LAS VEGAS — Passport Online introduced ESP, automated Facebook posting for travel agents, at Vacation.com’s 16th International Conference and Trade Show.
Passport Online takes on the task of posting travel-related photos, quotes, tips, questions and travel deals.
Agents determine the frequency of posts and have six days to review all content before it is posted. Agents may opt out of any individual posts.
Marilyn Macallair, Passport Online's vice president of business development, said that one in nine posts is a sales-related post.
Sample posts include “As I have grown older, I find I need more stars in my hotels,” “Did you know that 3,000 euros are thrown into the Trevi Fountain each day?” and questions such as “If price were not an option, what would you choose?” followed by a choice of destinations.
Passport Online times posts to when the most visitors are on Facebook in the agency’s time zone.
Passport Online has been beta testing ESP for several months. One user, Toby Nash, president of Cruise & Travel Masters in Salt Lake City, said her followers increased from 7,500 to 11,000 in three or four months after her agency started using ESP.
Nash was already a regular user of social media but said that the content provided by Passport Online was more “yummy bubble gum” compared with her agency’s more defined posts. Passport Online’s content is evocative with its quick snapshots and questions and complements Cruise & Travel’s content.
Nash said that the Passport Online content engages users, generating a substantial number of likes, comments and shares.
Greg Kott, president and CEO of Passport Online, said that ESP saves agents time by handling the creative requirements of posting on Facebook.
He said that Passport Online is beginning with Facebook but will expand to other social media. It also plans to create separate streams of content that will focus on specific types of travel or destinations.
It is available for no additional fee for all Passport Online website customers. It is available to other agents for $15 per month. Agencies pay $1 for each additional account (agencies might have multiple Facebook pages).
Passport Online’s products include NexCite, its website program, and VacationPort, its website content program.