The Ups and Downs of Travel Advisors Working With Social Media Influencers

I've come to the realization that people in my target market are not very interested in tuning into their social media accounts to see a middle-aged man.

I'm not doing TikTok dances or middle-aged dad bods because they aren't popular on social media. I'm not as good on camera for social media as I am in a sales meeting.


I'm not against showing my personality through social and being on camera, but I need help keeping our content fresh and appealing to our target market.

Prior to entering the travel industry, I was a professional photographer and had worked with models, celebrities, and politicians, so I knew the power of good content, combined with a more "marketable" face than my own. I knew I wanted to leverage the followers of my target demographic, so I was going to be working with them.

There are challenges that come with working with aninfluencer.

Like celebrities, many are unreliable and flaky. Some people are so full of themselves that working with them is frustrating, and others agree to a deal and then back out last minute. I've had no-shows for her flights. It can be quite frustrating to deal with this kind of behavior.

I've come to the conclusion that creatives are not reliable and that reliables are not creative. Others have demanded up to $5,000 a day plus expenses, or wanted to give us next to nothing in terms of the number of posts, and wanted the world from us. I've been fortunate to find diamonds in the rough that worked out well.

I would stress to any travel advisor looking to work with aninfluencer to look for authentic people who are not in it for the money or fame. Great content producers are easy to find. It's easy to only look for follower count when looking for aninfluencer, but it's important to look for people who are authentic.

It's easy to spot someone who lets their real self show and someone who only peddles sponsored products when you look at an account. While there is a case to be made for the product peddlers as no one can ignore the numbers in their following, we really try to work with those who fit our brand and will produce the kind of content that goes well with our message.

I tend to lean away from the "travel"influencers as I believe many of the accounts I've seen lack the authenticity we are searching for. I'm looking for accounts that people follow because they show the world who they really are. It's more engaging, and their followers tend to be the same type of people in my client base.

It's difficult to assign an exact return on investment for something like this, like it is with most advertising.

The business person in me wants to focus on the return on investment, but the creative in me knows that this isn't a direct result investment. It's about having regular content and using the followers of the influencer to follow our account.

If you want to try to track the return on your investment, you can use a referral code to give you an incentive to book with you. If you're going to work with someone, I would encourage you to look at the long game.

It's important to work with a well-known influencer to bring credibility to your brand. You will be given an instant pass to show up every day in their pockets by some of the people who will begin following you.

Our TikTok went from 300 followers to 10k followers in a matter of hours. We wouldn't have been able to do that without working with aninfluencer, as the algorithms have become harder and harder for accounts to gain traction.

It's frustrating that the world doesn't want to see a 30-something-year-old man dancing on a TikTok, but I can still use social media and the power of influencer marketing to get our brand out there.