Creating a compelling, engaging social media presence as a destination marketing organization isn’t easy.
You have to start a conversation. You have to find a unique way to highlight the best attractions, food, and drink, etc.
So new followers and (eventually) visitors can find you, fall in love with your destination, and see you as a go-to resource as they make their travel plans.
With so many competing voices out there, especially on Twitter, it’s easy to fall into the same, safe patterns in terms of what you share and say.
Here are 10 DMO’s whose voices are standing out on Twitter and charming travelers all around the digital world.
Queensland, Australia’s Twitter feed immediately stood out to us because of their unique, cheeky humor and personality, and the beautiful photos they share.
— Queensland Australia (@Queensland) November 29, 2016
Both their avatar (a koala in a Hawaiian shirt), and their liberal use of emojis and slang serve to create an engaging, quirky voice that reflects the demographic of their visitors: young, fun, and excited to explore.
— Queensland Australia (@Queensland) December 8, 2016
Scrolling their feed, you’ll notice they share their own posts, as well as posts from influencers, on everything from the best coffee on the Sunshine Coast to tricks for gaining more Instagram followers. To keep up with their almost-hourly posting frequency, they also liberally retweet photos from visitors and tourism partners. But the most consistent on their feed is beautiful photos of the tropical beauty of Queensland.
Franklin, Tennessee has a way of making everyone viewing their feed feel like a local.
Their feed also offers a really in-depth look at what’s happening in the city, on the macro and micro level. For example: they share Christmas events right along with info about tips for recycling and throwing away waste, details about an upcoming census, etc.
— City of Franklin (@CityOfFranklin) November 29, 2016
They also make great use of video, most recently including “Happy Holidays” recordings from local politicians, and great livestreams of local events, to encourage people to come out and join them, or learn more about what’s going on.
— City of Franklin (@CityOfFranklin) November 18, 2016
Tupelo may be a small destination, but has a knack for tying pop culture, past and present, in with witty commentary, and updates on local events, attractions, history and more.
— My Tupelo (@MyTupelo) October 13, 2016
When this small but proud city isn’t sharing info about local events and attractions, or making cracks about the weather or current events, they also regularly respond to people who Tweet at them in a friendly, approachable way, and retweet those who tag posts with #MyTupelo with regular gusto.
Portland has a reputation all its own as a city — and it’s Twitter feed is no different. Their social media marketing strategy is a perfect example of concierge-level post time, response time, and travel topics.
Alongside their charming voice, they use images in every single post to keep the feed visual, and share frequent reminders about local events. They’re also constantly sharing “best of” lists of exactly what to do in the city whether it’s hot, cold, snowing, raining, or anywhere in between.
Today's mission, should you choose to accept it: Grab lunch at Mac and Trees food cart in #PDX!
— Travel Portland (@travelportland) November 29, 2016
Like most DMOs, Travel Portland shares information about local hotspots, but they also share information on must-know events for locals, including protests, civil engagements, and more.
While so many DMO’s social media strategies aim to engage with visitors currently on-site, and locals, Visit Holland’s approach makes them appealing to follow even if you don’t plan on dropping by Holland any time soon. And while you might think great storytelling is hard in 140 characters, Holland does it.
— Visit Holland (@visitholland) November 17, 2016
They invite interaction by asking engaging questions. For example, they like to share photos of popular attractions and invite followers to identify the location.
Another great element to their feed? They feature a ton of incredible art from resident creators in galleries, and on the street.
— Visit Holland (@visitholland) November 13, 2016
Texas Tourism offers a great source for state-wide and small town information, helping tourists find fun stuff to do wherever they might be.
They utilize a lot of Q&A style Tweets, and use their platform to share interesting information about TV shows filming locally.
They also encourage photo-sharing by inviting their audience to showcase the best of Texas (i.e. like challenging their followers to a “queso-off” by Tweeting photos of their favorite local queso).
— Texas Tourism (@texastourism) November 27, 2016
Another cool aspect of their feed? They make sure to highlight lesser-known industries, like Texas’ vineyards, and other lesser-known attractions.
Explore Georgia loves to promote their seasonal events, local movie productions, and the best of their local foods on Twitter.
But what they do really well is providing short, informative listicles to help visitors and locals find the best of the best — from Georgia’s many covered bridges and roadside attractions, to towns with famous Holiday displays, and more.
— Explore Georgia (@ExploreGeorgia) November 29, 2016
Explore Georgia also frequently retweets articles that feature Georgia, from big and small organizations — most recently, they were listed in National Geographic’s 2017 “Best of the World” list.
— Explore Georgia (@ExploreGeorgia) November 18, 2016
You’ll also note that their avatar is their Snapchat logo, which also invites followers to find them on the platform for livestreams and photos.
Baltimore has mastered the art of the sharing value-focused info on their Twitter feed in a fun and interesting way. So peppered between images of local attractions and events, they also boost the earning potential of local businesses by sharing great deals and discounts in the area on food and drink, museum tickets, and more.
— Visit Baltimore (@BaltimoreMD) November 23, 2016
Much like Tupelo, they love to showcase local celebs/talent (emphasis on Food Network Chopped stars from Baltimore), and promote down-home industries, like their local food and beer promotions.
— Visit Baltimore (@BaltimoreMD) November 16, 2016
They offer a range of varied retweets from partners and visitors alike, to create a wide-angle view of what they have on hand.
Calgary nails their feed’s vibe with a humorous, laid back attitude.
— Tourism Calgary (@TourismCalgary) November 26, 2016
They regularly share of profiles of influencers, along with local theater and concerts being held – which makes them unique on this list.
— Tourism Calgary (@TourismCalgary) November 18, 2016
Their partnerships come across as friendly, as they’re actively engaging local promotional handles, and are active on Twitter chats, and frequently cheering on local sports teams.
Audience interaction and photo sharing are something Pittsburg has mastered. They celebrate local sports teams, most notably the Pittsburgh Steelers, and also do a great job showcasing local architecture.
— PlanPITTSBURGH (@visitpittsburgh) August 22, 2016
Their account devotes a lot of focus to Pittsburg’s world famous bar and food scene, but they also discuss a number of activities depending on the weather — like the best places to visit in the rain, sand snow, or on hot summer days.
But the crux of their social media strategy always seems to be engagement and response — to feature the best of their city through the eyes of their visitors.
Ready to step up your destination’s social media presence?
Here are our takeaways:
- Respond and interact. Don’t forget the social in social media! Engage with the other people talking about you, by replying and favoriting their Tweets. The more you engage with your followers, the more you’ll be seen as a friendly, helpful presence in your space.
- Retweet so that your feed is diverse and connected. Retweeting means less content creation on your part, and more interactive community for your Twitter presence as a whole.
- Show some personality. Whatever your unique brand voice is, embrace it. Don’t hesitate to go for a few laughs and just let it shine!
- Use your brand hashtag when replying to people. The more you share your hashtag, the more likely people are to use it too when Tweeting about your destination.
- Collaborate with your local and regional partners. Retweet and share what your partners are posting, and encourage them to retweet and share in kind. This mutual exposure will help you consistently be seen as an authoritative, connected resource in your space.
We recommend taking some time this month to review your Twitter strategy. What are some great qualities of the examples above that you could recreate on your own feed?
Create. Experiment. And most importantly: have fun!