When trying to attract travellers, destinations go to great lengths and use a multitude of different methods. While many of these can be extremely effective, at the same time it is slightly depressing for marketers to know that recommendations and opinions from family and friends remain one of the most important pull factors!
Social media significance
Nevertheless, there is still a lot that a destination can do to influence opinion and successfully market itself to holidaymakers. As well as recommendations from trusted peers being important to travellers, reviews on social media are also considered to be an extremely reliable source of information. More than 70 percent of travellers trust one of these two sources above all others.
The importance of social media is magnified when one understands its demographic significance. Currently, no less than 97% of millennial travellers post on social networks during the travelling experience. This naturally provides a fertile opportunity for destination marketing.
With this in mind, VisitDenmark has attempted to tap into the knowledge that travellers love to share pictures from trips to iconic places of interest on social media. Thus, VisitDenmark has taken a novel approach in an attempt to generate interest in the subject. The tourist board has identified fifty particular point of interest scattered across its nation, and subsequently identified each of these places with a physical signpost which specifies hashtags that travellers can utilise to share photographs.
This is an innovative way of tying real world locations to social media, and one that could be extremely useful when one considers that social media is so valued in terms of forming an impression of a particular place. The VisitDenmark campaign has also created a YouTube video to showcase the campaign and give a further favourable impression of its tourist attractions.
VisitDenmark has also encouraged travellers to upload pictures taken at these fifty notable landmarks on its destination website. Visitors to the VisitDenmark website can also easily upload pictures to either Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. It is notable that the campaign describes these attractive tourist locations as “shareable locations”, helping to create the feeling that travellers are participating in a communal activity. This is of course one of the primary elements that attracts people to social media in the first place.
However, VisitDenmark is by no means the first destination to encourage travellers to share social media content via specific hashtags. Several other destinations have also engaged in this approach in an attempt to create a communal feeling around integrated website and social media content.
Thus, destinations such as VisitCanada (#ExploreCanada), VisitPhilly, Discover NorthernIreland (#northernireland), VisitScotland (#beautifulmoment) have all asked followers and fans of the nations to share their own photographs and videos of the destinations via a specific hashtag.
Elsewhere, other destinations have organised competitions and contests in an attempt to incite travellers to share spectacular and appealing visual content. Destinations such as VisitIceland (#Icelandsecret) and VisitCroatia (#LoveCroatia and #ShareCroatia) entice travellers to share pictures and videos with them by offering trips to the destination as an incentive for the best content.
It is clear given the vast numbers of people that utilise social media sites today, coupled with the research information that indicates such content carries weight and cachet among travellers, that these campaigns are well founded in terms of attracting holidaymakers. But what is the best approach for destinations in terms of utilising such video content?
Individual destinations would do well to understand and research the specific market and demographic that they are targeting. A destination which is targeting young people will need to offer something particularly outstanding and exciting, as merely having social media content is unlikely to impress these tech-savvy individuals. While branding a destination which is perhaps aimed at families and more mature travellers, will require a completely different tone and type of content.
While attracting and consolidating a social media community and then encouraging them to contribute content is a very viable promotional avenue, it is essential to ensure that they create the right content, or at the very least that the best content receives the most attention. In order to do this, destinations might wish to think about how they brand and present themselves to potential travellers.
There are obvious ties between social media and mobile devices, and overwhelming evidence that travellers are utilising mobile devices more regularly for a variety of reasons while on holiday. Research from TripAdvisor indicated that 60 percent of US respondents to a recent survey had downloaded a mobile travel application. As this mobile marketplace grows, it is likely that social media will become even more significant, so taking steps to create a social media buzz and community around a destination is an extremely sensible move for any location.
Discussioncomments powered by Disqus
More from #DTTT
In August we present:Helsinki’s city marketing strategy
Laura Aalto is a marketing and communications professional with 20 years of experience in international marketing, brand building, sponsorship and event marketing. She will take over as a CEO of Helsinki Marketing this September. More in this press release. Laura will be joining us on stage at #DTTTGlobal on 30th November & 1st December in […]#Helsinki #city #Transformation #destination #dmo #marketing #strategy
In July we present:What if we scrapped the DMO?
“What if we scrapped the DMO, would anybody notice?”. This is a favourite topic at debates and one that often comes up in my experience of circling the globe talking at destination conferences, one that I occasionally indulge in but at the same time never really buy into. Others, however, are deadly serious when they […]#destination #Development #dmo #marketing
In June we present:How we Champion Remote Design
Here at the #DTTT, we used the last year to slowly change the way we work with our #DTTT Experts and destinations by embracing remote design as an integral part of how we deliver ideation workshops, audits, plans and frameworks across a range of topics. For many destinations, the remote design concept is fairly new, so […]#remote design #remote #collaboration #Destinations #workshop
In May we present:Snapchat Spectacles: The Verdict for Tourism
In the run up to Content | Campus we managed to get our hands on a pair of Spectacles, the latest ‘must have’ piece of wearable tech from Snapchat, currently only available in the US. First of all just to clarify, ‘must have’ refers to agencies and opportune eBay resellers to whom we paid over […]#snapchat spectacles #Snapchat #social media #social media marketing
In May we present:Destination Marketing in a Climate of Fear
Between looming travel bans, terrorist attacks and passengers forcibly being removed from planes, destination marketing has become increasingly difficult. “There is a fear factor of travelling,” says Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor. Travellers are more anxious than ever before to travel. What does this mean for the industry? How do you as a DMO […]#crisis management #communication #crisis #destination #destination marketing #partners #social
In May we present:Why Nuuk Holds the Key to Greenland’s Tourism Industry
In the world of entrepreneurship, founders are regarded as role models, leaders, ambitious, successful, highly driven and uniquely adept at identifying opportunities overlooked by others. This admiration is well deserved, considering 90% of start-ups fail within the first year, but a recent visit from to Nuuk reveals a richer side to earning a living as […]#Nuuk #tourism development #training #business #destination #Greenland #SME