Social media has played a great role in society today. It's become a vital tool in the travel industry for marketing and communication. Depending on the type of content you share, you could very easily ramp up your inbound marketing efforts, build an active community, and share the key message of your organization.
So, how can DMOs make the most of social media's prominence in the travel market?
1. Make information the priority
Social media has created a booming global community that serves the travel industry especially well. DMOs are a hub for information. They serve as a marketplace for travel experts and tour companies. There is a lot to communicate, as they act as the face of an entire region.
A good DMO website includes everything from basic local information, to the direct booking of a tour or activity. Their websites should be up-to-date on all the tours and activities locally. Of course, it will be helpful to travelers if they can find everything they need in one place.
2. Engage with your audience
Social media is a powerful tool for communication. Travelers have come to rely on the engagement of tourism experts via social media. Whether it's advice or just a quick hello, Twitter is a excellent way to engage with your followers.
The Belize Tourism Board does a wonderful job of keeping open lines of communication. They are most active on their Twitter account (@belizevacation) where they frequently engage with mentions from other Twitter users.
Belize Tourism Board understands the value of sites like Twitter to keep open communication with customers.
Their communication is always helpful and attentive. Potential customers like to know the company they're dealing with is friendly. This also helps paint a picture of destination and in the case of Belize, it feels warm and approachable!
3. Content gives a voice
It sounds a little biased coming from a writer, but good content is worth its weight in gold. It draws people in, and for a DMO it's the essential first part of any tour. The way you present yourself online can come down to everything from the details you share, to the words you select to say them.
Good social media content is heavy on storytelling and gives your company a voice. The only thing that accomplishes that better is a quality image. This is why DMOs should have an Instagram account. It is a simple way to share updates that attract new viewers and drive traffic to your website.
Visit Finland has a wonderful social media presence, especially when it comes to imagery. The gorgeous Nordic country has a lot to offer in the way of landscapes and art, and Finland's tourism team knows how to highlight the most eye-catching experiences.
Visit Finland uses their Instagram to share images of iconic scenery, hot spots and favorite foods.
On social media sites like Facebook and Tumblr people like to share a lot of interactive posts like quizzes, especially when they relate to popular culture.
The travel website for Tourism New Zealand found a fun way to respond to this. The country is known for its gorgeous landscapes and otherworldly atmosphere. Landscapes that became the unspoken star for six of the highest grossing films of all time as Middle-earth, the fictional setting of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
New Zealand's travel website encourages visitors to take a quiz to determine which character they'd be in the popular J.R.R. Tolkien stories.
The quizzes are easy to share and are a pleasant surprise to those visiting the website for the first time. For many travelers, there is a deep connection to those stories and having an opportunity to feel like they're a small part of it through notable locations from the film is wonderful for tourism in New Zealand.
Travel organizations have found a lot of success in their social media strategies. Some of the other noteworthy DMOs with a smart social media presence include:
A good social media presence is not just a wonderful way to engage with the online community, it's necessary. Travelers have come to expect the open communication it offers, easy access to information, and the clear voice it gives to a destination.
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Written by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.