Social media sales for The Personal Travel Agents soared to £6.8million during 2021, 13% higher than during its previous best year pre-pandemic.
Nearly one in four sales for the 165-plus homeworkers originated from social media, with Facebook dominating and bookings via Instagram growing steadily, said PTA.
Some 65% of sales which came through social channels last year were new customers to the group, which is part of Your Co-op
The homeworking group said it encourages its members to post not only holiday offers but also personal content that tells customers who they are and ‘why they are the expert choice’.
In 2021, the top selling destinations via social media posts were the UK, Santorini, Majorca and the Maldives.
Domestic cruises gained a lot of traction on social media last summer, said homeworking group, as customers saw PTAs holiday themselves on UK-based ships, from where they posted photos, stories and live broadcasts.
Lapland adventures for both December 2022 and 2023 were top sellers during the peaks as, once again, agents took their own trips and posted on social media.
Sheena Whittle, Head of The Personal Travel Agents, said: “Over the last five years we’ve developed a real understanding of what works on social media, and by using this knowledge we’ve done really well working with supplier partners on specific offers curated especially for social channels.
“We invest heavily in supporting agents with building their businesses through social media, with workshop training sessions, personal coaching, the opportunity to have centrally generated posts on their behalf and a full suite of daily offers and campaign assets to use.
“We saw a particular boost during periods of lockdown, as consumers were scrolling more and craving new experiences, and for our Peaks campaign in January ‘22, we themed activity around the phrase “Look forward to…”. We took the idea from research which indicated that consumers wanted to have something exciting planned as we emerge from the pandemic. Our marketing team produced some beautiful assets that the agents used on their social media channels, with great success.
“During the last 12 months we’ve had a particular focus on training agents in how to share content via Stories and our PTAs are having so much fun with this, creating really engaging and interactive posts to help stay connected with their followers.
“Research suggests that followers invest in the PTAs themselves, and their values and personalities. Customers make a real connection in a virtual space that is hard to replicate when you’re a larger, relatively faceless brand.”