Twitter Best Practices: #tourismchat

Our previous #tourismchat was on March 8 and focused on Twitter. If you have time, read through the entire chat transcript. Here are my highlights:

What are your favorite twitter tools?

  • jesslaw Hands down, Hootsuite. Love the ability to schedule tweets and monitor multiple accounts and keywords.
  • Joe_ExpCols I’m a Sprout Social guy.
  • midwestguest I really rely on the list function at Twitter itself as a tool…rather than Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or the like.

How many tweets do you send a day? Evening or weekends too?

  • DanielleRauch I send about 5-6 per week day, depending on what’s needed. Not as much on weekends
  • HeidiTown I find that you’ll hit an entirely new demographic if you send or live tweet at night.
  • jesslaw We aim for 18-20 tweets a day, but usually exceed that. Def. on weekends! That’s when tourists are visiting.

What do you think are the most important metrics for Twitter? …

Social Media Best Practices on #tourismchat

Our February 23 #tourismchat focused on Social Media Best Practices and covered many platforms. Here are some highlights:

Twitter: What tools do you use? Any time-saving tips?

  • ELearningU TweetDeck, Hootsuite. Twellow is a great tool to find locals (LOVE Twellowhood)
  • Joe_ExpCols Google Reader for content, Sprout Social for monitoring. Google Analytics all day every day.
  • emilyforsha I’m a Tweetdeck girl, but use Hootsuite app for mobile. Love Google Reader to find content.

Facebook: What posts get the best interactions? How frequently do you post?

  • HeidiTown best interaction when you ask people their opinion. People love to share about themselves!
  • TourismCurrents Facebook posting. Photos, especially of food, do well. Love to send ’em from phone. Post 1-2/day, incl. weekends.
  • pagetx Any time I post food photos, my engagement goes through the roof. Fill in the blank works well too.

Flickr: Photostream and/or group? How much time do you spend per month here?…

Jan 19 #tourismchat Transcript: Pinterest

A lot of destinations are using Pinterest now. In fact, I’ve been tracking 70+ DMOs on the network. To see which destinations are on it, check on this CVBs on Pinterest board.

Our January 19 #tourismchat focused on Pinterest. If you have time, read through the entire transcript. Here are my highlights.

What type of boards do you have?

  • jesslaw So far, we’ve broken our boards down into: play, stay, dine, shop and say “I Do” in #BucksCounty.
  • jamiemorgancda Beverage Finds, Recipes, Dining Out in the Northwest
  • theslynch We’re looking at a “made in <insert state>” board to tie into a print, app or e-pub.

How often do you pin?

  • NinaSunshine I try to pin something daily to keep it fresh. I just started though so we’ll see.
  • FSAustin Aiming for a couple of times a day, but quality/usefulness is more important than quantity to us
  • Joe_ExpCols I try to pin a couple times a day – once during the work day, and once at about 10:30 p.m. Very active time

Where are you sourcing your pins?

  • Amy_BrockI try to take a few minutes each week & pin from a few member websites. (Hotels, restaurants, shops)
  • NinaSunshine My first boards were mostly from our website & blog (traffic!). I needed more scenic photos so went to local blogs, Etsy.
  • FSAustin We follow all of our local wedding vendor blogs to source wedding-related pins. Very useful so far!

Are you following back people that follow your boards?…

Best Practices for Facebook from #tourismchat

#tourismchat is a twitter chat focused on social media in the tourism industry. Our Nov 3 (2011) chat featured Facebook as the topic.

Even though Facebook is constantly changing (and I’m way behind in my blog), I wanted to share these #tourismchat highlights here. I think a lot of the tweets in this chat can help you build a solid strategy or inspire you to try new things on Facebook.

Q1: Is your page geared towards leisure tourism only? Do you have separate niche pages?

  • jennrush03 We just have the one page for our CVA that’s mainly leisure travel. Our other 2 facebook pages are for events we run.
  • scullyano We have one FB page for all leisure, meetings, groups, weddings, etc.
  • thefrontrowe Our page is predominantly leisure tourism, but also aimed at growing local advocacy.
  • maddenmedia A1: Facebook works best with B2C markets. Might be best to create a custom B2B app/tab dedicated to a specific niche on 1 page.

Q2: How often do you update your Facebook page? What time? Evenings/weekends too?

