Social media can be a lonely place. You scroll through your feed and everyone seems to be commenting, sharing, and having a spirited time. Then, you put your own post out there and...crickets.
Don’t worry, it’s not just you. The vast majority of content on social media gets little to no engagement. Which isn’t surprising when you think about it. Not only are you competing for attention with every other post out there, you’re also constantly having to prove your worth to the social media gods (who use ever-changing algorithms to determine if your followers even see your posts).
Successfully driving engagement on social media takes time and patience. However, there are a few things you can do to make your travel content more appealing and more likely to catch people’s attention. Here are my writing tips for getting more clicks, comments, likes, and shares for your travel content.
Travel Writing Tip #1: Know Your Audience
Why does anyone engage with content in the first place?
Because they find it interesting, funny, thought provoking, educational, or even infuriating. Meaning, the key to driving engagement is emotion. If you’re going to successfully engage with your audience, you first need to know what they care about.
A good place to start is by filling out a customer profile. This document describes your customers' demographics (age, income, marital status, etc.) and personal characteristics, like why they travel.
Once you’ve gotten to know your audience with the customer profile, you can use my content writing worksheet to align your content with your audience’s interests.
Travel Writing Tip #2: Speak Directly To Your Audience
Are you talking to your audience or at them. When you write as if you’re having a conversation with someone, it not only makes your content more personable, it’s easier to read.
Start by writing in second person, meaning use the pronoun “you.”
For example, write this: “Bring your umbrella because it’s rainy in Seattle.”
Not this: “Travellers should pack an umbrella because it’s rainy in Seattle.”
Next, bring your sentences to life by writing in active voice, meaning the subject of your sentence is taking action.
So, write this: “A shark took a bite out of his surfboard.”
Not this: “A bite was taken out of his surfboard by a shark.”
And finally, use imperatives or commands to tell your audience to go, explore, and see the world.
In other words, write this: “Breathe in the fresh sea air and feel rejuvenated.”
Not this: “Breathing the fresh sea air will result in you feeling rejuvenated.”
Travel Writing Tip #3: Be Trendy
If you want to kick your writing up a notch, choose topics that are not only relevant to you, but that show you’re in touch with what’s going on in the world. Writing and sharing content on a trending topic can be a great way to engage in a broader discussion.
There are several tools you can use to find trending topics to write about:
- BuzzSumo will show you what articles on any given topic are most popular across multiple social platforms. You can then share your own point of view on that topic.
- Google Trends will show you what people have been searching for related to a given keyword. You can then develop content related to those keywords.
- Answer The Public will show you what questions people are asking around a given topic. You can then create content that answers those questions.
- And Twitter trends will show you what people are talking about right now so you can get in on the conversation.
A word of caution, though, when it comes to trending topics: be sure you are informed and have something sincere to say before posting. Simply adding a trending hashtag to your post without understanding the underlying dynamics can backfire.
Travel Writing Tip #4: Give it a great headline
The importance of your headline in generating engagement for your content cannot be overstated. After all, social media users have a reputation for sharing things they’ve never even read based on the headline alone. So a great headline will actually go farther than great content.
Headline writing is an art that has been honed since newspaper boys called them out from street corners. Over the years, writers have learned certain formulas that work well. Here are a few:
- Put a number at the beginning of your headline such as “15 things to always pack in your carry on.” Odd numbers tend to work better than even numbers, and the larger and more unusual the number the more attention it will get.
- Look for ways to breed curiosity. For example, “These sun soaked Florida beaches are known only to locals.” If you can create what’s called a “curiosity gap” you’re more likely to get people to click.
- You may have noticed, controversy is a goldmine for engagement, so don’t be afraid to be a little contrarian now and then. For example, “No, Paris is NOT romantic.”
- Try asking a question, for example, “VRBO vs Airbnb, which is better?” This gives people the promise of an answer if they click to read the content.
These are just a few examples for you to play around with. If you’re struggling to find the right headline for a particular piece of content, try writing out as many variations as you can think of. Then, test one and if it doesn’t perform, change it to another.
Perhaps the most important tip for driving engagement for your travel content, however, is to be consistent. Share on a regular basis, show up to engage with others, and stay on brand.