Promote your Professionalism: Get Googling!
Do you Google your customer? Do you Google a property or check Trip Advisor for reviews? Before you buy anything from someone you have never met, do you Google their business or the individual and ask around to see if they have any experience of the product of individual? Millions the world over use Google to validate an individual, a product, a service. So what does Google say about you?
Are you managing your online reputation? You really cannot afford to be invisible, to have negative comments against your name or an empty LinkedIn profile. Nor can you afford to have your potential and existing customers judging you based on your Facebook profile.
Imagine this: You have an amazing group-wedding enquiry to Mauritius. We are talking lots of lovely commission and the prospect of some brilliant future repeat and referral business. You have wowed your customer but unbeknownst to you so has your major competitor. The customer decided to Google you both and finds only a Facebook listing for you, whereas your competitor has a LinkedIn and Pinterest profile complete with customer recommendations and photos all tagging them. Who will they book with?
You may be aligned to a Travel Brand but you also need to develop your own strong personal brand – your online identity that is positively visible – the customer will Google you not just your brand.
Your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you, whether it’s a mention in a blog post, a forum, a photo tag or a reply to a public status update. When someone searches for your name on a search engine like Google, the results that appear are a combination of information you’ve posted and information published by others. Once you have created your online reputation you need to manage it.
Here are five handy hints and tips to get you started:
- Use the ASATA marketing toolkit and ensure your collateral has the ASATA logo on it.
- Create a LinkedIn Profile: It’s quick and easy.
- Once your profile is looking professional and complete, search LinkedIn and connect with your best customers.
- When they accept you connection, send them a LinkedIn request to recommend your services.
- Ask your customers to SMOAST about you – that means social media boasting
- Create Google Alert for your name and the name of the company for which you work. If a customer mentions you, you will be the first to hear about it and you can respond quickly and positively. The best tool to observe what is said about you and to react to it quickly is Me on the Web.
- Make sure your Facebook account has the correct privacy settings activated. You Tube has some great tutorials to show you how. Don’t invite a customer to be friends on Facebook. Keep your relationship professional so that they can judge you on your service not what you get up to on a Saturday night.