Time To Get Visual For Destination Marketing

Last week, Facebook announced their acquisition of Instagram, a free photo sharing program that permits users to apply a digital filter to photos and then share it on a variety of social networking platforms.  According to the social media giant, it will allow Instagram to continue to operate independently; however, things may change in the next few months.  One thing that the deal confirms is that users of social media are creating and sharing content at a rapid rate in the form of photos to the point that Facebook went ahead with the purchase.

In addition, consider the following facts that is available courtesy of AnsonAlex.com regarding Pinterest (as of March 2012).

  • Pinterest has had 21 million unique visits
  • The top interests of Pinterest users are crafts, hobbies, interior design and fashion
  • 82% of Pinterest users are female (18% male)
  • The average Pinterest visit lasts 17 minutes.

Not to mention that Pinterest has experience significant growth in the past two years that it ranks third behind Twitter and Facebook amongst the leading social media networks.

With Facebook’s acquisition and the popularity of Pinterest, economic development agencies that seeking to enhance their destination marketing strategy must realize that is a new dynamic at play when promoting a destination via social media. The ability of illustrating what your destination has to offer to tourists via images instead of the written word (i.e.,”don’t tell me, show me“) can determine whether potential tourists are willing to connect with a destination’s brand.

The great thing about utilizing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest for destination marketing is that it levels the field in terms of producing promotional content and using a medium to reach a target audience for smaller regions that must compete with larger regions which can spend an unlimited amount of dollars on television, radio and print advertisements.  Case in point: Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Bucks County lies in the southeastern edge of the state along the Delaware River.   Via the county’s official tourism promotion agency, VisitBucksPA, there is a social media toolkit which includes a Pinterest account (VisitBucksPA).

There are two things to make note of when looking at the account from a social media marketing strategist’s point of view.

  • Engagement strategy – The Visit Bucks County has dedicated the first board to engage followers via a contest.  The contest calls for followers repin the prizes that they are interested in winning to one of their personal boards. On May 1, 2012, Visit Bucks County will randomly select winners from each repinned photos.
  • Board branding strategy – For each board on the page,  Visit Bucks County has selected to use simple and “action oriented” words (i.e., “Play”, “Stay”, “Say ‘I Do’”) as titles.



Looking to improve your social media marketing tactics for your destination marketing goals?   Connect with Isabelle Poirier and mention this post in your message.

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About The Author:

Ian  is a content strategist and the competitive intelligence researcher at Intelegia.   With his knowledge of social media tools and an understanding of branding on the web, Ian formulates content marketing strategies for clients’ needs.   As co-author of the  Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© and chief blogger at Intelegia, Ian documents and assesses global best practices of organizations’ approaches to social media marketing in terms of integrating their branding and communications strategies to obtain their marketing objectives.  Follow Ian on Twitter @citweetz. __________________________________________________________________

About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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