From tourism offices to tour operators to hotels among many others, we know that there are millions of people the world over who enjoy traveling.
In today’s day and age, it is easier than ever for tourism professionals to connect with their target audience, regardless of the reason for doing so.
As most of us started with a website, we now realize that social media is a must have regarding the positive impact from marketing your organization to the right people.
The Benefits of Social Media in the Tourism Industry
A big part part of the tourism industry is about selling an experience. If somebody has never visited a particular country or destination, they must be convinced that they are missing out on something big.
This is an easier task to accomplish when you rely on the power of social media. While there are many social platforms to consider (especially niche websites), let’s focus our time and energy on the biggest:
Those tree platform, allow your next client to share any story in many ways, including the use of high quality images.
1. Expose your organization to a bigger audience.
We don’t think small when the word “tourism” comes to mind. Instead, we think big. Think like this: there are people all over the world who are willing to visit you (and spend a lot of money) as long as you are able to convince them to do so.
With social media tools, you can expose your organization or destination to the world. As your momentum builds, a “viral effect” will kick into high gear and you will begin to reap the rewards.
2. Enhance the user experience.
It is one thing to tell people what a destination has to offer. It is one thing to tell people why your organization is the cream of the crop. But rather than use words and words alone, why not enhance the user experience through the use of images?
You can share common experiences with your target audience, both by publishing content, such as positive reviews, while also evoking emotion through images. For example, a Hawaii tour operator could use images of the crystal blue water and beautiful palm trees to excite visitors.
Remember the old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words.
3. Create a memory that will draw each visitor back to your organization.
It is safe to say some visitors will contact you about your organization, but others will leave your website or social media profile.
Your job is simple: convert those who get in touch and do your best to keep others coming back.
When you provide high quality information via social media, people will visit you often. Again, they are not all going to purchase, but the more times they come back the better chance you have of changing their mind.
How to Use Social Media in the Tourism Industry
Now that you are aware of the benefits of social media within the tourism industry, it is time to formulate some strategies.
The plan you implement today may not be the one you use next month. As long as you get started, experimenting with different ideas, you can eventually settle on something that works.
1. Photo contest.
Can you think of anything more engaging than a photo contest? Ask those who have been to your area to submit their favorite photo, with the winner taking home a prize, of course.
- Engage your community, one of our client successfully engaged more than 250 direct contributors on a single contest. By the end they collected more than 1000 pictures ready to be used on their next communication materials.
- Make it viral. This photo contest on sharypic helped to generated more than 2300 share actions on Facebook, Twitter, G+.
- You are the igniter of the momentum. You must broadcast the announcement of your photo contest to the world: journalists, local presse, bloggers, social media…
- Of course you will have to curate your social media content because it’s your job to manage your contributors submissions and ensure a positive experience.
- Be sure to provide a clear and bullet proofed term of use : no joke. Tips: check in your network if one of your connexion have organized this kind of operation in the past.
Not only does this generate interest for your organization and local area, but it goes a long way in getting people talking. Not to mention the fact that the images alone are sure to excite.
2. Use social media displays at upcoming events.
You probably take part in events from time to time. Many even sponsor their own event like Vélocéane.
As you plan for your upcoming event, don’t overlook event technologies in the social media space :
- Bring fun to your guests. More and more people becomes journalist by sharing their experience on social network during the event. Make it fun, engaging and accessible to everyone by broadcasting live photos on site.
- Bring your sponsors on your live display. Showing your sponsors logos is a must have so your social display becomes a source of revenue instead of a source of cost.
- Considerer the Total Cost of Ownership. Live display already proved their efficiency, but beware : do you have all the hardware that it requires? Do you have a TV/projector? Do you have an internet connexion?
When the opportunity arises, you may be surprised at how many people are more than willing to share their experience, photos included, online and onsite.
Spread the love.
As noted above, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the three social media platforms that will give you the most bang for your buck.
When you rely on all three of these, it becomes much easier to generate the desired result. At the same time, it will allow you to see which one provide the most value in terms of customer response.
For example, you may find that Pinterest users are more likely to engage than those on Twitter or Facebook. It may be a trial and error process, but in the end you will have mounds of valuable information.
Every year, the tourism industry rakes in billions upon billions of dollars. Is your organization taking advantage of all the ways it can generate business?