom, and when. Use your tools properly to make them as powerful as they possibly can be.

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