Like many of the Hootsuite Ambassadors, I’ve always had HootUp envy. Sure, we’re invited to run our own HootUps (community-lead Hootsuite events), but it’s not the same as the ones at Hootsuite HQ in Vancouver. Last night that changed. Public holidays aligned with events and I joined the full house to discover how three top brands do tourism social media.
Vancouver is a city of outdoors activities and tech, so it would have been difficult to narrow the list of presenters. We heard from Chris Richards of the Vancouver Airport Authority, Nina Arnold from Whistler Blackcomb and Leah Poulton and Julia Crawford both from Destination British Columbia.
Their presentations looked at a mix of strategy and customer engagement, and there was definitely a lot to learn from them. I love that they shared their journey to show what didn’t work and the thinking behind some of their current practices. The inaugural tweet from Destination British Columbia was incredibly bland compared to the beautiful scenery photos they share now.
Here are a few of the tips, tricks and learnings they shared. I’ve used Tweets from the night as my notes, so apologies to Leah and Julia for merging the credit together as @HelloBC. Any italics is my context clarification.
Tourism Social Media Tips, Tricks and Learnings
Engage, don’t just share a link. Social media is a level of service beyond just visiting your website. – @HelloBC
Do a “light creep” on your engagers. Check their profiles quickly to make the engagement personal. But not too deep, or that’s just stalking. – @HelloBC
It’s important not to forget about your advocates – @HelloBC
Try new things and channels – @ClayAdamBrown’s Tweet, but the speaker is unknown
Don’t need to insert ourselves into every conversation, focus on where we can add value – @HelloBC
Don’t divide efforts with multiple user accounts. Add your own hashtags i.e. #WBworklove – @Ninaa2007
The puppy approach to trolls: be cute and playful, but if you bite us we might bite back – @Ninaa2007
Negative comments are an opportunity to turn the situation around – and show your worth as an employee – Chris @YVRAirport
Screen shot everything. It helps prove ROI, especially a few months/years later – @HelloBC
Use surprise and delight to your customers – everyone
Lots of followers doesn’t mean they have influence – @HelloBC was this an intro to the light creep?
You can use traditional marketing methods to achieve a social media goal. – @HelloBC – referencing their billboards at the airport
When something bad happens you need to be the single source of information – Chris @YVRAirport
Whether our people agree with us or not, we want to have the conversation – Chris @YVRAirport
Interesting note: @YVRAirport doesn’t pre-schedule any posts. There are too many crisis situations that can make a tweet inappropriate, so all are posted real-time.
There were many more useful tourism social media facts, so if there’s ever a HootUp near you, make sure you attend. The social and networking aspect is excellent. The Hootsuite Community team made me feel like royalty with excited greetings and hugs. They are always a delight to catch up with and I feel privileged to get some advance knowledge of a new swag item. I got to meet a couple of other Ambassadors, not to mention many amazingly talented social media people from Vancouver.