Going Social with Your Destination Marketing Organization

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs), for the most part, are focused on one thing: getting visitors to eat, play, and shop ‘til they drop while vacationing. What tends to fall by the wayside, though, is the social aspect of the vacationer experience.

Custom Snapchat filters, promotional Facebook contests and simple word-of-mouth campaigns help to give destinations more longevity than their competitors. So, let’s dispense with the online insecurities and discover why becoming a social media master is necessary for success in the modern travel market, shall we?

Show, Don’t Tell

The destination your organization promotes has a story worth sharing. In the social media-driven world of today, that story will have the most impact if it’s shared visually. Encourage your visitors to post trip photos under a designated hashtag and feature them on your site and social feeds. Don’t just tell them that your destination is picturesque. Show them.

In addition, the power of social video is something your DMO cannot overlook. Your future visitors are turning to the Internet over television to be educated and entertained. In fact, more 18-49 year olds watch YouTube than any television network or cable provider. Tell video-savvy visitors to share their testimonials through YouTube or Facebook and share it with their friends and followers. Potential future visitors will be more moved by watching people like them enjoying your destination’s breathtaking landscapes, bustling nightlife or adrenaline-filled adventures than reading about it.

Keep Them Coming Back

What’s better than gaining a crop of new visitors? Gaining a crop of new visitors that keep coming back. Creating loyalty perks that motivate guests to return and reward those that do has never been easier. Engage your Facebook fans with a timeline promotion—conduct a contest through your page and offer additional entries to users that invite their friends to join your page’s following.

You could also develop a loyalty program through social media that rewards users for each like, comment or share that increases your page’s post reach and engagement rates. Rewarding socially engaged visitors with discounts on future trips builds a loyal visitor following that’s as eager to see your next post as they are to go back to your destination for their next escape.

Track Your Results

You’ve liked, posted and shared. So how did it go? Like with any other medium your DMO uses to sell your destination, you must set measurable goals and gather empirical evidence to show what worked, what didn’t and what needs to change.

The big, wide world of social media can be mildly terrifying. However, its potential positive effects for your DMO are too great to pass up.

Tens of thousands, if not millions, of people rely on you every year to be the go-to resource for their vacation needs, so why not play the part? The positive effects of a well-organized social media effort far outweigh any reticence you may have about using the platform. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to it. Your visitors will be much more appreciative in the end.

Still have a few unanswered questions regarding the state of your destination marketing efforts? Email us at or call (407) 585-8231 to learn how evok advertising can help turn your destination into a tourism hotspot.