Cheat sheet for social media engagement 🧐
Updated January 11, 2023
Hey there, hardworking destination marketer, want your social media posts to get more engagement?
More engagement on a post means more attention and reach for that post, on every social platform controlled by an algorithm (which is all of them.)
Is it hard for you to think of words that will get people engaged and responding to your posts?
The key is to ask some sort of a question that encourages responses, then YOU engage with those responses to keep the ball rolling. From there, the attention and reach will follow.
Yes, it’s that simple, but it is effective.
Here is our cheat sheet of suggested words and phrases that will increase your chances for better social media engagement. Scroll to the bottom if you want a downloadable version . . .
For almost any type of post
** What do you think?
** “Caption this” or ask people to Fill in the blank
** If traveling to/visiting _____ I would _____
** What’s your favorite?
** How many of these _____ resonate with you?
** Would you rather this or that? (contrasting photos)
** Did you know…? Who knew that…? Are you surprised that…?
** What would you add [or recommend?]
** Try a poll if the social platform has that feature.
** _____ is my favorite locally-owned business in _____.
On food-related posts
** What was the last item you ordered at this restaurant/café/coffee shop/bistro/food truck? (Always tag the eatery’s social accounts when talking about them.)
** When was the last time you visited? Or – When are you planning on stopping by?
** Do you prefer to eat inside or outside?
** What’s your favorite dish/appetizer/dessert/burger/taco/donut/whatever here?
** What is your favorite (insert season or type of) beverage here?
** Tag your favorite person to eat pie/calamari/kolaches/lasagna/Korean BBQ/quesadillas/whatever with.
** Tag your favorite [type of eatery or food being discussed] in town.
** Tie personal preferences into a specific “marketing day.” For example, on National Avocado Day – What’s your “secret” guacamole ingredient? On National Ice Cream Day – What is your favorite ice cream flavor, or topping? Are you Team Sugar Cone or Team Waffle Cone?
On event-related posts
** Have you got your tickets yet? Or – Which dates will you be going?
** How often have you attended in the past? When was the last time you were here? Or – Who (or what) are you looking forward to seeing?
Related post – Small hotel marketing: win with engagement
** (Events with a hint of danger/injury) If you’ve attended in the past and lived to tell about it, let us know! Do you get nervous when “X” happens at this event?
** (Music and concerts – always tag the venue and the performer/band’s social accounts when talking about them) Who’s ready to come jam with us? What’s your favorite song by this artist? When did you last see this artist in concert?
** Tribute events – Will you be there to honor them?
** Classic car drive-ins: post a photo of the car you’re bringing, OR the make/model of the car you hope to see at the drive-in.
On activity- or attraction-related posts
** Which two items would you bring to _____?
** (Trails and parks) Which of these trails have you already hiked? Or biked? Which animals or birds have you spotted here? What’s the best place nearby to pick up a picnic lunch to eat here? Where are the best sunset views here?
** (Athletic event) Do you know any of the athletes? Have you competed in this event in the past? Have you volunteered and cheered the runners/riders/competitors on from the sidelines before? Which stadium/ballpark food stand is best? Which stadium/ballpark seating area is best?
** (Museums) What is your favorite exhibit/display/piece of art here? When is your favorite time to visit to avoid crowds? What is the most unusual or unexpected exhibit/display/piece of art here?
** (Hotels) What do you like most about this hotel/inn/B&B? Have you stayed here before? Tell us about a hotel staff person who helped make your stay awesome. Where is the best local breakfast near this hotel, if you aren’t going to eat the hotel breakfast?
There it is – our cheat sheet for more engaging social media posts. Did we miss your favorite question or prompt? Tell us about it down in the comments!
—->> Update January 2023 – would you like a downloadable version of this? Click here to get a Word document of the social media engagement cheat sheet (no sign-ups, not gated.)
PS. At Tourism Currents, we help you and your tourism partners learn how to use social media and digital destination marketing to bring more visitors to town. Pick what works for you: our self-paced online course in social media for tourism, our coaching/consulting services, or our speaking and workshop services.
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Our friends and colleagues Becky McCray and Deb Brown at SaveYour.Town recently published their findings from the 2021 Survey of Rural Challenges.
Becky and Deb have been asking for and listening to rural challenges since 2015. Organizations like government agencies, university educators, and community utilities have used the results to better serve rural people. Results from 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 are available at https://smallbizsurvival.com/survey-of-rural-challenges.html
“The previous surveys have told us that housing, losing young people, and dead downtowns were in the top five challenges. They still are,” Deb Brown, co-founder of SaveYour.Town said. “The biggest challenge is the lack of good employees.”
If you are a rural or small town CVB, DMO, or economic development person anywhere in the world, you will find this survey insightful and helpful. Go here to see the 2021 Rural Challenges survey results.