The Group Travel Leader

JAN 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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Page 14 of 115

T H E 1 5 GROUP G G R R O U P TRAVEL LE ADER T H E E F F E C T I V E S O C I A L M E D I A B U I L D S AT T R AC T I O N S ' AT T E N DA N C E ocial media has been a dominant plat- form in digital marketing for well over a decade now, and tourism profession- als from every corner of the industry recognize the importance of using it effectively. But because the technology and trends change so quickly, many attraction representatives are unsure of the best ways to use social media to reach potential visitors, and especially groups. If you want to maximize your attraction's social media impact among group travel plan- ners, or if you work for a destination whose attrac- tions could use some coaching, take advantage of these four tips for making the most of social media opportunities. FACILITATE SHARABLE MOMENTS Everyone hopes that visitors to their attrac- tions will share their experiences on social media. But are you doing enough to make those interac- tions fun, easy and instant? Examine your visitor experience from a social media point of view, and see if there are places where you can create shareable moments. Set up an exciting photo op, and create a clever hashtag to encourage visitors to snap selfies and share them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while they're on your property. And keep your eye on your social accounts throughout the day so you can react to and share your visitors' posts in real time. P L A N N E R E D U C AT I O N . PLAY SOCIAL GAMES Sometimes visitors may not think to use your hashtag or handles when posting about their experiences on social media. So, to encourage them to include you in their posts, consider offer- ing giveaways or incentives when they mention you online. If a social-savvy group comes through your doors, tell them that one person in the group who posts with your hashtag will win a Starbucks gift card. Or offer a gift shop discount to anyone who checks into, posts about or reviews your attraction on a social site. You can even have a photo contest, offering a small prize to the visitor whose photos from your attraction get the most reactions online. COURT INFLUENCERS Social media is often considered a democratic platform because it is open to anyone. But not all social shares are created equal. Some users have wide audiences and exert a lot more inf luence in B Y B R I A N J E W E L L the things they discuss online. If you want to reach group travelers through social media, find ways to identify the inf luenc- ers who have a lot of sway in the industry. Make a list of tour operators, bus companies or group leaders you know, and reach out to them through social media, offering to show them around your attraction free of charge. This is also a great way to reach travel journalists, bloggers and other well-known people in your target markets. WORK TOGETHER Social media platforms are built for shar- ing, and the impact of your online activities is amplified when others retweet and repost your message. Consider teaming up with other attractions, hotels, CVBs and additional tourism partners in your area to make your social media efforts go further. Share their content with your audi- ence, and ask them to share yours with theirs. The more active and engaged your local tourism community is, the more likely travel planners are to see your message and respond.

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