Social media for tourism – tips from the best in the industry

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Social media for tourism – tips from the best in the industry

Here at Wanderlust Communications, tourism is our passion. We love being tourists in our personal lives, and we love working with tourism businesses in our work lives. We see so many inspiring destination marketing campaigns when reading about and working in this amazing industry, so we thought we’d share a few of our favourites with you, and offer some ways you can incorporate these tactics into your own tourism marketing strategy.

Video content for Facebook and Instagram

Tourism Australia is often heralded as the best of the best when it comes to social media marketing. They invite operators and tourism businesses to share their content with them so they can share with the world. Video is the best performing type of content across Facebook and Instagram, so they often lead with that. Here are Australia’s top tips when it comes to the perfect video for social media.

  • Length: Optimum video length is 15–30 seconds long
  • Orientation: Square or portrait format preferable
  • Format: MP4 preferable
  • Background music: Suitable copyright-free background music, or no music. Check out www.premiumbeat.com or www.jukedeck.com, or there’s a range of other royalty-free music sites available on the web.
  • Overlay text or logos: None if possible
  • Fade in and out at the start or end: None preferable
  • Talking heads: None preferable
  • Voiceovers: None preferable

Digital storytelling

Tourism New Zealand has been knocking it out of the park in terms of digital marketing for years. We loved their Middle Earth campaigns which capitalised on the Lord of the Rings franchise, but we also love the way they tell their story through digital. These recent road trip videos are a wonderful way to link together self-drive destinations and make the journey part of the fun. If you have a product that is a little complicated or has many stages, consider a suite of videos to help break down barriers and tell your story clearly.

Working with Influencers

Influencer marketing is the new black, so to speak. Whilst it can be a minefield trying to find genuine influencers that actually have an engaged audience – if you get it right it can be extremely powerful. One of the influencers we love is @notsomumsy. Originally a blogger but now an avid Instagrammer, Marcia Leone manages to speak to her audience of more than 180,000 followers like a best friend would. She chooses her endorsements wisely, so although they are paid for sponsorships, they really seem to be genuinely loved by her. She tells the story in varying ways through her channels – a lengthy blog post with images on her website, beautifully polished posts on her Instagram feed and more “behind the scenes / real life” style snippets via Instagram Stories. It works well holistically and really helps push the message through.

Finding an influencer that really gels with your brand and has the right audience for you can be a wonderful marketing tactic to help raise brand awareness, open you up to a new audience, drive sales and increase your own social media engagement.

Influencer marketing is something we do for many of our clients. We recently worked with our client Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef to host journalist, photographer and influencer, Rhiannon Taylor, and saw some fantastic results. Her website In Bed With has the perfect readership for our target market, and her Instagram account is well-read and highly engaging. As Rhiannon is predominantly a journalist, we negotiated with her about deliverables and made sure we got more from the visit than just a couple of pretty Instagram pictures. Rhiannon featured Sal Salis on her website, she posted images on her Instagram account and on her Stories; plus she did a takeover of the Conde Naste Instagram account which has more than 1.7 million followers, secured an article in Vogue Traveller and provided us with 50 high-resolution images to use across our own marketing channels.

When it comes to working with influencers, be sure to do your research, negotiate on deliverables and be sure to maximise the results wherever possible.

Cross-platform marketing

Digital and social are wonderful, but campaigns really pack a punch when they extend through other marketing channels too.  Just check out this idea from British Airways using their outdoor advertising boards and then amplyfying with social media. This video has more than 1.6 million views on YouTube and went viral online.

A simple idea but one that combined a clever use of technology with perfect timing, and a cute kid!

Think about how you can promote your campaigns across different channels and platforms. I’m sure not many brands have the budget to do something like this, but if you’re creative there are ways!

We once did some guerilla-style marketing for a brand in the UK which helped increase brand awareness and drive traffic to the website. At the dead of night, a team went into the City Centre and graffitied the clients’ logo and web address across the pavements with chalk. (Note chalk!! It did wipe off very easily) When people started their morning commute, they saw the drawings and curiously checked out the link! A PR campaign added some more word of mouth weight to the combination of tactics and made for a fun and successful strategy.

 

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