5 Tips to Supercharge Your Social Media Strategy in the Post-COVID World

Local travellers are hungry to hit the roads and skies as Australia and New Zealand start to lift travel restrictions. Here are five ways to refocus your social media and content strategies to help Australian RTOs maximise destination recovery messaging and capitalise on the wave of domestic travel on the horizon.

Be honest and upfront

Travellers have been overwhelmed with 24-hour news, so it’s important to provide a sense of confidence, transparency, and normalcy. As you reinsert your brand into the online discussion, be honest with your audiences about how COVID was (or is) impacting your region. It will help allay fears, signal transparency, and present valuable opportunities to highlight your recovery.

Support operators who have been most impacted and keep information up-to-date to help guests plan their trips, avoid closures, and come away with a great outlook on future travel. Hint: answer questions that you’re receiving (or expecting to receive) with easily shareable content, giving you another way to showcase your destination.

Target a restriction-relevant audience

Destinations should hone their content and distribution for each unique geographic audience. By plotting out a series of three- to four-week campaigns, you’ll be able to capitalise on the phases of reopening while retaining a bit of flexibility and ensuring each audience what they need to start dreaming (and booking) in your destination.

Reuse, Recycle, Repost

Finding the time, energy, and resources to create new content that highlights your destination’s usual energy and excitement is always difficult—no less so when locked down. But, changes in consumer expectations and behaviours may provide an opportunity to utilise previously overlooked content. A sparsely populated beach may not have aligned with your messaging before, but now highlights a socially distant (and responsible) experience worth promoting. Recut videos to emphasise a new USP like open spaces, or record a voiceover that gives new context to existing visuals.

Establish a partner-to-posting pathway

Promote your stakeholder communities (and save yourself some work) by establishing an easy, clear way for them to promote their content on your channels. It’s a win-win— operators increase their reach and DMOs easily source content without having to spend time and money finding or creating it.

Reach out to your stakeholders and provide a process for them to share their content in the right format and with the right accreditations for your channels.

Buy some ads

While many businesses are hibernating, a large portion of digital advertising spend has ceased, causing pay-per-click (PPC) costs to dramatically fall.  Evidence from sources such as Neil Patel shows ROI on paid advertising increasing up to 71%, meaning now is the time invest in PPC ads if you have available budget to do so. In today’s pay-to-play environment, even websites optimised for SEO struggle to generate traffic without integrating a paid content strategy.

Utilise short, localised campaigns, produce varied creative, and target your ads to well-defined audiences at each phase of recovery. Large corporations usually buy big in broad demographics, leaving highly targeted, niche audiences ripe for personalisation open for smaller brands.

Bonus: Take that data deep dive

For those who have a little extra bandwidth, pour over your channels’ data with an eye toward ROI. Analysing your data will present the most valuable audiences for each phase of recovery. We’re all living in times of rapid change, so remember to find the time to examine your audience at least twice a year. (This is a critical, and often overlooked, part of social media marketing.)

If your data opens your eyes to new audiences, consider new channels. Platforms like Tik Tok and Snapchat may seem full of teen memes, but their usage rivals Facebook and Instagram in younger demographics. Even if they aren’t in your strategy today, Tik Tok is the most downloaded app in 2020 and Snapchat/Tik Tok users spend roughly equal time on these platforms as they do Instagram and Facebook. With stats like those, it’s hard to discount their place in future marketing channel mixes.

Hyper-localisation and niche targeting aren’t just used in social media, they’ve been accelerating quickly in Public Relations and earned media placements over the past few years also.