Three Steps To Selling Destinations Via Social Media

With 70% of travellers trusting recommendations either from their peers or from social media and 97% of millennial travellers posting their travelling experience on social networks, it's no wonder that destinations are beginning take the humble hashtag more seriously.

VisitDenmark, along with VisitCanada, VisitPhilly, Discover NorthernIreland, VisitScotland and others, has created a hashtag in order to capitalise on the influence of social media on travel marketing, says travel news site ETC-Digital.

Denmark's tourist board has boosted its own campaign by identifying 50 points of interest across the country and constructing physical signposts which specify hashtags that travellers can use to share their photographs while there - thereby tying real world locations to social media. A YouTube video has also been created as part of the campaign.

Travellers are encouraged to upload the pictures they have taken at these 50 notable landmarks on VisitDenmark's destination website.

Other destinations have organised competitions in an effort to entice travellers to share appealing visual content. For example, VisitIceland and VisitCroatia tempt travellers by offering trips to the destination as an incentive for the best photographs or video content shared.

These efforts come in light of the vast numbers of people known to use social media sites today, and research data that points to the authority they hold among holidaymakers.

Individual destinations wanting to follow the lead of VisitDenmark and the others should adhere to three basic rules, says ETC-Digital.

  1. Understand and research the specific market and demographic they are targeting. For example when targeting young people, bog-standard social media content is unlikely to impress; instead organisations need to do some 'blue-skies' thinking and come up with something particularly outstanding and exciting for these tech-savvy individuals.

  2. Once destinations have created their social media community, it's essential to ensure that they create the right sort of content (or to make sure that the best content receives the most attention). Destinations' brand and the way they present themselves to potential travellers is key to doing this.

  3. Create a buzz. The mobile marketplace is full of potential for travel destinations – travellers are using mobile devices more than ever while on holiday, and research from TripAdvisor indicates that a whopping 60% of US respondents had downloaded a mobile travel application. With the obvious links between mobile social media and mobile devices, creating a social media buzz and community around a destination is the logical next step for those destinations.