In the current times we are living, social media occupies almost every part and aspect of our daily lives and decision making processes. There is now a way to use each and any social media channel, or a combination of them, to promote any product, place, person, service and so on.
Based on the above generalization, we can easily grasp the importance of social media, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. It is now just a matter of how to promote a certain product, service or place, to whom and the creativity of the content of the message being sent out.
So what about tourism? Does it have any place in this equation? Is it, also, able to benefit from social media? And how can social media be best utilized to promote countries in general and cities or certain sites in specific?
Tourism: The Basics!
How about we start with the simple basics of tourism; the building blocks?
To begin with, we must be able to determine why people travel and how they are able to judge if a country is worth visiting and touring or not.
Basically, people travel for two main reasons: Business and leisure (which includes tourism). Now, since business destinations are usually predetermined, we need to identify what makes a person choose a certain country over another for vacationing purposes. This falls under 5 main reasons and they are:
- People & Culture.
- Main attractions.
With that said, if you look closely at the points I have mentioned above, you could easily see that each and every one of the reasons can be seen, somewhat clearly, through the utilization of social media tools and channels! If you are wondering how, continue reading to find out :)
Tourism Marketed Through Social Media: The How, When & Why?
Whether you vacation frequently or just once or twice a year, you always find yourself wondering where to go and what to do when you get there. It is not easy to make up your mind on one destination and be 100% sure that this is what you are looking for! Here is when social media channels step in!
The ability of social media to influence decisions is more than overwhelming, especially when it comes to sharing experiences with others and allowing them to live the moment beforehand.
- Youtube: Imagine you want to vacation and don’t know where. You go online, Google Peru for example and read some articles about the weather and culture there. Then, you decide to search Youtube and you see the below video: the scenery, the nature, the culture, the beauty, the sounds! Would you think twice about traveling to Peru? Personally, I wouldn’t! I’d just pack up and go!
- Twitter: @HolidayGreece send out the following tweet: “#Santorini trip: Have you ever seen the old volcano http://tiny.cc/3ll46 from that close? #hotel #greece #tourism #travel #holiday #hotels“. The phrase “old volcano” might be enticing to many, leading them to click on the link and experience, fist hand, the beauty of the place through images and details and so on.
- Flickr: Professional, high quality and vivid images can be a great motivation as well! Take a look at the image below at the coconuts germinating at the Koh Mak Island shore. As they say: a picture can say a thousand words!
- Facebook: Sharing photos and videos of where you have vacationed and what you have done there, through Facebook, is a wonderful marketing tool as well! When your friends see your pictures happily skiing somewhere or swimming somewhere else, they would want to be in your shoes! Trust me, I know this from personal experience! :)
- Mixx: Since I am really comfortable with using Mixx as a social bookmarking tool and since the clutter is diluted when compared to other social bookmarking sites, I also find Mixx a great resource for finding about new places and promoting certain countries, their people and their way of thinking as well, which is usually reflected in comments and feedback.
Pack Your Bags and Let’s Get Moving with Social Media Tours!
Whether we choose to admit it or not, these fast moving days desperately require fast and easy measures! Even vacations now feel like we are stealing moments in time! Therefore, the role that social media plays in promoting tourism should not be underestimated!
Eliminating intrusive advertising from the equation, do you believe in the role that social media plays to enhance tourism? How else do you suggest that tourism be promoted? And have you ever went on a trip exclusively due to social media coverage of the place?