  • emilyforsha Plan is to move toward twice daily, morning and evening.
  • maddenmedia No more than three times a day, but we strive for one to two posts per day on pages we administer.
  • bobf_vstpgh We generally update no more than 2-3 times per day and try to keep several hours between posts.

Q3: What tabs do you have on your page? Welcome tab, booking engine, etc. Are you tracking links to these tabs?…

#tourismchat Highlights: Social Media Contests

Our latest #tourismchat (December 1, 2011) focused on social media contests. A lot of the chat participants have managed contests in Facebook but not too many had experience with Twitter or Flickr contests. Below are my highlights from the chat. Check out the entire chat transcript for all the details.

Have you managed any social media contests for your DMO? What were the results?

  • @pagetx Yes. We’ve done Flickr photo contests for 2 yrs. Increased social fans, engagement, & # of photos in group. Success!
  • @MontanaTia We did our first giveaway this summer via facebook and increased the # of fans on our page.
  • @SarahElam Yes, we’ve done 2 very successful ones on FB. One geared towards outdoor fun, one on shopping. Increased fans & exposure!
  • @stefanieksays Yes, had amazing results w/ Facebook contest especially if supported with ads. See fans sticking around even after it ends.
  • @emilyforsha Flickr photo contests and some ticket giveaways on Twitter. Great engagement on both. Flickr gets us great content.
  • @ParadiseMeeting Our social media contests have been free nights at hotels. The response was phenomenal! Everyone wants to visit Florida.
  • @catherineheeg Facebook contest to gain fans and photos. Now working on a web-based contest to gain exposure to Trvl. agents

What were the goals for your social media contests?

  • @stefanieksays email address acquisition/phone number acquisition is always a big goal for clients I have worked with.
  • @catherineheeg goal was to gain more photos to be used in future marketing campaigns. Fans increased as well.
  • @CygnetUpdates consider results/goals that go beyond raw numbers. Are people continuing to engage AFTER the contest ends?
  • @SarahElam Increased fan base and general vb exposure…and fan interaction!
  • @pagetx Our goals were increased awareness of region & getting more photos in our Flickr group. Wanted active shots, not scenery.
  • @jeremy_harvey Definitely increase fans (& keep them), but also get some good interactions and conversations going!
  • @ShuttersSecrets We’ve seen the best results from contests where people have to do more than “like” us. Continued engagement is key.
  • @seanmdixon Recent (and awesome) side effect of last FB campaign: 150+ written FB Recommendations.

Which platforms or networks are best for contests? With which goals?…

#tourismchat Highlights: QR Codes

The October 13 #tourismchat discussed QR Codes and their use in the tourism industry. Take a few minutes to read the entire chat transcript. For a condensed version, here are my highlights:

What’s the most creative use you’ve experienced with QR codes in tourism?

  • @maddenmedia  I’ve seen them used on visitor signs to download maps of the area, especially for hikers.
  • @JoeGiessler We’ve incorporated our ‘hi’ logo into some QR code designs & used it on banners at trade shws to link to FB/mobi site
  • @TomMartin on personalized DM: scan>>personalized microsite w/personalized video inviting MP to host meeting in city
  • @WhosYourAnnie I love the @VisitSanAntonio River Walk QR Code tours:
  • @thompsonpaul using a QR code to visitor content/apps on the door of a Visitor Info Centre for when they’re closed
  • @WhosYourAnnie here are a few other QR Code/tourism examples via @travel2dot0:
  • @JoeGiessler An Ohio wine fstvl used them at lines so ppl could get info on the winery they were ab to try while waiting

What’s the most creative use of QR codes in non-tourism campaigns?

Have you used QR Codes before? Where?…

#tourismchat Highlights: Location-Based Networks

Our #tourismchat on November 17 focused on location-based networks like Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Places, Yelp and Foodspotting. Check out the entire chat transcript for all related tweets. Here are my highlights:

What location-based networks does your DMO use?

  • @Beaumartian We’re using Foursquare, Yelp, & Google Places
  • @TuscarawasCoCVB Foursquare, Google Places
  • @katiecook Gowalla, Foursquare, Foodspotting and Google Places. Wowza!
  • @eMpTyKeller 4sq, fb, urbanspoon, yelp, google places. Not so much SCVNGR or Gowalla anymore though

Who do you think does an awesome job with Foursquare?

