Like your Marketing Action Plan, your social media marketing strategy should continually evolve to reflect what data is telling you about the platform preferences and media consumption habits of your target markets. Nearly 70 percent of American adults use some form of social media, and knowing how they use what platform is integral to the success of your social strategy.
While maintaining an active presence on the major social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) is necessary, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each platform is equally as important and will help you shape your travel and tourism content strategy moving forward. What made your social strategy successful two years ago likely will not have the desired impact today due to evolving trends and ever-changing algorithms. So how do you stay ahead of the curve?
Start by looking back.
How has your social media strategy performed this past year? What worked? What flopped? What combination of copy, imagery and/or videos received the most engagement? Social media algorithms no longer deliver content to users in chronological order, but rather by relevance and the likelihood of meaningful interactions. Facebook, for example, considers comments and shares to be more meaningful than passive interactions such as likes and click-throughs. Twitter ranks content based on time posted and user relevance, Instagram ranks content according to popularity and relevance, and Pinterest guides searches based on previous user interactions.
What does all this mean for DMOs and travel industry clients? Aggregate your social media analytics from the past year, review what content received the highest number of meaningful interactions, and use that information to shape your social strategy moving forward.
Reevaluate your message.
Marketing 101 here — knowing who your target markets are is the first step towards creating meaningful content that resonates with potential visitors. When you try to be all things to all people, you effectively become “nothing to no one”. Refer back to your Marketing Action Plan, and ensure that your social media content strategy aligns with your other marketing efforts. And if your target markets include multiple demographics (like most destinations), make sure you are speaking to the right audience on the right platform. Simply posting the same content across all social channels without respect for platform strengths and demographics is not a solid strategy. Knowing who you’re speaking to, what type of content resonates with them the most, and reaching them through their preferred social channels will help ensure your message is effectively disseminated as intended.
Build and populate an editorial calendar.
Whether you’re just now recognizing the tremendous potential of a robust social media plan or you’ve been at this for a while, having an editorial calendar to plan out your content each month can help you remain big picture-oriented. Equipped with social media analytics from the previous year and a renewed understanding of your target markets, build an editorial calendar to guide your content strategy moving forward. This is a great way to ensure that you’re effectively reaching each of your target markets with content tailored specifically to them.
The social media playbook is constantly changing as technology progresses and consumer expectations evolve. Revisit your social media marketing strategy annually to help your destination stay aware of changing trends by identifying what content influences travelers the most as they plan for their next excursion. Start by auditing your current social media efforts, reviewing best practices and ensuring they align with the goals laid out in your Marketing Action Plan. And if you have any uncertainties along the way, Stamp is only a phone call away.