For Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s), social media provides advantages that these organizations cannot derive anywhere else. Below is a list of 13 ways that social media impacts DMO’s, but this list is not exhaustive by any means. Please feel free to add to it in the comments below and let us know what you think!
Conversational Marketing vs. Interruption Marketing: Social media is a conversational marketing platform that allows us to fully interact and engage with people about destinations, travel, and trip planning. The really important aspect of social that is lacking in other types of marketing is the user activity involved. People have opted to receive marketing communications on social media and are therefore much more likely to be receptive to them.
Keeping Travel Top of Mind: Social media gives DMO’s a way to connect with millions of active users every day to keep their destination top of mind and activate what we call the “planning and dreaming” stages of the travel planning process.
People Use Social Media to Gather Information and Find Resources: Through social media, we can provide a plethora of resources either contained on the DMO’s website, or in some cases, contained on the social media site to help people plan their trip and make the decision to visit the area. .
Direct, Personalized Engagement with Fans and Followers: With social media, we can speak directly with fans and followers, which gives us an insider’s view into the destination’s travelers and allows us to create a personalized connection with them.
Communicate with Social Audience about their Interests: Instead of using generalities, we can monitor what the destination’s fan base likes and deliver more so that they stay engaged all year long.
Instant Feedback about Marketing Initiatives: We can ask questions and receive instant feedback about our travelers to help us design more effective marketing strategies.
Expanding Social Reach: With social media, we have the opportunity to reach millions of people every day, and as people migrate to spending more and more time online, our ability to reach them through social continues to expand.
Better Targeting Capabilities through Social than Any Type of Ad: The real-time feedback we receive from fans and followers allows us to craft targeted and highly specific content to engage and interest the social audience. We can also target users of a younger demographic.
Social Becomes a Hub to Engage the Social Community: Social media acts as a place where people that share the same interests gather and discuss, share their experiences, and make plans for future trips.
People that Travel are Dialed into Social: 8 out of 10 travelers use social media every day, and 50% of social media users post about their travels to their favorite social sites according to recent studies.
Provides Utility to Users through Social Accounts: Through the use of customized apps on Facebook, the blog, and various other social tools, we can actually create utility directly through social media.
Increased Website Visits and Conversions: In addition to all of the above, social media drives targeted traffic to the website, which often ends in conversions.
Extends Word of Mouth Marketing: The most powerful aspect of social media for DMO’s is its ability to extend the reach of word of mouth referrals. The best way to explain is to think about it for yourself. If you went on a vacation that you really enjoyed and you didn’t have social media, how many people would you tell about it? Maybe 5 or 10 family, friends, and coworkers. Now with social media, let’s say you have 500 friends on Facebook, 100 followers on Twitter, etc., you are reaching all of those people every time you post about your vacation and according to research, over 75% of people post photos of their vacation to social media. So instead of 5-10 referrals, a positive endorsement of a destination on social media reaches hundreds if not thousands of people with social media.
With these reasons in mind, social media should be more than an afterthought to Destination Marketing Organizations; it should be a central part of any digital strategy. In fact, your destination is already part of social media, so the question is, how is your organization impacting those conversations?
Find out more about Organically Interactive’s Advanced Social Marketing service and contact us for a free consultation.