Have you created Foursquare Lists yet? Any tips?…

Sept 15 #tourismchat: Influencers

The September 15 #tourismchat focused on influencers. For more information, check out the entire chat transcript on Chirpstory. Here are my highlights:

How do you define an influencer?

  • @MaddenMedia An online influencer is a resource. They offer up their expertise on a regular basis.
  • @scullyano Someone that shares knowledge and ideas. Blazes a trail for the industry.
  • @JoyLinDMAI Person/org that provides information or opinions that help others come to a decision, from understanding, change behavior.
  • @TourismCurrents An influencer is someone who might be a catalyst to convince others to visit your destination, attraction or lodging.
  • @WhosYourAnnie someone who helps to promote your brand, mostly because they genuinely love it.
  • @emilyforsha Someone whose message motivates or convinces others to action.
  • @TOPTravelOnline a trusted source amongst your ideal customers
  • @travel2dot0 An influencer has a specific focus, always helpful, active both online + offline and provides inspiration for others.
  • @Joe_ExpCols An influencer is a person with access to and credibility with your target audience.

Are you going after those that are generally influencers or ones that are influencing a certain niche? What niches?

  • @JoyLinDMAI Really depends on what message you’re trying to get out, what goal you have — strategic or transactional.
  • @CygnetUpdates Influencers with well-defined niches usually are more effective as resources

What is your primary goal when you are engaging an influencer?

September 1 #tourismchat Highights: Multimedia

Photos, videos, podcasts — they’re all assets DMOs can use to further promote their destination. The September 1 #tourismchat focused on creating and using these types of assets. Feel free to read the entire chat transcript (from the amazing Chirpstory site) or for a quick summary, here are my highlights:

How do you obtain photo/video assets? (create in-house, hire photog/videographer, etc)

  • @jeremy_harvey We do both. Hire prod co for big projects; in-house for vodcast-type vids.
  • @TomMartin combination… create, cajole, hire out and sometimes reward (as in consumer gen content)
  • @jennrush03 We have our in-house video production manager and interns. Photos it’s either staff or freelance work from local photographers
  • @theresaoverby I buy a lot of stock photos from local photographer. Video is some agency, some in-house, but not enough assets..
  • @katiecook A combo of everything you stated. Also ask photographers to use their images for free (gives them exposure)
  • @pagetx We curate a group on Flickr. Works like a charm for photos. We also hold an annual photo contest.
  • @wilkinsh We are using all ways to acquire video and photo. Even recruiting college students.
  • @DanielleRauch photographer & our staff. We ask partners too

What is the ratio of professional vs. amateur content that your CVB owns/creates?

  • @katiecook 70/30 professional vs amateur.
  • @TunicaMS We are working on a plan but it looks like 35% pro and 65% am
  • @MaddenMedia Not a CVB, but I think a good 50% pro to inspire the other 50% to participate
  • @pagetx Prolly 90-95% amateur on Flickr. We sometimes use our company’s videos, as well as from other professional entities.
  • @Beaumartian right now it’s about 60 Prof /40 Amateur at the moment.
  • @wilkinsh 85% amateur, 15% prof. but that scale will soon change.
  • @jeremy_harvey We’re about 90% pro vs. 10% in house. We do a lot of video.
  • @jennrush03 Photos about 85% in house (that’d be the amateur side!) Use professionals mainly for annual visitor map, special needs…
  • @theresaoverby 80% pro, 20% amateur

Are you using audio in any way? (podcasts, itunes, etc)…

Join the #tourismchat Conversation

#tourismchat is a biweekly twitter chat focusing on Social Media in the Tourism Industry. It’s held on Thursdays at 2pm CST. If you’re not familiar with it, this is your personal invitation to participate, or at least lurk, in the chat!


If you use TweetDeck or HootSuite, set up a search column for #tourismchat. My preference is TweetDeck as it brings in new tweets automatically in real-time.

If you don’t use TweetDeck or can’t keep up with the constant tweets, try TweetChat. This site automatically adds the #tourismchat hashtag at the end of every tweet, which is a great benefit. Tip: sign in with your twitter account and move the refresh speed down to 5 seconds.


  1. #tourismchat is FREE.
  2. CVBs and others in the tourism industry share their social media knowledge and experience. For free.
  3. It’s like attending specific social media sessions at tourism conferences but better.
  4. And if you needed another reason:…