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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

#tourismchat is a biweekly twitter chat focusing on Social Media in the Tourism Industry. It’s held on Thursdays at 2pm CST. If you’re not familiar with it, this is your personal invitation to participate, or at least lurk, in the chat!

How?

If you use TweetDeck or HootSuite, set up a search column for #tourismchat. My preference is TweetDeck as it brings in new tweets automatically in real-time.

If you don’t use TweetDeck or can’t keep up with the constant tweets, try TweetChat. This site automatically adds the #tourismchat hashtag at the end of every tweet, which is a great benefit. Tip: sign in with your twitter account and move the refresh speed down to 5 seconds.

Why?

  1. #tourismchat is FREE.
  2. CVBs and others in the tourism industry share their social media knowledge and experience. For free.
  3. It’s like attending specific social media sessions at tourism conferences but better.
  4. And if you needed another reason:

So please join us this Thursday, September 1, at 2pm CST when we chat about the use of multimedia (obtaining and using photos, videos, podcasts, etc) in the tourism social space.

Of course I’m partial to #tourismchat but feel free to check out these other Travel Chats on Twitter too.

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It seemed like everyone in the tourism industry was in NOLA for #DMAI11 last month. Well everyone except for a few lonely people on twitter who felt like they were missing out. What started as a playful conversation became an incredible occasion to connect with other tourism professionals on twitter.

Troy (@travel2dot0) mentioned the #notatDMAI11 hashtag in a tweet and a few of us started to run with it. While the real #DMAI11 conference attendees listened to Dom Sagolla speak, one of the co-creaters of Twitter, we had some random tweets like my “Twitter has 140 characters. #notatDMAI11” tweet. But the non-conference hashtag was quickly evolving into something more than that and within less than an hour, we had a #notatDMAI11 twitter list and a non-conference non-logo logo, courtesy of Beth Conway.

Next came the idea of hosting a #notatDMAI11 twitter chat. It was the perfect opportunity to show the community aspect of hashtags and the learning potential of twitter, with or without a conference. The chat was scheduled for that Friday, the last day of #DMAI11, and focused on using social media at conferences. For more info on the chat, check out the #notatDMAI11 twitter transcript [pdf]. By the end of the chat, only three days after the hashtag was created, there were over 270 #notatDMAI11 tweets by more than 50 twitter accounts. (more…)

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I don’t take myself seriously most of the time so when I saw that I was at the top of this Tourism Professionals on Twitter list, I was blown away. Especially since I’ve been taking a lot of personal twitter breaks lately.

I was in Portland for work when this list was published so I didn’t have time to fully absorb all of it. And then there were #DMAI11 tweets, #notatDMAI11 tweets and an amazing #notatDMAI11 twitter chat.

So when I was searching for something else, I happened to come across Dave‘s tweet again last week. This may be the all-time nicest thing anyone tweeted about me/my profession. Thanks, Dave!!

This list was compiled by Betsy Decillis, an incredible friend and my #tourismchat partner in crime. And no, I didn’t bribe her for my ranking. The methodology she used is based on a combination of the percentage of tourism followers and klout. Check out the entire list: Top 100 Most Influential Tourism Professionals on Twitter (more…)

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The July Tourism Currents post talks about integrating social media into the rest of your communications work. In addition to this, it seems like many businesses and CVBs need help combining their social media efforts with other marketing efforts.

Since the weather around Chicago has been in the low 90s lately, now is the perfect time to start thinking about winter campaigns. What do you usually do and how can you enhance that with social media?

SplashAs an example, my previous job, a regional DMO, used to have a “Winter Warm-ups” campaign a few years ago that offered special hotel deals from January – March. The campaign elements consisted of a printed newsletter, monthly e-newsletters, a special landing page, online ads, radio ads and a few print ads. So how do you make something like this social? Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a custom Facebook tab for the campaign, especially if you have a booking engine on your page.
  • Offer additional discounts or special value-added items just for your Facebook fans or twitter followers. Free wifi, if it’s not free already, is a great start! Give them a special code to use when they book the package.
  • Set up searches on twitter to find people who need a winter getaway. Yes, you have to do a bit more digging than normal but you could look for parents who might want a family getaway at a hotel with an indoor pool. Whatever you do, don’t just link to a generic page. Connect them with what you believe is the best package for them. Do the work so they don’t have to.
  • Upload photos to flickr (and link to them on your social networks) of the special amenities the participating hotels offer. A relaxing spa looks even better when you’re buried in snow with sub-zero temperatures.
  • Run a social media contest to help build awareness for the campaign.
  • If your campaign is tied to an event, consider creating a hashtag and encouraging people to share their twitpics or photos on your Facebook page.

And remember, this is only a tiny part of your complete social media strategy. Yes, a strategy is needed for social media. And not just a “we provide customer service” strategy, although that’s a great place to start. An ever-changing, always-evaluating-and-adjusting, enhancing-other-efforts SOCIAL strategy is needed. How are you making your campaigns social?

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Tweeting DIYA lot has changed in the social media world since October 2010 but most of the basics in Hashtaggery (how to create a hashtag for your event) have remained the same. Here’s an update:

1. Think: choose a hashtag that can easily correlate to your event

What type of abbreviations can you use? If there will be live-tweeting at your event, make sure you choose something that can be easily typed. Keep it short and sweet but not so short that it becomes confusing.

Should you use the year in it? I’ve seen a lot of hashtags that use “2010″ or just “10″ as a date. Twitter search history lasts only a few days so there’s no need to differentiate your annual events by adding the year to your hashtag. Remember that people will be live-tweeting and it takes an extra step to add numbers on a mobile device.

The thought process behind this hasn’t changed. Since my original post, I’ve upgraded to an Android phone (from a Blackberry) so typing numbers in a hashtag is more difficult now but my keyboard (Swiftkey) auto-suggests words and hashtags so leaving off numbers in a hashtag is not as crucial. Just keep in mind whether you want to use the hashtag year-round or only specifically for the conference.

2. Research: are your choices already being used? (more…)

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If you’re not already familiar with #tourismchat, it’s a biweekly twitter chat (Thursdays at 2pm CST) that focuses on how social media is used in the tourism industry.

Our last chat, July 21, was about Websites/Analytics. You can read through the chat transcript [pdf] but here are some of my favorite tweets from the chat:

  • When it comes to using website analytic software internally or having an agency handle the reporting, most of the chat participants use Google Analytics internally, even if an agency helps measure traffic.
  • Most chat participants optimize their website on a regular basis. Travel 2.0 added: Typically a constant cycle works, try to touch your top 50 pages once every 3 months and repeat. (more…)

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Last week was the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism and even if you weren’t attending in person, you could have attended virtually by following the #ilgc hashtag.

Now if you’re thinking “No one at my conference will be tweeting” then you’re way off. Here are some quick stats from the Illinois Governor’s Conference (ILGC):

  • Number of tweets: there were 252 #ilgc tweets from March 13-19.
  • Tweet reach: a total of 387,195 twitter accounts were exposed to the #ilgc hashtag
  • Contributors: there were 59 contributors and not all of them were attending ILGC. Tourism professionals such as Vicky Soderberg, Theresa Overby and Troy Thompson also participated via the #ilgc hashtag.

So how can you make your conference social?

It’s best to start this process months in advance but you will still have some success if you only have a few weeks. Jump in with both feet!

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