How DMOs Like Visit Florida & Visit Niagara Are Using Social Media & UGC Right Now

August 3, 2020 Julia Manoukian

This week in our customer roundup, we're featuring examples of how destination marketing organizations like Visit Florida and Visit Niagara are using user-generated content (UGC) and social media to communicate a trustworthy message to locals and visitors, support their partners, and do more with less.

Don't forget you can read more stories like these in our Community Stories Hub.

Using UGC & social media to communicate messages of health and safety

Blue Mountain Village is running a social media contest to promote wearing masks

Blue Mountain Village in Ontario, Canada, is using CrowdRiff Collector to gather images of people wearing masks in the village. Those who share content have a chance to win 1 of 5 unique masks sold at various stores throughout the Village.

They also have a post showing Village staff wearing their own custom-designed masks.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wearing a mask is now a requirement when visiting indoor spaces at Blue Mountain. Show us your trendiest mask with a fierce smize 👀 for a chance to win 1 of 5 unique masks sold at various stores throughout the Village. Join the contest by uploading and sharing your photos in the link in our bio! Scroll through the photos in this post to meet some of our Village people donning their original masks, if you see them during your visit give them a wave and say hello! #bluemountainvillage #mask #maskup #staysafe #staycation This contest is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram. By entering, entrants guarantee that they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility and liability, and agree to Instagram's terms of use. This contests will be live on our page for 7 days. No purchases necessary!

A post shared by Blue Mountain Village (@bluemtnvillage) on

How to do it in CrowdRiff

  1. Create a Collector link and customize it with your name, logo & background, and terms & conditions.
  2. Share the Collector link on your social media channels, in your blog, and in your newsletter. You can also copy and paste the Collector embed code onto your website or blog.
  3. To find content that was added to CrowdRiff through a Collector, click "view assets" next to the Collector link, or search “collector-portal” or any of the other keywords you may have added. 

Visit Mountaineer Country is running a safety pledge and encouraging locals to share content on social media

What makes the campaign different from others like it is that they have distinct sign-ups for businesses and locals so they can share the responsibility of safety amongst the community.

When you arrive on the "Make Mountaineer Country Safe" landing page, you can either choose to make a "Commitment to Safety" as a business or "Pledge to Prevent" as a resident.

They have been encouraging locals to share content with a relevant hashtag and are showcasing the collected content in a gallery. 

Using UGC & social media to engage locals

Visit Florida balances local and visitor messaging with two Instagram accounts

One account caters to Florida residents exploring Florida, called lovefl. Their main account, Visit Florida, focuses on out of state visitors. Each account uses a plethora of UGC imagery acquired through CrowdRiff.

They also recently launched a Love FL site featuring a custom CSS gallery of user-generated content focusing on local, intrastate travel. As you can see, there are images promoting experiences and attractions around the state, which helps Visit Florida market its partners to a local audience. 

How to do it using CrowdRiff:

  1. Build a CrowdRiff gallery like you normally would: by pulling in content using relevant hashtags, from your partners, and adding these to a gallery.
  2. Use CSS to make minor design changes to your galleries, like the styling of the "load more" button, CTAs, hover on photos. 
  3. To add CSS, go to the main menu, select a gallery and click Manage app > Custom CSS. 

Highway 1 Discovery Route uses UGC to build trust in their emails

Highway 1 Discovery Route is doing email retargeting to website visitors with an email automation program. Emails reinforce the message that there is plenty of space along the historic route for any kind of traveler, including beach lovers (with their Beach email) or nature-buffs (with their Wide Open Spaces email), biking and more.

The abundance of rights-approved UGC in both emails shows people an unfiltered view of what to expect when they visit Highway 1 Discovery Route. This real-time visual proof builds trust with travelers and drives home H1DR's trustworthiness as a brand sharing that information.

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. Source content with CrowdRiff from local hashtags, social accounts, with Connect or Collector. 
  2. Surface relevant content in your library.
  3. Request the rights to your favorite images or videos.
  4. Use the visual in your next email or newsletter!

Using UGC & social media to engage your partners and stakeholders

Visit Niagara promotes local experiences with CTAs on their UGC images

Visit Niagara, in Ontario, Canada, is using socially-distanced approved user-generated content across their site to promote local experiences. Calls to action (CTAs) on the homepage drive people to partner sites that sell experiences to things like fishing, The Falls, and local vineyards.

They also have a section called "Who Did You Become During Your Time at Home?" and have created various profiles (Ex: Social Star, Wine-ing All Day, Comfort Seeker etc). When you click into each profile, there is a gallery with CTAs highlighting attractions, wineries, etc.

How to do it using CrowdRiff:

  1. If you don't already have one handy, create a list of local business usernames and pages.
  2. In CrowdRiff, add these to your tracked social accounts.
  3. Optional: Share a link to your Connect portal to give your partners and local businesses more exposure (mention this to them). When they authorize Connect, you’ll see their Instagram posts, Stories, and photos or videos they’ve been tagged or @mentioned in your CrowdRiff library.
  4. Get the rights to the visuals you want to use.
  5. Once rights-approved, pull this content into a CrowdRiff gallery.
  6. Add calls-to-action on your visuals linking to your partners’ websites. Add Google Location data to show their addresses and opening hours.
  7. Copy and paste the Gallery embed code into your website.

Using UGC & social media to engage out-of-state travelers

Hamilton County Tourism built visitor itineraries using UGC galleries

Hamilton County published a blog post titled "Visitors’ Favorite Things to Do in Hamilton County, Indiana." 

The post showcases the experiences of previous travelers through UGC and written testimonials in an itinerary style fashion. The itineraries are persona-based and include:

  • Couples' Weekend
  • Girls' Getaway
  • Family-Friendly Adventure

Hamilton County Tourism has been using the messaging "When you’re ready, we look forward to welcoming you" across their website. 

How to do it using CrowdRiff:

  1. Decide what personas you want to focus on in your blog post. 
  2. Source content that aligns with each persona. In this case, Hamilton County partnered with travel bloggers to come up with ideas and activities for the itinerary, as well as create the content. 
  3. If you're working with travel bloggers or influencers, upload the content into your CrowdRiff library. If you're pulling in content from hashtags or Connect, use Advanced Search to find the right set of images or videos for each persona. 
  4. Create galleries for each set of visuals and embed the gallery into the post.

Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation uses rights-approved imagery to promote experiences to out-of-state visitors and locals

They've been using rights-approved imagery that they get through CrowdRiff in their print marketing and photo walls around town.

  • They use a mix of branded photography and UGC in their 2020 Calendar (which goes out to members and donors, as they are a not-for-profit organization) and their 2020 Inspiration Guide (which is distributed across the state of North Dakota).
  • They use a CrowdRiff photo wall integrated with Brightsign to display on any point of sale for tickets in their major attractions across town. This includes during the intermission, and before and after their popular Medora Musical, which is an outdoor event that operates all summer and is their top revenue driver and most popular attraction for the year. 

How to do it using CrowdRiff:

  1. Source content using hashtags, social accounts, with Connect, or Collector.
  2. Request the rights to the visuals you want to use.
  3. Once rights-approved, you can use the image on your photo wall or in your next piece of print marketing.

Have an example you think we should know about? Let us know in our Community Stories Hub.

Image credit: @kenrickmills

About the author

Julia Manoukian

Julia Manoukian is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at CrowdRiff. A former journalist, she has helped several Toronto startups raise their thought leadership profiles and scale their content efforts to influence revenue. She's passionate about storytelling, traveling, and tech.

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