#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?

  • @WhosYourAnnie I think it’s best to create several smaller lists (10 items) that are really specific rather than a few large lists.
  • @WhosYourAnnie …like create a BBQ list, best dessert list, food cart list rather than one dining list.
  • @eMpTyKeller I just created one today for work page, not work profile. tip: Follow your stomach, people love food tips
  • @Joe_ExpCols I’m creating a 4sq list to accompany a great Chicago Trib article we just got on Japanese food here
  • @TourismCurrents People love lists of “hidden,” local places, especially restaurants.
  • @caseclosed26 Working on one in conjunction with our best of contest
  • @libbyeconnell I love food/restaurant lists. The Travel Channel has some good Foursquare lists.

Are you using Yelp, Foodspotting or something similar to entice foodie travelers?

  1. @katiecook I like Foodspotting possibilities and that you can integrate it into your website.
  2. @WhosYourAnnie I think Foodspotting is great for foodies. Yelp has a tremendous user-base. Both good to use!
  3. @TomMartin We use Foodspotting to create guides for folks to find when in French Quarter — not sure how much biz yet but trying

Does your staff participate by checking in, leaving tips, etc. How do you motivate that? Or should you discourage it?

  • @katiecook No reason to discourage staff participating. They are guides to their cities too even if not in mktg dept.
  • @BeckyMcCray You and your team know more about what’s local than anyone! Jump in there and share what you know.
  • @emilyforsha Think staff should be encouraged to check in and leave tips on their personal acct. Their chance to share insider info.
  • @maddenmedia I think it should be encouraged, especially if you’re keeping biz/consumer locations separate -Visitors Center vs Film Dept
  • @Joe_ExpCols my philosophy – help staff who want to be active, but don’t force anyone. That’s a recipe for lame content

Is it smart or dumb to create the same list/itinerary/challenge in Foursquare, Google Maps, Foodspotting, etc?

  • @katiecook Smart. Different channels, different audiences. Plus, more chances for exposure.
  • @WhosYourAnnie I like consistency. Users probably won’t be using all your tools so they might not see Foursquare list but will see G Map.
  • @sheasylvia I think each channel should be treated differently as each has a different audience w/ different expectations.
  • @BeckyMcCray While it’s good to spread the info around, tailor it. Consider what info the users want on each network.

Do you educate/provide training for your partners or businesses on how to use these networks?

  • @robertpatterson Industry education is essential for success. It take a village mentality to help uplift a destination w/users broadcasting
  • @WhosYourAnnie Educating partners is key. Providing social media workshops/e-blasts is a great member benefit.
  • @BeckyMcCray Your local career tech/community college/training group might work with you to train partner businesses.

And my favorite tweet from this chat was from @TourismCurrents: You don’t go for mass w/these tools right now. You go for the talkative, sharing folks. It’s not numbers, it’s amplification.

Most of these networks have a small but very active user base. Choose the network(s) that make sense for your destination and don’t worry about the others. You don’t need to be everywhere. You need to be where your users are. And not just be there, but be active there.

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