Using Twitter’s Advanced Search

Social media is not traditional marketing. If you’re only pushing out information to your twitter followers, you’re missing out on connecting with potential visitors.

People are talking about you and your area. They might not know that you’re on twitter but they do know that twitter can help them find answers. Are you listening?

There are many tools that can help you find these people and Twitter’s Advanced Search (search.twitter.com/advanced) is one of them. …

Google Maps: it’s that easy

Creating a custom Google Map is a great way to enhance itineraries, attraction and hotel listings, special events and so much more. Plus Google made it very easy to create and embed these maps.

Go to the “My Maps” tab and create a title and description for your new map. All you have to do now is find, drop or drag placemarks and draw lines. You can customize the icon for the placemark as well as adding live links and images via html.

Flickr is always a great resource for images. Search within the Creative Commons to find images that can be used commercially. You can find the html under the “Share This” tab for each photo.…

120 is the new 140

When you first started twitter, you may have felt overwhelmed fitting everything in to one little 140-character tweet. Abbreviating where you can, leaving off some of the details and trying your best to just cram it all in and still have room for a link should be considered a skill. Well I hate to burst…

Using BudURL

A great resource for tracking links, BudURL can also give you insight on which themes gather the most interest among your followers. An easy way to do this is by creating a BudURL label for each theme such as architecture, culinary, destination (a catch-all category), family, nightlife, etc.

Once you create your theme labels, all you have to do is check off the corresponding box as you shrink your URL.

When analyzing or creating a report on your URL click-thru stats,…

Tracking and Reporting

Once you learn how to properly use social media, it’s time to get serious and treat it as part of your marketing plan. Create a strategy, utilize the appropriate social networks for your organization and analyze your efforts. Let’s focus on the analysis portion.

Goals: Why are you using social media?

“Because everyone does it” is no longer a valid reason to delve into the world of social media. Especially without a plan. Not having social media strategies and goals is the fastest way to fail. Sure, some people get lucky in their efforts but flying by the seat of your pants is not a strategy.

As with your traditional marketing, you need to set goals and then analyze your efforts to make sure you’re reaching these goals.…

How to retweet properly

A twitter retweet is when you post someone’s tweet to your followers. This is a great way to share information but it loses its value when overdone or done incorrectly.

Here are a few basic retweet rules:…

Twitter tools: Friend or Follow

Go beyond the basics of twitter by maintaining your twitter followers. This is especially important if you’re trying to increase your followers and you’re stuck around the 2,000 mark. (Twitter only allows you to follow 2,000 people until you have a similar amount of followers.)

FriendorFollow is a great tool to see
1. Follows: who you’re following that are not following you back
2. Fans: who is following you but you are not following back
3. Friends: mutual followings

This tool also allows you to export your follows, fans and friends and provides follower location data.…

Twitter Lists

Twitter rolled out the Lists feature last fall however many tourism organizations have not taken advantage of lists yet. Lists are an easy way to promote bureau membership and categorize twittering members. People can subscribe to your lists and view them as columns in TweetDeck or HootSuite. You can also embed twitter lists into websites and blogs.

Imagine a twitter list of all the hotels in your area. A visitor can then easily view this list to see if any of your hotels are offering special discounts. The same can be true for restaurants, attractions, etc. Visitors could also benefit from “Locals” lists containing local bloggers, news or weather.…

Enhancing your Facebook posts

I “like” a lot of CVBs on Facebook. Ok, that’s probably an understatement. The truth is that I’m a fan of hundreds of CVBs. As you can imagine, I see a fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to CVB Facebook posts.

It takes very little effort to create a quality post. Sure it’s easier to link your Facebook updates to your twitter account or to use tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck to update your Facebook page but it’s well worth the extra minute to create an engaging posts that contains a link, image and quality copy.…

Creating a Flickr Gallery

Many CVBs use Flickr to share their photos and a few bureaus also host very successful Flickr groups but one function seldom used is a Flickr Gallery.

Galleries are created with photos from other Flickr members so you don’t need to have an extensive photostream for this function.…