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Social media marketing is still an essential part of tourism businesses overall digital strategies and recent studies predict that 70% of marketers will actually increase their overall social media budget. This is not surprising, as the importance and potential impact of social media and social engagement on tourism businesses is growing. However, this change towards further investments into social marketing is also down to the fact that a lot of tourism destinations and businesses are already active in the social sphere but are now aiming to sophisticate their presence and in particular making sure that the social marketing is measured, analysed and new data-driven strategies are being implemented. Like other areas in digital, social marketing is now also moving more towards being able to analyse it and use the insights gained in order to create more cross-channel experiences (GIGYA 2014).

MEASURING SOCIAL ROI

For tourism destinations and businesses it is very important to measure social ROI. Although this is a topic a lot of destination marketers are starting to get into, it is essential to identify whether a destination’s or tourism business’s social marketing is worth the investment is based on the level of increase in followers on social networks and also the level of engagement. Its fairly easy to understand that free activities on social media leading to increase in followers and engagement are worth a lot in comparison to followers and engagement driven by investments into posts, etc. It is also interesting to see and reflect on the value of social marketing in comparison to other forms by analysing data on how consumers’ interact on social networks with specific brands and how this differs to other digital channels, seeing whether social ROI is higher than through other channels.

GET TO KNOW YOUR CONSUMER

For any business and destination in tourism, it is crucial to actually make the shift from being aware of anonymous visitors to actually getting to know consumers through data and then build a relationship with them triggering engagement and connecting with consumers on a much more personal level than through targeted ads that might take into consideration a consumer’s specific interest but might still not get it quite right. Everybody has experienced this before, when targeted ads refer to something that you are actually not bothered about e.g. Wedding themed ads although you are not even engaged or thinking about it. What this mis-targeting actually does is annoy consumers, so it is essential to connect on a personal level.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Earning trust over time
  • Nurture relationships with rewards
  • Foster a data driven marketing approach
  • Unify experiences
  • Reflect and analyse your social marketing regularly
  • Watch out for best practice industry examples
  • Never stop learning and improving your social marketing strategy

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