Spice up your seasonal social media marketing with these ideas from Tourism CurrentsSometimes it seems that our lives are hurtling ahead so fast we miss what is going on around us, but seasonal changes are one thing that most of us do stop and acknowledge.

Maybe that’s why tourists seem to respond so well to seasonal social media marketing, and why destinations – as well as businesses that rely on tourism – need to make the most of the change of seasons.

The following are a few fun autumn ideas for the Northern Hemisphere that can help you change up and enhance your social media marketing efforts (Southern Hemisphere tourism pros, please share your spring ideas down in the comments!)

Online Publishers, Start Your Engines

Oktoberfest/Fall Harvest – Snap mouthwatering photos of those great seasonal dishes and post them up through your smartphone to the photo-sharing  Foodspotting site; they could appear on the Best Oktoberfest food and drink map or the Best Fall Harvest page.

Encourage visitors and locals alike to Foodspot and comment on the terrific food they are having at your events. You can also develop Foodspotting Guides around a seasonal food, like An Apple A Day in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Fall Foliage – The Instagram photo-sharing app is a perfect way to get the word out about the colors in your area, especially as they are peaking. Be sure to put out a call to action asking folks to show off their Instagram photos in any fall foliage marketing material that you produce (including putting that CTA on your website and in email newsletters.)

Sure winner for all social media: photos of pie. Really. That's it. (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Here is a sample of current Instagram photos tagged #fallfoliage, from the Instagram desktop viewer Statigram.

Consider doing timely fall color updates by also including Twitter in your fall foliage campaigns.

An excellent example of this in action is the @ORFallFoliage Twitter account from the Travel Lane County DMO in the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region of Oregon.

Here are tweets about fall foliage using the #fallfoliage hashtag; notice that many are shared photos from Instagram.

Fall Festivals – In addition to grabbing last-minute travelers with Facebook or Twitter announcements, take advantage of the power of your DMO blog to highlight your fall offerings in a more substantive and SEO-friendly way.

Here’s a good example: the Phoenix, Arizona “Hot Sheet” blog post on fall festivals in Phoenix.

Monday Night Football/College Football – How about putting a flyer with a QR code in windows around town that leads to a special mobile-friendly football food promotion page on your website? Bring both visitors and locals into your restaurants!

You’re seeing a lot of photography examples, because they’re compelling and they work. How about seasonal Pinterest boards?  Alberta, Canada has some nice summer and winter Pinterest Board examples for tourism.

Crowdsource, crowdsource, crowdsource – invite and make it easy for your visitors to help spread your word via hashtags on Twitter, photos with links to your website on Facebook, asking them to share their blog posts about your area or event with you and publish them on your website and through your social media channels.

You can’t do it all, but your supporters out there are your very own army of online champions; let them help you publicize your fall offerings!

Connect With Us In Person

Here is where we plan to be this Fall:

—>  Fita 2012, Mexico City, Mexico 

Leslie enjoyed meeting with hundreds of tourism professionals at this international gathering in September. Here’s her report from the FITA / Feria Internacional de Turismo de las Américas conference in Mexico City.

Hay bale as pumpkin (Instagram photo by Sheila Scarborough)

—>  Texas Coastal Bend Regional Tourism Council, Port Aransas, Texas 

Sheila’s afternoon keynote will talk about social media marketing for festivals and special events.

—>  AMA (American Marketing Association) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Becky will be talking about building stronger relationships and better businesses through connecting with locals, often via social media.

—>  eTourism Summit, San Francisco, California

Leslie will be speaking about how a DMO with $0 budget used Twitter to market the destination…with tangible results.

—>  State of Now 140 Conference SmallTown, Hutchinson, Kansas 

Becky, Sheila & Leslie will all attend this conference, which Becky founded and runs – it’s the only one in the world that’s all about small towns/rural areas and technology. The conference Twitter hashtag is #smalltown2012, if you want to follow the action.

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Commenting area

  1. DUH! Most people love fall with the beautiful colors, what a great suggestions to create a campaign around something people are already doing: being social!

    Thank you for the ideas!

  2. Thanks, Jill, we appreciate you stopping by.

    Nice work on your Visit Topeka blog; didn’t expect to find Dia de los Muertos there http://www.visittopeka.com/events/arts-culture/dia-de-los-muertos/ Tons of color there!

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