Going Dark is the Wrong Answer – Content Creation Resources for DMOs

In times like these, we are doing our best Ross Geller “pivot” on a near-daily basis when it comes to social media content. We are all looking to each other for ideas to keep things fresh; meanwhile, most attractors to our communities are closed, hotels are emptier by the day and our restaurants have changed course to provide curbside and delivery options to comply with the latest containment efforts and regulations.

So, what’s the right answer when it comes to social media? I’m not sure that there is one, but I do know the wrong answer: going dark.

Going dark during these times is not only bad for your brand’s social presence and your place in the all-important algorithms, but it also demonstrates to your stakeholders that you aren’t supportive of their efforts through the good times and the bad times.

Travel and tourism folks have gotten creative over the past several weeks, and we wanted to highlight a few ideas you can leverage, even without normal operations.

Facebook & Instagram Live

This isn’t a new concept, but one you might not be comfortable with quite yet. I hate to be the one to say it, but prepare yourself and your stakeholders to get a little more uncomfortable. Facebook and Instagram Live have been ramping up since we all packed up our offices and went home. Whether it’s celebrities, influencers or brands hosting a live DJ or yoga class, there’s a lot out there to watch. And whether you point your camera at the ocean waves, host Q&A sessions or livestream story hour, you can amplify your strengths and get streaming! Not sure where to start? Ask your audience (on both platforms)!

Instagram Stories

Again, not a new concept, but one worth exploring further! I’ve loved watching behind-the-scenes content from my favorite museums, aquariums and gardens around the country amp up during these long days isolated at home. Plus, is anyone else intrigued by the lack of people in all these places? As a frequent traveler, it’s something I never get to witness. Collaborate with your stakeholders to see who is checking in (virtually) at their attractions and offer guidance as they create EGC (employee-generated content—I just made that up!) for you to lift up during these unusual times.


You’ve likely seen the Brady Bunch-esque collage of workplaces all over America at some point in your newsfeed over the last week, but Zoom isn’t just for virtual work meetings. It offers up opportunities for one-on-one interviews, cooking demonstrations or happy hours! Plus, you can record your meeting, interview or virtual party and use it on other platforms, like your social channels. Google Hangouts is also an excellent free video conferencing option, but you’ll need an additional screen-recording platform in order to record calls on there.

Social media: Stampers enjoying virtual happy hour via Zoom video conferencing software.
Stampers Zooming virtual happy hour at 4:30 on Fridays


We’ve shared a little bit about Canva before. It’s an amazing platform for designing everything from social media graphics to invitations to posters. And there’s an inexpensive paid version that allows you to collaborate on graphics as a team, as well as upload your brand colors and fonts. So, during this time of remote working and job duty shifting, it might be a good time to take another look at Canva! Even if your DMO doesn’t have much use for it, your stakeholders will as they create graphics to showcase in their latest social update about curbside pick-up. Personally, I am really loving the animation feature that was recently added to the paid version several months ago. It’s allowed me to create graphics that move and stand out in social feeds for some of our clients.


If you haven’t created a Pinterest account for your destination, now is the perfect time to do so. Pinterest is an inspirational resource for users who are planning projects, vacations, milestone events, and more. And while many of these projects and events may be on hold, that doesn’t mean users stop dreaming about how they will spend their time when this crisis ends. Carve out a space for your destination and use this platform to remind your target markets that you will still be here when it’s safe to travel. Shine the spotlight on attractions, events and other local gems for them to explore when the time is right. You can read more about the benefits of using Pinterest here.

Bottom line: there’s a lot of noise being made as everyone clamors for a space for themselves on every social platform. The more diverse, quirky or unique your content is, the better your chance of breaking through the noise and continuing to resonate with your audience even in this uncertain time. 

For inspiration on getting started, here are a few examples of some great content we’ve seen recently:

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