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Archive for the ‘Innovation in Social Tourism’ Category

DMOs’ Innovative Use of YouTube

Portland, Oregon has the right kind of thing going with YouTube.

A visitor to YouTube will come away with impressions of a vibrant city that people care passionately about. Some of them care enough to argue, complain and criticize. But there’s nothing ordinary or routine about this site and that’s one thing that DMOs need to keep in mind about YouTube.

Of all social media, YouTube can be the strongest influencer to travelers if used in a way that recognizes its dual nature. Portland is a leading example.

YouTube is part professional entertainment medium and part people’s playground. Portland’s site combines both aspects of this social medium and people flock to it.

Viewers can choose from a selection of professionally produced travel videos, including one that Travel Portland calls its “love letter” to the city (you can also see it at This video, packed with colour and energy, opens with a rip-roarin’ sound track by the MarchForth Marching Band that carries the viewer along like a water slide. It has been viewed almost 182,000 times since September 2009.

Quality counts on YouTube. There are so many amateur videos on the site that a professional production stands out and draws repeat (more…)

DMOs’ Innovative Use of Facebook

What’s the best way for a destination marketing organization to make use of Facebook? The answer lies in the creation of communities of influencers.

This social medium is particularly effective for engaging people in ways that bring them together for a common purpose or to enjoy a common activity. Although most DMOs employ their Facebook sites primarily to promote events or to engage in brief individual conversations, a few innovative organizations are showing us how to achieve larger goals.

Sharing the Sunshine 

Everyone loves a winner – especially if they’re the one holding the prize! Facebook has become a handy place for DMOs to boost audiences by means of contests and prize draws. What’s needed, though, is a strategy to extend the benefits to the tourism region beyond the feel-good moment of awarding the prize.

An instructive example appeared recently in California when the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau launched a (more…)

DMO’s Innovative Use of Twitter

There’s a secret ingredient that makes social media a value added channel for destination marketing organizations. It’s called fun.

Unlike email, which people view as having a mundane purpose, social media is characterized by an entertainment overlay that is sometimes overlooked. Users find it entertaining to be part of a group of interesting people, or to be among the first to spot something new going on, or simply to be in a virtual place where there is always movement and activity.

Smart DMOs have realized that social media can add to the fun offered by their destinations. Let’s look at Twitter to illustrate. Have you heard of the Banff Squirrel?

He’s the unlikely spokes-squirrel of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism in the Canadian Rockies. The squirrel has a continuously scrolling conversation with tourists via Twitter on the Real Banff page that many people find enjoyable to follow.

How many? He has more than 6,600 followers, and @Banff_Squirrel often creates more than 100,000 online impressions for Banff and Lake (more…)

Demographically Targeted Social Tourism Campaigns

Tourism marketers, rejoice! You no longer have to try to implement your strategies with blindfolds on.

When you are promoting a tourism product or a specific event you probably know that it will appeal primarily to a certain demographic segment of the public. People aged 55 or over, for example, or families or teenagers. How do you reach that target group most cost-effectively?

With traditional media you had to scatter your messages, like casting seeds on the ground blindfolded. You hoped that some of the messages would land in the right places and produce what you wanted.

Reaching Specific Audiences with Social Media

Now there is a better way. Social media websites have given destination marketing organizations a marketing tool more precise than they ever had before. Once a DMO has identified its most promising client groups it can reach those groups through social media sites designed just (more…)

Social Promotion of Events and Festivals

Techniques for promoting events and festivals have become a lot more creative and wide-ranging since the advent of social media.

The meaning of the term “promoting” actually has changed now because of what social media can do. These technologies don’t just create awareness, as traditional advertising and marketing methods do. They create activity and personal involvement. They expand an audience beyond the event itself, turning it into a center of online attention.

The gold standard for social media festival promotion has been set by the South by Southwest Festival , which took place March 11-20 in Austin, Texas. The annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival created a whole new platform called SXsocial as the official communications hub for SXSW 2011 registrants. It was the key to bringing people together across the vast festival, which this year was spread across four campuses.

Registrants could use the platform before, during and after the festival. They could build an extended profile including a photo, bio, links to their profiles on other networks, and tags of their interests both professional and personal. They could search for (more…)

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