Social media advertising is one of the most effective advertising types available to the tourism industry. These days, phones are no longer just a means of communicating with friends and family. In fact, most things are now accomplished and automated through a few clicks on your smartphone. This has influenced a major shift in society, seeing a huge move from in-person socialization to online interaction.

This does not just affect personal communications — this shift is also heavily felt throughout the business world, affecting market trends, marketing strategies, customer engagement, transactions, and more.

For travel and tourism companies, people’s reliance on technology and the internet makes social media one of the best platforms to focus on. It can help you grow your business, leading you to success until the eventual return to normal.

Why Paid Advertising for Social Media Marketing?

Over four billion people have social media accounts, with half of them logging in daily. The average time a user spends on social media platforms is around two and a half hours per day. Social media networks have also been evolving to include new features that make them all-inclusive. For example, social media networks now function similarly to search engines.

There are many social media platforms available, but Facebook is the most dominant. Its features and demographics all lend a hand in helping many in the tourism sector. Of all the social platforms, It has the largest population of active users and ties in with Instagram, owned by the same company. Hitting both would allow you to access over three billion users, creating a big opportunity to reach a wider audience.

There are also opportunities on other websites like YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but Facebook is the most mature. Many features on it will help when you are running advertising campaigns. You may think that using Google ads in the travel industry and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising serve a better purpose, but here are some advantages to using Facebook for your advertising:

●      Double the click-thru rate compared to Google.

●      Lower cost per click at .25c to .75c.

●      Double the conversion rate at 2.8%.

●      Cost per action averages at $22.5 compared to Google’s $100.

●      Higher return on investment.

The Best Practices For Social Media Advertising

You may already have some experience with social media ads. Over the years, several strategies have worked better than others in reaching business goals. Here are some advertising options you can employ today and add to your marketing toolkit:

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts give you more freedom to experiment and try something. One of the best ways to use this is to get an organic post with a lot of traction and boost it. Apply a budget of $10-$50 and determine the audience you want to show it to. Boosted posts are a great way to improve page engagement, and they work well in the short term. You can set up and run a campaign for a few days or a couple of weeks.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are the ideal option if you want to drive traffic to your website. If your website is your main platform for sales, then ads and campaigns will be good for you. You can use Facebook ads to generate leads and bookings. Unlike boosted posts, these ads work for longer durations, from weeks to months.

Live-Action Imagery

One recommendation is for you to use videos and visual images to your advantage. Try to minimize text overlays, and don’t overuse them. You want to use visuals to evoke emotions and highlight the features of your business. You want your audience to have an emotional response, and these media forms work best to do just that.

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One advantage of Facebook is you have the freedom to determine your target audience. You choose the location and demographics, honing in until you target your ideal customers. Here are some of the things you can customize with your ads:

●      Age groups

●      Income levels

●      Interests

●      Behavior

●      Geography

You can also use Facebook to find a lookalike audience. If you have an existing list of customers, you can upload them to Facebook. The website tries to find these profiles and identifies users with similar interests. You can then get a new audience to target based on your customer base.

Bidding Strategy

Choosing a bidding strategy will save you money, positioning your business for success. Choose one that will help you achieve your objectives, such as gaining more website traffic or better sales. There are many options for placement on both Instagram and Facebook. Mobile is one of the reliable placements though there are other options:

●      Newsfeed

●      Stories

●      Marketplace

●      Messenger

You can schedule ads to focus on times when your audience is most active. It may be a specific day of a week or a certain time of the day. You can set a daily budget to control how much you spend. For example, you run a campaign for weeks but stop when it hits your budget for the day. It then refreshes and continues the next day.

Tracking and Optimization

Tracking is essential if you want to know what ads are working. Make sure to track your ads, calls, forms, purchases, etc. They help you retarget customers, showing you what you need to work on.

Social media ads are not a set-and-forget strategy. You’ll need to test constantly. After a set period, change the ads that are not working well to see if you can improve them. You can use different images, try a different placement, etc. If a campaign isn’t working, turn it off and create a new one.

The Social Media Paid Ads Strategy That Works for the Tourism Industry

Many businesses experience a negative return when they’re using social media paid ads for tourism. They fail and stop doing ads altogether. The thing is, when it comes to social media, you want to build brand awareness. The platform itself will help you catch the potential customer’s interest.

Use social media to stimulate awareness of your brand. You do not need to go for the expensive ad campaigns right away. You might be starting your social campaign with little time or budget. Create organic posts with relevant content and interact with your audience. Create ads that help people recognize your brand. Here are some ways to do that:

●      Videos

●      Content

●      Blog posts

This content may not even be about your business, but it’s relevant to your target audience. As you continue to promote, you’ll generate interest and a larger audience. Find the audience that interacts with your content through tracking and targeting, then ramp up by showing videos, images, and experiences.

From there, we then move into the sale and create paid ads for tourism businesses that focus on generating bookings. At this point, they’ll only need a little nudge. Sometimes, you want to close the deal with a compelling offer.

Wrapping Up

It’s normal to achieve a two to three times return once you’ve gotten used to the platform. If you’re not achieving success right away, don’t worry. It takes time to build your brand as you use paid ads for tourism. Don’t forget to optimize, and make sure that you are targeting your ideal audience. If you’re still not sure where to start or need a hand with your advertising strategy, schedule a discovery meeting with one of our paid advertising experts today.

Meet the Author:

Skip Lefever

Skip Lefever, Digital Marketing Services Director

Skip is our Director of Pay-Per-Click marketing services, where he helps our clients turn clicks into revenue. Skip also has a background in executive leadership, management consulting, leadership development, strategic & business planning, process improvement and project management services for business owners and executives in for-profit and non-profit environment. He is an expert analyst and with a track record of driving continual improvement.