Western River Expeditions, now working on its 50th year in the outdoor travel industry, continues to take folks down the Grand Canyon and expand its day trip adventure operation based in Moab, Utah.
Lori Franciose, one of their lead reservationists in their Salt Lake office, just got back from a trip down Cataract Canyon. The one thing that she came away with, the thing that surprised her the most, was how and why people decided to choose Western over all the other choices they had. The most common reason: Facebook.
As the 45-year-old woman who brought her son along put it, "You can read ‘testimonials’ all day long on someone’s website, but that seems sugar coated to me. Facebook is loaded with real people saying real things. Including the occasional not-so-perfect comment. This impressed me the most."
And she wasn’t the only guest who said the exact same thing.
So what did Western River do to make their Facebook page create this kind of impact?
If you look at the page during the summer months, you’ll see that most of the content is not generated by the company, but rather by the guests. This is what made all the difference for the 45-year old woman on the Cataract trip. If the content was mostly generated by Western River, it wouldn’t seem much different from the company website. But it’s full of comments from guests just returning from a trip, from others just about to leave and from others thinking about a trip. Suddenly, the company comes to life from real people sharing real feelings with each other.
So, how does Western get this content on Facebook? Simply putting a facebook link on the website doesn’t create this kind of interaction.
Western uses Resmark to invite people to engage with Facebook at very specific times: Immediately following an inquiry, just after making a reservation, prior to departing on a trip, and right after a trip ends. Resmark Systems, with its automated email functionality, is the key to it all. The reasons for going to Facebook are different in each case, but very powerful. These are the key moments when people will truly interact with Facebook and now Western River can see how it’s paying off.
Western also does some cool stuff with reviews after a trip.
Are you doing something with social media that’s working well for you?