How to Promote, Confirm, and Sell Out TrovaTrips
The best social media tactics to increase audience engagement and conversion—straight from the pros!
Whether you’re preparing for your first trip or you’ve been through the process before, thinking about the potential of unfilled spots can be anxiety-inducing for any Host. They’re about as pleasant to see as an overdraft notice or a “we need to talk” text, and they can make you start questioning everything.
It’s perfectly natural to feel this way. Every Host goes through it at one point or another. In fact, we even have a name for it: FOES, or Fear Of Empty Spots. To help set you up for success, we’ve interviewed some of our most experienced Hosts to find out exactly what they do at each stage of a trip’s lifecycle to ensure that not only is every spot filled, their waitlist is too. They were thrilled to share their techniques, so read on to discover their favorite tried-and-true methods for making your trip a success.
- Setting a strong foundation for your trip is key, starting with raising trip awareness and engagement leading up to launch.
- Historically, Instagram has been the most effective promotion platform for Hosts, though others still offer benefits.
- Focus on naturally sharing the value of the trip rather than pushing a sale—authenticity shines through!
- Potential Travelers are often nervous about booking for personal reasons—asking and addressing their fears, uncertainties, and doubts is the best way to connect on a human level and help alleviate those blockers.
- Promoting regularly is your key to success. With the way social media algorithms work, nobody will see all your posts, all of the time. So post regularly to ensure it reaches the right eyes.
- For Travelers who are concerned about affording a trip, remind them that they can set up a pay-over-time option through Affirm.*
The most effective ways to hype your launch
Give them a taste
Never doubt the power of a good teaser. In the week leading up to launch, have your followers try to guess where the trip will be going based on a daily image. Drop fun hints or trivia to keep the guesses coming and take note of the top ones for potential future destinations.
Set the tone
Before a trip goes live, walk through the itinerary day by day, really highlighting specific details to supercharge your community’s imagination. Supplement with content that inspires you personally (E.g. a GoPro zip-line video) and a simple message like, “Can’t wait to do this with you!”
Lean on your inner circle
Show love to previous or repeat Travelers by reaching out to them first with updates about the trip and giving them first dibs when spots become available. Bringing your most loyal community members into the process helps them feel valued and important, and makes taking another trip together much more likely.
Remember the anonymous question box in health class for asking about sensitive subjects? Chances are there’s a big part of your community that wants to travel, but is too nervous or scared to commit for a specific reason. Giving those folks an opportunity to ask questions via Instagram Stories or DMs is a great way to address individual concerns on a human level, and let them know that whatever they’re worried about won’t prevent them–or the group–from having a great time. You can even slip in questions yourself that you know the community might not think to ask.
Piggyback that sh*t
Strike while the iron is hot and launch a new trip directly off one that’s just ended. With the highlights fresh in your community’s mind, they’ll be at peak FOMO and primed to say, “Yes!” And don’t forget: it’s not just about the location. Content that shows how much fun it is to travel with you will often be the deciding factor.
How to continue promotions and keep things fresh
Once is never enough
There’s an old sales adage that people need to hear something 7 times before taking action. That may or may not be the magic number, but engaging a potential Traveler more than once definitely moves them closer to booking. What does that mean for Hosts?
- If you have multiple channels, direct followers to check out your other content. Posting a fun video on TikTok promoting your trip? Then tell viewers to tune in to your Instagram Live tonight for Q&A.
- Reach out to your mailing list to contact your most loyal followers.
- Collaborate with other Creators and drop info on a podcast to boost your reach.
- Offer something unrelated to the trip for free.
- E.g. “Book a spot to Patagonia and I’ll send you a free copy of my mountain climber’s training e-book!”
Keep it current
Lean in to *shudders* trends. Don’t worry, you can still be true to yourself. You should never feel pressured to do something that compromises your brand’s authenticity or just looks silly (some of these TikTok dances are…questionable to say the least), but simple things like setting a video to a trending song along with a call to action to sign up can provide a real boost.
