Virtually no brand has weathered the storm of COVID-19 without overusing the word “unprecedented” (are we done with that, yet?). Many are also realizing that making the conscious decision to pivot their marketing strategy is not only wise, but critical. For travel brands specifically, we’ve never had to be more cognizant of the political, social and real health implications of our messaging — the fear of sounding tone-deaf or out of touch has never been of greater concern.
So, our SmartFlyer team took this as a challenge to use our platform — both internally and externally — to educate and inspire.
With a team of 175-plus travel advisors located all over the globe, our independent contractors are always on the go. The silver lining to COVID-19 was that, seemingly for the first time ever, we were all home and more available than ever to hop online to collaborate. On the marketing and social media front, we saw an opportunity to use this time to drill down on Instagram training.
So far, I’ve held more than 20 separate interactive Zoom calls so that we could discuss how the platform can be integrated into advisors’ businesses, even when it doesn’t come naturally to them. Of course, that looks different for everyone, but the idea is that people want to do business with other humans, not robots. Showcasing elements of what makes us people is how we deepen relationships with our clients even as we stay at home.
Externally, we used our Instagram, @thesmartflyer, to keep people looking forward a return to travel. We launched the #smartflyertakemeto campaign March 23 and have since seen hundreds of posts using the hashtag; ultimately, the initiative serves to unite us around the goodness that travel brings into our lives.
As an extension of the posts, we’ve also partnered with properties around the world for Instagram Lives that bring us into their homes and hotels. These sessions have ranged from a cooking lesson with Mandarin Oriental, Milan’s chef alongside general manager Luca Finardi, to wine tasting in Tuscany with design brand Salvatore Ferragamo, and even an ambitious Cinco de Mayo celebration that jumped from New York City to Mexico’s Rosewood Mayakoba and Rosewood San Miguel de Allende before finishing at Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort.
Are you proving to be a Most Valuable Advisor during the COVID-19 crisis? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.