World Travel is Back & Tour Companies are Gearing Up

One of the world’s largest international travel initiatives, Birthright Israel, is slated to come back on-line in a big way this winter! After testing the waters with summer trips—many of which scheduled for the popular late summer travel period were canceled—the 20-something year-old free travel program for students and young adults is planning to bring thousands of students from North America to Israel on ten-day tours starting in December 2021.  This is big news for the tourist industry in Israel who have been reeling from the long drought of tourists that COVID and travel policies inflicted.

As the the tour companies of Birthright Israel gear up to welcome tourists back, most are also planning to make the most of this moment to rebuild market-share and attract tens-of-thousands additional participants for the popular summer travel period.  How? Word of mouth, assisted by ShareSomeFriends.

Savvy Israeli tour companies who run Birthright trips have always known that “word of mouth” is the best and only cost-effective way to reach their US-based target market. And for years, gathering referrals from trip participants in Israel has been an key element in their recruitment efforts. Over time, every method of this has been tried — pen and paper, web-forms, emails, and, of course, social media.

Once ShareSomeFriends was introduced, however, the tour companies abandoned those “clunky” methods and have adopted en masse the app’s use. The results have been incredible, with many hundreds of targeted, high-quality referrals being generated by each bus group, and tens-of-thousands of referrals made in a short 3-month trip season. More importantly, the referrals yield great results with a plurality of the referred students joining future Birthright trips.

At ShareSomeFriends, we’re thrilled to be a part of this amazing success and look forward to international travel throughout the world opening up—wide—soon!

5 Proven Ways to 10X Your Student Trip or Travel Abroad Program

Imagine this: you’re a student travel or tour company and you need to get sign-ups for the next season. The next trip is a few months away and you still don’t have the minimum required number of students signed up. What do you do?

Here at ShareSomeFriends, we’ve worked with numerous student trip and group travel companies that absolutely rock. We have been able to build a few awesome marketing strategies that they use to get everyone signed up before the new college semester even starts.

Luckily we wrote them all down in this step-by-step post that will 10x your college student travel trip.

Let’s dive in.


1. Create engaging social media posts


Students are building online communities everywhere they go and you have to learn how to speak their language. It’s not enough to throw some content up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and assume that it will stick. Your content has to be engaging enough so that the student will want to like it and comment on it and preferably tag their friends as well.

One great way to do that is by using Snapchat geofilters. A geofilter is a template that will show up on every single image or video that’s created for your event. You can create a quick geofilter, select the area and date of your event, and all your attendees will then be able to use that filter. Here is an example from




Another great way to engage students on social media is by using an Instagram photo booth. You can get one on Etsy for only a few dollars. It’s basically a frame that you can use to take pictures with and every photo will show your profile and name of the event.

These are great to use for a stand on campus or as a cool activity at a recruiting event. Here is an example from Etsy:

instagram booth student college trip abroad 10x college student travel

2. Social media targeting

Another great way to get more student sign-ups is through targeting students on social media. One way to do this is to join online communities of various college organizations and clubs and ask if you could post some content about your upcoming trip.

Another way to do this is by targeting all the “friends” that have engaged with your past content. Look up and send a friend request to everyone that commented and liked your posts. Reach out to the student community as much as possible, stay active on social media, comment on peoples’ status updates and posts to get more eyeballs on your page and on your content.

If you are a tour guide, a recruiter, or a manager at your student travel company you need to start your own Facebook profile. You will get more organic reach (as per the new Facebook algorithm change) by posting on your personal profile rather than your business page.

Here is an example of a post from a tour guide from International Student Tours:

student trip to scotland facebook student group travel 10x college student travel

3. Increase presence on campus

If you want to successfully recruit enough students and grow your college student travel trip it is paramount that you have a presence on campus. Students need to see you in person as often as possible. There are a couple of ways to do this:

If you are based on campus: 

Set up tables in the beginning of each semester to talk to students
Set up interactive fun events several times a year to get students involved
Post fliers and posters around the campus
Sponsor an event by a related student organization

If you are a national company with no full-time staff on campus: 

Set up a few events close together so you can come and speak to multiple groups in 1 week.
Post fliers and information before your event
Set up tables before your event
Offer a trip discount for those students that attend the event
Offer a referral discount for students that refer their friends to the trip.


isv presenting at university of st. thomas travel abroad student programs 10x college student travel Source:

4. Create an intern sales team

Who is going to market you better than the students themselves? A number of the organizations that we work with pick a few student alumni from their trips and hire them as interns. They sometimes pay them per hour or per student that they are able to recruit. The interns put on events, table on the campus quad, and reach out to all their friends and classmates en masse.

Here is how you combine all the marketing tips in 4 easy steps:

1. Have your interns speak to people on campus and add their names to a sign-up sheet.
2. Target the list of leads you get from your interns on social media.
3. Use Snapchat geofilters and Instagram photo booths and have your interns post the content on social media.
4. Create Facebook ads using the user-generated content that you got from your recruitment events.


on campus events for your student trip 10x college student travel

source: Facebook


5. Get referrals from the last trip


The most massive difference we’ve seen is when our clients use the ShareSomeFriends app to get referral leads from their trip participants. The best time to get referrals is towards the end of the trip when everyone is super excited to tell their friends about it.

Get your group of students together and ask them to download the app and select those friends that will actually be interested in going on the trip. Phrase your pitch in such a way that the group knows to invite only the qualified or interested candidates. Also, offer a cool reward like a pizza party or an Amazon gift card. If you do it right and if your trip rocks then you will get thousands of students’ names and numbers before your trip is over and you will be all set for the next season.

Here is a story of how one of our clients got 20,000 referral leads in under 30 days.




We hope you’re super excited to implement all these ideas. The one thing to remember is that you do need a marketing budget. Talk to your team and set aside some money to hire interns, to advertise on social media, and to hire a designer if you don’t already have one.

If you have any questions about our app or have any marketing tips to add to the list then leave us a comment below =)

Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager for ShareSomeFriends, a referral app and lead management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email me at – or connect on my LinkedIn.