One thing our panel of Hosts agreed on was that Instagram is their preferred channel, and that Stories are consistently one of the most effective ways to connect with followers. Without writing a thesis on social media differentiators, it’s clear that IG has both a friendlier algorithm and a demographic more likely to book. While TikTok, Facebook, and even Pinterest have their strong points, making IG your primary promotion hub is recommended. With the ability to save the best content to Highlights, it’s an evergreen source of information and inspiration for your community.
How do I promote without going full used car salesman?
Share, don’t sell
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Audiences can tell when you’re not being real. Instead of trying to leverage a bunch of SaLeS tEcHniQuEs, focus on sharing what makes you really excited about an upcoming trip. Highlighting what makes it unique (cooking class, mediation, etc.) and tapping into your real experiences as a Traveler will help create content that sounds like an invitation, not a sales pitch.
Rediscover old leads
Don’t get so caught up in trying to find new leads that you forget old ones. Circle back to people who have messaged or DM’d in the past (keeping a spreadsheet or even a section in your phone notes) and start/restart a conversation by commenting on one of their posts or Stories. Then let the trip come up organically.
Take to Instagram Live to fill spots
QVC figured this one out a long time ago. A live Host with a countdown creates urgency in the minds of viewers. Even if there isn’t a stampede to sign up, you’ll still be spending valuable time with your community answering questions, building excitement–“Share, don’t sell”–and planting seeds for future trips.
Let’s talk money
Talking about money can be uncomfortable in even the best circumstances, and travel is a big investment. It's natural for folks to have questions about cost. One way to approach it is by addressing the price generally—explaining how costs are set to cover things like logistics, accommodations, trusted local Guides, and more...part of the value of joining a fully-planned group trip with Trova! Describe the one-of-a-kind workshops and events you offer, and remind folks that this is a trip built around their interests and lifestyle.
You can also mention there are 2 ways to pay for a trip:
- Only 25% down is due at booking, and the rest isn’t due until 90 days before the trip starts.
- A pay-over-time option available through Affirm* (a travel rarity). The details are here and if people want to know more, feel free to send them our way via email@example.com to let Trova walk them through the numbers.
How to keep up engagement until the trip starts
Everyone knows how stressful travel planning gets, so let people in on everything TrovaTrip handles for them. No more reading hotel reviews, price shopping, booking activities in a foreign country, guessing what’s worth seeing or skipping, and dealing with logistical nightmares. Instead, they’ll have the best local Guides in the world and Trova’s full support to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Create a mini community
As spots begin to fill, lock in Travelers by engaging with them directly and personally. You may find it helpful to start a database of your Traveler’s info and interests.
- Follow everyone who signs up and interact with their posts so you can actually get to know each other.
- Start a Facebook group and email chain for posting photos and sharing questions.
- Schedule a Zoom call after the trip is confirmed so everyone can “meet” before they meet IRL.
- Send out a packing list to the group.
- Make a pre-trip reading list with fiction and nonfiction titles.
Keep the conversation going
As spots fill up–even when they’re fully booked–you’ll want to keep talking about the trip to guard against dropouts (the waitlist is a Host’s best friend). You might feel like you’re posting about it too much, but overkill isn’t a bad thing. People pop on and off social media all the time and talking about something a lot is the only way to get their attention. Plus, with the way the algorithm is nowadays, it’s rare for someone to see every single post.
Now, go get those bookings!
There you have it: proven strategies for defeating FOES and confirming your trips! We know it’s a lot of information but don’t forget, what really makes a trip special is you. Your personality and talents have built an amazing community, and letting those qualities shine is what will bring your followers together in the real world for an adventure like no other.
Other helpful resources:
- Request a copy of the full webinar recording by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Looking for tips on how to promote your survey? Check out our blog 'How to Promote Your Survey.'
*Affirm's Universal Disclosure: Your rate will be 10–30% APR based on credit, and is subject to an eligibility check. Payment options through Affirm are provided by these lending partners: affirm.com/lenders. Options depend on your purchase amount, and a down payment may be required.