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Destination Marketing: Your Customers WANT and NEED to Hear from You!

Destination marketing and Social Media

Destination Marketing
Strategies to make Tombstone AZ the Place To Go!

 The Second Strategy is – Social Media

The Tombstone Chamber manages five Facebook Pages, and a Twitter, Pinterest, and SnapChat account.   We are looking to also branch out to Instagram.   Given this fact… the first strategy is:

1.   Quit trying to be on every social media platform.

We all know we need to be on social media, that’s a given. But 2017 is the year destination marketers need to figure out which platforms are most effective for their respective destinations, and do them well.   Every thing your read you see a new campaign or tactic on a platform that you think would work for you and your business, but the only problem is, you don’t have those resources or TIME.   Rather than complaining about what you don’t have, focus on what you can do.   A potential visitor has ever said they aren’t going to visit a destination or business because they are not on Snapchat or some other platform. And if they do, then they are not the right visitor for you anyway.   You can inspire travel from anywhere, just pick the right platform. 

Suggestion:  Pick one/two social media platforms first and do it really well before you begin to branch out to other social media platforms.

2.   Using Social Media You Can Gain Valuable, Candid Insight – and Have a Two-Way Conversation.

Social media, like Facebook, is a CONVERSATION with your current and potential customers/visitors.   It allows you to fully interact and engage with people about Tombstone AZ, your business, events, community events, travel tips, and trip planning.

Unlike a one-way conversation where a company typically dominates the narrative and doesn't really acknowledge or interact with visitors/followers , a two-way conversation directly connects brands and consumers. A two-conversation is a dialogue, where brands speak and listen to their audience, responding directly to their wants and needs.

When you're posting on social media, remember that a large percentage of your posts should be about promoting YOUR business in Tombstone AZ... and promoting Tombstone AZ as a Travel Destination.

As a brand, you should share news and ideas, even if they aren't yours.  The idea is to educate, inform, and "delight."

Engaging in conversation, shows that you’re not just a cold organization disconnected from their buyers; it shows you are listening, understand, and care about their concerns on a human level.

Regardless of the size of your business, if you regularly post and engage with your followers -  you’ll find that routinely monitoring your social media accounts will provide you with a ton of valuable, candid insight.

Love it or hate it, people say what they feel on social media, and this extends far beyond just how their day is going.  In regards to Tombstone AZ, they will talk about their visit – and specifically talk about products, events, the gunfighters on the street, food, drinks, etc.  

 Positive or negative, monitoring and engaging in two-way conversation on social is a great way for you to not only learn about what your customers love about your company, but also their frustrations -- and take action to remedy them. This gives you the ability to use social media as a platform for customer service, responding directly to concerns or gaining insight to improve.

Based on research from CX Social, not only do 67% of companies believe that social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the customer contact center, but companies that improve their customer experience on social from average to “wow” can see 30-50% improvement in key measures such as likelihood to repeat purchase, up sell, and recommend your product to others.

 A conversation with current and potential visitors to Tombstone AZ is an opportunity to educate that individual about your business and Tombstone AZ.  And it is an opportunity to change an average perception to a WOW image.

3.   Keeping Travel Top of Mind.

Social media gives YOU a way to connect with an unlimited amount of active users every day to keep Tombstone AZ – a destination top of mind and activate what we call the “planning and dreaming” stages of the travel planning process.

People Use Social Media to Gather Information and Find Resources: Through social media, YOU can provide a plethora of resources about your business, Tombstone AZ in general, community events, or other in some cases ways to help people plan their trip and make the decision to visit the area.

This past Sunday (July 2, 2017) CBS This Morning did a really nice piece about “Tombstone’s Shady Lady.”  

Here is the link if you haven’t seen it:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tombstones-shady-lady/

That day, the Tombstone Chamber, received approximately 50 emails and Facebook Private Messages requesting information about the 2018 Rose Tree Festival.   And the inquiries have continued.    

From watching that segment, potential visitors turned to the internet… searching for information – contacted the Chamber.   We posted the segment on all of our Facebook Pages, and on the homepage of the Tombstone Chamber website.  

3.   Extends Word of Mouth Marketing.

The most powerful aspect of social media for EVERY BUSINESS OWNER in Tombstone AZ is its ability to extend the reach of word of mouth referrals.

The best way to explain is to think about it for yourself.   If you went on a vacation that you really enjoyed and you didn’t have social media, how many people would you tell about it? Maybe 5 or 10 family, friends, and coworkers.

Now with social media, let’s say you have 500 friends on Facebook, 100 followers on Twitter, etc., you are reaching all of those people every time you post about your vacation and according to research, over 75% of people post photos of their vacation to social media. So instead of 5-10 referrals, a positive endorsement of a destination on social media reaches hundreds if not thousands of people with social media.

With these reasons in mind, social media should be more than an afterthought to EVERY BUSINESS OWNER in Tombstone AZ and their Destination Marketing campaign; it should be a central part of your online marketing strategy.

In fact, Tombstone AZ is already part of social media, so the question is, how is YOUR TOMBSTONE AZ BUSINESS impacting those conversations?   How are you creating “Buzz” about making Tombstone AZ the Place to Go?  How are you promoting your business, and Tombstone AZ?

In Summary:   People are looking for information,  gas prices are historically low… and they want to travel.   Tombstone has to be ready to respond to their questions with answers.   We have to be able to continually provide reasons to visit.   And when they do visit – Tombstone AZ has to provide them an amazing historically accurate experience that will make them want to talk about it online, tell other people, and want to come back.

This is all for now… about the second strategy for Destination Marketing – Next up will be about PROTECTING THE BRAND – The Brand is TOMBSTONE, AZ.

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