5 Ideas for Travel Agencies on Small Business Saturday

November 23, 2020

Mark your calendar: Small business Saturday (SBS) is just around the corner! Nov. 28th, 2020 to be exact. Maybe you're thinking, "More planning! More work! More time spent on aimless marketing initiatives and less time spent booking!" But before your run screaming for the hills, hear me out.

This article will offer you a few simple ideas for giving your agency some exposure on Small Business Saturday (Pssst! You can do most of these ideas in fewer than 5 minutes). Here's some shortcuts to what we have in store:

  1. Social Shareables from HAR
  2. Showcase Your Clients
  3. Check with Local Networking Groups to Participate in Events/ Promotions
  4. Sync Your Client-Appreciation with Small Business Saturday
  5. Travel Agent Hashtag Tips for Small Business Saturday


1. Social Shareables from HAR

Usually people "save the best for last," but I'm going to go ahead and put the best right up front: HAR's social shareables. If you do nothing else, do this: Share these social posts in the week leading up to Small Business Saturday. Why? They're eye-catching. They're clever. They take all of 2 minutes to share on your page, and you can even slap on your agency logo. What's not to love?

Here they are:

Small Business Saturday 2020 Image


Small Business Saturday - Travel Big Social Shareable
Right click or Command click to save!
Small Business Saturday - Want to make a Big Impact Social Shareable
Right click or Command click to save!
Small Business Saturday - Friends don't let friends book Expedia Social Shareable
Right click or Command click to save!



2. Showcase Your Clients on Social

One thing retail shops may do on Small Business Saturday is to encourage customers to take selfies in their store and post them to social. But just because your agency may not be perched right on main street, it doesn't mean your business has to go unnoticed.

Here's what to do: Ask a few clients if you can post photos of past vacations on your feed to help promote your agency on Small Business Saturday. If you've already posted pics of your client on vacation in the past, repost them and reminisce about planning their trip.

Since no one is currently traveling, an alternative is ask clients to share pictures of their household enjoying household or local activity/outdoors with a post about what trip they're dreaming up next.

Better yet, ask for a photo from a client who has written a testimonial on your site (that way you don't have to create content!) or ask your client to share a few words on why they want to support your agency on Small Business Saturday.

If you don't want to pester your clients for post content, just write a post reminding people that supporting small businesses extends beyond black Friday shopping at their local cheese/clothing/book/bike/bake shop.

What hashtags should you use to accessorize your posts? Find them here.


3. Check Local Networking Groups for Events/ Listings

Do you want a little press for your agency? Research local or online guides to see if they have a small business directory guide (in print or online). What are the chances another local travel agents is chomping at the bit to participate (unless they're reading this too)?

You can also check with your local networking groups to see if they’re doing anything to promote small businesses virtually, then sign up to participate! It's best to start with groups that you're already a part of—chamber of commerce group, a local networking group, or any other groups you're already a part of.

Coming up blank on your networking group brainstorm? Get tips of building a travel agent work community here!


4. Let Clients Know You're Thinking About Them.

Typically, here I offer advice to host a client appreciation event around Small Business Saturday. This year, that's just not possible (unless you do it virtually).

But if you're in the habit of expressing gratitude to yours clients, the Thanksgiving/Small Business Sat. season is the perfect time to do so. Send them a note with a small goodie letting them know you're excited to plan their next trip once travel takes off again. Ask them where they're dreaming to go next. Even though no one is traveling right now, this is the time to plant the seed for future trips.

Curious to hear how advisors run their appreciation events? Listen to this volume of Travel Agent Chatter.


5. Quick Hashtag Tips

How do you know what hashtags to use to accessorize your great social posts? We have some quick tips on how to choose which ones to use1.

1. Don’t Use Every Hashtag:

I am prone to getting hashtag happy on Instagram, but stuffing as many hashtags as possible into a post will bring you diminishing returns and it can look spammy. What’s the optimal number of hashtags to use?

  1. Facebook: 1-2 (Make sure your hashtags are specific and relevant to your post)
  2. Instagram: 11 (Hashtags that contain 21-24 characters perform better than shorter hashtags because they're more specific.)
  3. Twitter: 1-2 (Using more than 2 can decrease your engagement, so don't go overboard)

But which ones should you use? You can mix and match from the categories below!

2. Create a branded Hastag

Consider creating a branded hashtag. This may not result in unique searched, but it's a good step in developing your brand on social media.

If I started a travel agency called Steintime Travel it could be:

  1. #SteintimeTravel (go simple and use your biz name only)
  2. #TravelwithSteintime (use your biz name, plus a popular travel keyword)
  3. #SteintimeHoneymoons (use your biz name and niche)


3. Top Small Business Saturday hashtags

For Small Business Saturday, you'll want to use one of these hashtags below:

#Shoplocal #ShopSmall #SmallBusiness #SmallBiz #BusinessOwner #SmallBusinessOwner #SmallBusinessWeek #SmallBusinessSaturday #SmallBusinessOwners #SmallBusinessLove #SmallBizOwner #SmallBizLife #CreativeEntrepreneur


4. Top travel Hashtags

Below are some of the most popular travel hashtags. Pick a few that are relevant to your post. For example, if you’re posting one of HAR’s social shareables, it doesn’t make sense to use a hashtag like #TravelPhotography (even though it's extremely popular).

Here's some travel hashtags that will cast a wider net:

#Travel, #Trip, #Traveling, #Traveler, #TravelPhotography, #Travels, #Traveladdict, #Travellife, #TravelPhoto, #TravelPics, #TravelBug, #TravelAwesome, #TravelPic, #Travelers, #Traveldeeper, #TravellingThroughTheWorld, #Travellers, #Travelmore, #Exploring #Explorer #Wanderer #Wanderlust

Keep in mind that while these tags might be the most common or popular, they it will not necessarily lead to more engagement for you since your post is more likely to get lost in a sea of other instagram posts. So don't overload your post with the most popular hashtags.


5. Instagram Travel hashtags

Instagram has its own breed of hashtags too. So if you want to get #insta_specific, check out a few of the options below for your insta account:

#instatravel, #instatrip, #instatravelling, #instaexperience, #instatraveller, #instatraveltips, #instago, #instavacation, #instanature


6. Niche or destination-specific hashtags

Do you focus on a particular kind of travel or destination? Using that in a hashtag help you target your audience to those who are most interested in what you sell. These kinds of hashtags (even if they're not common) may lead to the most quality engagement.

Here's a few examples:

#[Niche]Travel (i.e. #FamilyTravel, #NatureTravel, #LuxuryTravel, #AdventureTravel)

Of choose to tag specific to your destination (if applicable):

#[Destination], #[Destination]Travel, #[Destination]_Insta (e.g. #Italy, #ItalyTravel, #Italy_Insta)


7. Use your most popular hashtags in your bio

You can also plug a few of your best hashtags in your Instagram bio. Make sure the hashtags you use in your bio are relevant to your business.


You're Ready for Small Business Saturday

That wasn't so bad was it! You're ready to go for Small Business Saturday! Do you have any of your own tips and tricks for getting the word out there for your business? Post them in the comments below!



Footnotes

  1. Sources: Sprout, ASTA AGC Conference, 2019, and Content Career
About the Author
Mary Stein - Host Agency Reviews

Mary Stein

Mary Stein has been working as a writer and editor for Host Agency Reviews since 2016. She loves supporting travel advisors on their entrepreneurial journey and is inspired by their passion, tenacity, and creativity. Mary is also a mom, dog lover, fiction writer, hiker, and a Great British Bake Off superfan.