Strengthen your meetings & conventions social media marketing with these revamped, destination-specific strategies.
You’ve likely been using social media as part of your destination’s digital marketing for a while now. But how do you evolve your strategy to stay relevant and fight algorithms and ad bidding if you don’t have a dedicated team to help build your social presence and support paid efforts?
We have three destination-specific strategies for stronger meetings and conventions marketing on social media. We’re taking some of the Old Faithfuls and putting a fresh spin on them to show you how powerful they can still be for your destination organization or convention center.
Embrace Industry Influencer Campaigns
A bigger name doesn’t mean better when it comes to influencer campaigns. While celebrities are OGs, influencers with a niche follower base are going to be more effective for your destination’s meetings marketing.
Let’s take a look at Discover Los Angeles. Of course, this is the entertainment capital of the world—the place ‘Where the Stars Live’—but instead of turning to a big-name movie star for a destination influencer, Los Angeles Tourism dug into its niche. Enter stage right: Tony Scurry.
Scurry, a meeting planner with 15 years of experience, oversees the creative and strategic direction of 7 Pointe Planning based out of D.C. and frequents the LA area for meetings. LA Tourism developed an influencer-driven video series starring Scurry and highlighting ‘unconventional’ venues in LA as part of the destination’s ‘Now Playing’ campaign—an invitation to the center stage of LA, where everyone is welcome, and anything is possible. As part of the video series, ‘Where Planners Become Producers,’ Scurry ventures behind the scenes of various venues—from concert halls and stadiums to recording spaces and screening rooms—with an LA Tourism client. The videos were three of LA Tourism’s top-performing meetings Facebook posts, with click-through rates (CTRs) as high as 4.2%.
Another bonus: These videos go beyond social. Digital Edge also includes them in emails and web content we create for LA’s meetings marketing.
So, when you think influencer campaigns, think industry influencers—not celebrities. (But let’s be honest—we think Tony Scurry is a big deal!)
A tip for choosing an industry influencer: When you’re developing a campaign, you’re going to define your target audience. Go ahead and make an audience persona. That way, you can identify the qualities that you also want to find in your influencer.
Go with Employee-Generated Content
You’re probably familiar with encouraging user-generated content (UGC) on the leisure side of your destination organization. Still, on the meetings side, we’re here to suggest turning to employee-generated content (EGC). (We aren’t sure if this is actually an acronym, but we’re going with it!) Here at DE, when the DigiBunch posts pics while helping host a FAM, on a site trip or at a trade show or convention, these social posts get much higher engagement than our regularly-scheduled posts.
The same goes for destination organizations and convention centers. When your sales team is at a show and posts photos or videos giving a behind-the-scenes look, it’s building the destination’s brand and typically boosts engagement. Plus, it’s authentic, giving users insight into what it’d be like to work with your brand planning a meeting, convention or event. This is also a much more cost-effective measure than influencer marketing.
At DE, we create pre-show social graphics for our clients when their sales team members are attending shows. Our creative team designs GIFs with animation that helps catch the eyes, and these are posted to the destination’s main account and provided to the sales team members attending to share before a show. The goal is to raise the destination’s presence digitally prior to the shows and help sales team members have touchpoints with as many planners as possible.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Numbers
You hear them all the time: KPIs, metrics, CTR, impressions, CPC. The list goes on. These social media marketing acronyms have become part of our vocabulary, but what do they really mean in terms of success for your destination or convention? This is a conversation we’ve been having within the purple walls of the DE office. It all goes back to creating and posting content—whether it’s you, your co-worker, a team or an influencer—on social that’s authentic and connects with your audience. That goes for organic or paid.
“Organic is organic for a reason, right? Be as authentic and as normal as you can be. That’s what really reels people into not only you but your company.”– Hailey Surrency
Paid Media Specialist
It goes back to the basics. One of our Social Media Strategists, Hailey Surrency, suggests the simple strategies that often get overlooked—don’t think of them as outdated—but as trusty go-to’s. First, you don’t have to be a photographer to take a great photo (thanks, iPhone, for your super megapixel camera). Then, make sure the copy matches the image when you pair the media with the content. And if you want to dabble in Canva, be careful putting copy over an image. You don’t want the text to blend in with the background; otherwise, the reader can’t comprehend your message (the most important part!). But if you do want to show off your Photoshop skills, put the text in a containment box set on a not-so-busy part of the background. And, of course, think mobile-friendly since most people are going to be seeing and reading your post on their phones.