Tourism can be a confusing and crowded space for social media marketing professionals. How do you get your destination to stand out in the clutter? How do you engage your visitors and transform them into promoters before, during and after their visits? At its heart, travel is about experiences and sharing those experiences. This makes social media marketing a great opportunity for travel and tourism marketers. Here are some great examples of how destinations are using social media for travel and tourism marketing today.
#1 @SolWaveHouse The World's First Tweet Experience Hotel
- Ready to tweet when you make your reservation at melia.com
- You will be connected to the #SocialWave experience
- Exclusive assistance for #TweetPartySuite guests
- Guest service via Twitter @SOLWAVEHOUSE #ASKME700
- Exclusive rooms for you and your friends
- Bottle of cava and special details on arrival
- 20% discount in the hotel bar and restaurant
- Free Social WiFi
- VIP sun bed
- Personalized minibar (*)
- Concierge on Twitter
This concept may take it to an extreme, but the idea of encouraging your guests to use social media while at your destination is a powerful one. It's likely that many guests are already sharing their experiences on social media, so you might as well make sure they're all using the right hashtags.
#2 - Visit Indy Instagram Hyper-lapse Video
First, if you haven't heard of hyper-lapse from Instagram you can learn more here. Hyper-lapse is basically a way of capturing high-quality time lapse videos even while in motion. VisitIndy.com took this tool and created a youtube video highlighting its 8 mile cultural trail. Images and video are an effective way to tell your brand story on social media. If you see a lot of your visitors taking photos with their smart phones, chances are they're sharing those photos online. That makes having a brand presence on these social networks a must.
#3 - WestJet Grants Passengers' Christmas Wishes
"At two Canadian airports, WestJet customers, both adults and kids, about 250 in total, relayed their Christmas wish lists to Santa, as part of a holiday video conference. While many thought it was a joke and sarcastically told good old St. Nick what they wanted, they had no way of knowing that 175 airline employees were listening to their requests and fully ready to grant them."
In a world where travellers are often at odds with their airlines, WestJet has found a way to connect with the emotions of their customers. Travellers can feel especially vulnerable while getting to their destination. A strong relationship with a carrier will go a long way in the traveller's decision making process when purchasing tickets.
The previous 3 are only a few of the many examples of social media for tourism marketing. What works best for you will ultimately depend on your audience and the networks they are on. Your guests will be sharing/posting about their experiences with you. Being proactive and engaging them on social media before, during and after their visits should be a central part of your marketing strategy.