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Ask a Pro: A Travel Power-Influencer Share Tips for Social Media Growth & Success

Ask a Pro: A Travel Power-Influencer Share Tips for Social Media Growth & Success

Ask a Pro: A Travel Power-Influencer Share Tips for Social Media Growth & Success

Ask a Pro: A Travel Power-Influencer Share Tips for Social Media Growth & Success

While it seems like “everybody’s an influencer these days,” this extreme sentiment is simply not true. There are ambassadors or nano-influencers, who have followers in the thousands but aren’t full-timers in the social game. Then there are micro-influencers, a status that one can qualify for starting at 10,000 followers.  Finally, we have macro-influencers, whose legions of fans number upwards of 100,000.

It’s this category that Ady (Ashley) Wright of @verbalgoldblog, travel influencer and body positive children’s book author falls into, after over a decade of working hard in this space. Plus, as one of the original Instagram influencers and a co-founder of the Influencer Fast Pass course to teach others how to monetize their followings, we couldn’t think of a better, more generous pro to ask for this topic of our Ask a Pro series – especially since she also ranks among the top 100 travel bloggers in the world and a Influencer by Modern Luxury & Jezebel Magazine in both 2021 and 2023.

Here's some valuable “verbal gold” she kindly shared with us on building engagement, partnering with influencers, and remaining relevant at the junction of two fast-paced, fast-changing worlds: social media and travel.

What’s the best way to gain new followers?

“Post content,” Ady says. “Actually, quite a lot of it! Be active on your social media platforms and utilize all offers, meaning Stories, Lives, Reels, in-feed posts, carousel posts, et cetera,” she advises.

In other words, don’t be afraid to blast interesting information out there using whatever channels are made available in your platform(s) of choice. After all, if you don’t like how something performs or turns out, you can always take it down! But don’t let nervousness about a new product on scare you – experiment to become an early adopter and get ahead of the curve to capture that audience.

What constitutes “content” and what type should travel advisors focus on?

“Content needs to be in one of these three categories every time you share: educational, shareable, or entertaining,” advises Ady. You’ll notice that among none of these is the word “viral,” which based on her experience, doesn’t offer as much in the long run. Instead, “Create shareable content,” she says, which to her, is “the real key to growth.”

“Shareable content may not take off right away, but because of the nature of it, people will continue to share and save it for a long time. It keeps people coming back because ultimately, you’re providing value. This creates a snowball effect when you create all (or a lot) of your posts with shareability in mind.”

That said, it’s also important to be responsible about what you post. Make sure you check your facts and stats against reputable sources and research, as Ady does, and look into what you’re promoting to make sure it does no harm. For instance, you don’t want to encourage practices that may hurt the planet, an area’s critters, local communities, or another visitor’s experience. For example, content like feeding/luring local wildlife, images that perpetuate stereotypes in marginalized communities, or disrespecting a cultural site, like the woman who went viral for climbing Chichen Itza, would be a solid no.

Why should we shift away from “going viral” as a goal?

According to Ady, “Going viral may bring a quick burst of followers, but typically, what we see when a post ‘goes viral’ is that the followers you get from that are almost never your ideal follower.” What that means is that those who fast to follow based on one viral post may be just as fast to unfollow when they realize they’re not your demographic or key audience. And because your interests don’t align, these one-post follows are also unlikely to turn likes into action, like travel bookings.

“Numbers are important, but the quality [of followers] is much more important,” she says. After all, you don’t want to preach to a choir, but you also don’t want to go door-knocking in a community that’s simply not interested in what you’re selling.

How do you encourage conversations and engagement on your content?

This answer is simple and straightforward: “Firstly, ask for it!” Ady explains, “People need to be told what you want them to do,” and extending an invitation to join the conversation can be seen as an authentic, welcoming way to connect. Plus, in a world of doomscrolling, setting expectations and providing guidance can even provide a sense of relief, as you answer the common question, “What does this brand want me to do with this information?”

“Second, when I share a reel to my Story, I don’t just share it directly. I work up to the share with a couple of Stories. This may include a backstory, a couple of engaging questions that relate to my ideal audience, or an attention-grabbing phrase,” she tells TravelBlogue.

To make engaging more appealing, she encourages creators to “Utilize the question box, poll, and sliders in your Stories. Our InstaGrowth course is all about using quality content as a growth method – it’s how we went from one to two followers trickling in per day to tens and hundreds per day!”

Why should travel advisors partner with influencers like you?

Social media is a great breeding ground for influencers to work directly with travel companies. “We work with them to provide UGC, which stands for ‘user-generated content.’ If companies don’t have the time to hire a photographer or the talent to take their own photos, they can purchase the rights to photos by creators,” Ady explains. “What’s great is that if you see one already posted that’s taking off, you can email the creator and offer to buy that photo or additional photos from that trip.”

This pathway is open to travel advisors as well, for the same reasons – if the photos you took of a property doesn’t have the kind of glow and glitter as an edited influencer image or you just can’t make it to a property you’re trying to sell, you can ask to buy from their gallery to post it on your own social accounts. “Typically, influencers and creators have loads of photos and videos and only share 10% [of them] or less,” she says. This means there’s plenty of good content left on the cutting room floor that you can capitalize on as a travel advisor.

What’s the hardest part of staying on top of your social media presence?

“I think the number one thing content creators struggle with, myself included, is consistency,” Ady admits. “I’m always creating in my head, but actually ‘putting pen to paper’ to create and get a post out is another story. Raise your hand if you have loads of Reels sitting in drafts!” she laughs. “I know I’m guilty of that.”

To combat this, she has several strategies to help keep her consistent. Here are her top tips:

  1. Schedule things out and create a routine.
  2. Create a strategy.
  3. Create a plan based on that strategy.
  4. Keep a running to-do list.
  5. Work when you can. If you have a daily routine that ‘every day at 10 AM, I work for one hour,’ that will become easier and easier to do.
  6. If you see a trending sound or have a content idea, do it right then and post it!

These are just a few of the tips she goes over in the Influencer Fast Pass course she leads with another full-time influencer and entrepreneur that she was generous enough to share with fellow pros in the travel industry—travel advisors. As we continue to push consumers to Plan with a Pro, we know it’s critical to offer support and connection from pros like Ady, as we continue to do with TravelBlogue’s Ask a Pro series. Stay tuned every other Tuesday for more features from other exceptional pros, offering insights from small business building, health, nutrition, and beauty arenas as well as travel gear and care for your home and pets while away.

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