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I am not a very “touristy” tourist. 

To be honest, I’m actually a pretty lazy traveller.

My husband works in the travel industry, so I tend to leave our plans up to him, and we both generally work right up until we are on the plane and unable to, then give in to the fact that we are on holiday (albeit usually a working holiday).

I do like to try and see a little of the local sights though, and have found taking a short walking or bus cruise a good way to do this.

They are designed to take in the main sights, and I can feel like I’ve done my due diligence in understanding the local history or main attractions.

During our recent visit to San Francisco, we had discussed taking a hop-on hop-off tour bus around the city, until I saw an old style trolley bus drive past. I then tracked the tour company down (thanks Google) and we climbed aboard for our 3-hour trolley tour.

I learnt quickly that San Francisco is BIG. And so our tour only covered a couple of the major highlights (the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point and the Presido. Oh, also the house where Mrs Doubtfire was set).

It was an awesome tour.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that what really makes an awesome tour, is the host. They have to not only know their stuff, but have personality. And Julie had loads of personality.

She laughed and joked with us, seemed genuinely interested in who we were, where we were from, and what had brought us to San Francisco, and answered honestly if she didn’t know the answer to a question.

Early on she mentioned that if we enjoyed the tour, she would appreciate if we left a TripAdvisor review, and that she would hand out cards with their listing details at the end of the tour (which she did).

This is the first little tip from Julie, and one that businesses across a range of industries can take heed from.

Use your existing customers to get more customers.

The tourism industry specifically relies heavily on online reviews from platforms such as TripAdvisor, but a whole range of people are searching for recommendations online for a whole range of services.

Advertising costs money, but asking your happy customers to leave positive feedback to help convert other customers? That only costs your time.

Don’t make it difficult for your customers either.

Give them a great experience, ask them to share their feedback, and give them the tool to do it, be it a card with the information on it, or a link in a follow-up email etc.

Not ALL customers will leave a review though.

There is a heck of a lot more people who will search for and read online reviews than will leave online reviews. But you have to ask and make it easy to get those people as well.

I’ll admit it.

I’m not a very good reviewer.

I WANT to, as I use the internet A LOT, and want to provide positive contributions, and know how valuable they are to businesses, but I often forget.

I WILL be leaving a review for Julie though, as I definitely haven’t forgotten her.

Want to know why?

Julie offered to take photos of our family in front of a few of the attractions (this is quite normal, very polite, nothing crazy here), but when I was scrolling through my photos later that evening, guess what I found.

quick-marketing-tip-julieA great big smiling selfie that Julie had taken.

It was awesome. And clearly not a mistake.

She knew exactly what she was doing.

Do something unexpected that MAKES your customers remember you.

And even if they don’t leave a review, they’ll remember you, and talk about you and your business to other people.

Just like I am about Julie.

Erica Stacey

Erica is a Google Analytics and Google Ads certified professional, so you’re in qualified hands. Erica has had over a decade of experience – working for agencies and a wide range of clients – in digital and social media marketing strategy, website development, search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing (SEM), content marketing, inbound marketing, online advertising and so much more. A professional in the field of design, branding and marketing, she is a trusted name in the South Australian and online community to help an array of businesses sort out and achieve their marketing objectives.

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