Heritage and cultural tourism – social media post ideas

Heritage and cultural tourism example cobblestone or cannonball architecture in southwest Oklahoma Medicine Park Cobblescones Coffee
This is an example of the cobblestone or cannonball architecture style that you'll find in southwest Oklahoma - this coffee shop is in Medicine Park OK.

How about some content ideas to promote your heritage and cultural tourism assets?

We’ve long been fans of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, which champions small towns and rural areas across the U.S. Midwestern state of Kansas. One of their most helpful tools is the 8 Rural Culture Elements, which guide people to tell a more complete and compelling story of their town or region.

Here are the elements:


We decided to help fill your “basket of content ideas” by thinking of digital and social media content suggestions related to heritage and cultural tourism, using the Elements as inspiration.


Architecture Content Ideas


* Facebook Page post of dual photos, “Then and Now.” Maybe start with downtown storefronts, or store interiors, or historic buildings converted for modern use, or your town’s library, schools, or courthouse.

* Instagram carousel post of four or five close-up photos of a similar feature (example: Victorian gingerbread, or porches, or windows) on different buildings in town.

* Pinterest Board of most interesting buildings in town from a variety of eras – Art Deco, mid-century modern, Craftsman, etc., or build Boards with Pins highlighting similar structures of a certain type, like barns or bridges or churches or motor courts or grain silos.

* Facebook Live video of an historic home tour during the holidays, “spring pilgrimage,” or any time that you can convince an owner or house museum director to let you do it. Download that video file and post it to your YouTube channel as well.


Art Content Ideas


* YouTube time-lapse video of a mural painting in progress. Embed the video into a blog post about the mural. Share the blog post link to your Facebook Page. Take a snippet of the video and post as a tweet. Take a snippet, add music, and post as an Instagram Reel. Put a link to the blog post in the description of the video back on YouTube.


Three quilts on display in early 2020 at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads Port Gibson MS
Quilts on display at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads in Port Gibson, MS, south of Vicksburg.

* LinkedIn Page photo post plus explanation/background of a striking piece of art (including sculptures or neon signs or walldog painted advertisements) in or near one of your town’s meeting/event venues or hotels.

* Instagram Live of a few songs by a local musician or band (with permission) either as a stand-alone to promote an upcoming concert, or live from the concert itself. Even a casual “porch pickers” or coffeehouse music event or youth poetry slam would work. Also post that video on YouTube.

* Facebook and/or Instagram Story from your local maker space, or artist workshop, or quilt shop. Re-purpose that Story as a Pinterest Idea Pin, too.


Commerce (Businesses Past & Present) Content Ideas


* Short video interviews with the owners or managers of some of the most established, historic, or unique businesses in town. Do a blog post series and embed the videos in the posts. Take the audio from each of the videos above and upload to a free platform like Podbean, as a mini-podcast series.

* Create Pinterest Boards for your agritourism attractions, and make sure each Pin in the Board links back to the partner’s website. Include farmers markets, mazes, u-pick produce farms, petting farms, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, farm-to-table places, wineries, botanical gardens, and fiber farms (alpacas for weaving, etc.)

* Publish a LinkedIn article from your LinkedIn Page about how businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to thrive in your town, using examples from the interviews above. Tell your economic development stories!


Bluestem Missouri and Midwest crafts plus Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia MO (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
Arts and crafts made by local artists - Bluestem Missouri Crafts - and a food item made locally - Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream - both in a charming, walkable downtown in Columbia, Missouri. A winner for the heritage and cultural traveler, AND for residents.

* Highlight area businesses that allow visitors and locals to enjoy your outdoor assets. Who rents bicycles, or snowshoes, or kayaks/canoes, or fishing gear? Do a blog post series that shows each of them to best advantage, then share each blog post link as a Facebook Page post (tagging each of the businesses, of course.)


Cuisine Content Ideas


* Create one or more Pinterest Idea Pins showing how to make a famous local dish.

* Make a Facebook video showing how visitors and locals can take a food- or beverage-related class (cooking, wine tasting, etc.) Also upload the video to YouTube, then embed that into a blog post titled something like “Fun Cooking Classes in XYZ Town.” Bonus points if it’s an ethnic cuisine that people might not expect.

* Instagram photo carousel post of four or five local craft beers, especially those with fun names, like This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things from Louisiana’s Great Raft Brewing. Post the same photos on Twitter as individual tweets, and tag the brewery in each one. Include the #CraftBeer hashtag. (Get to know the Untappd app if you have a craft beer scene.)

* Are you on or near a local or regional food or beverage trail? Post about it on your LinkedIn Page, and tag group tour operators you know who might be interested.


Customs (Traditions, Annual Events) Content Ideas


* Build a website landing page or evergreen blog post about the most unique annual event in town. Update it every year. Re-share the link on social every year. Set up a separate Facebook Event page for it every year, and make sure you post and encourage discussion within the Event page before, during, and after the event. Build community around the event all the time, not just beforehand.


Wayne Nebraska Chicken Show TBT Facebook Page post
"Then and Now" photo by the Wayne, Nebraska Chicken Show. This #tbt move is easy to do in small towns. (Courtesy the Wayne Chicken Show Facebook Page.)

* Is there a dance that many of your locals know, like a line dance or ethnic dance? Shoot a video showing a simple version of the steps and post it on YouTube, where how-to videos tend to do very well. Also embed in a blog post.

* Is there a certain way that locals mark a reoccurring activity, like when they harvest a particular crop, or celebrate school graduations, or mark a life passage like with quinceañeras? Do an Instagram photo carousel, or Story, or TikTok about it.

* Are there sports that your townsfolk like to do, such as pond hockey games or bocce ball or waterskiing or rodeo or riding a nearby Rail Trail? Write a how-to blog post, so that both visitors and locals can learn how to try it themselves. Link to businesses that will rent the required gear or clothing, if needed.


Geography & Nature/Outdoor Content Ideas


* Shoot a time lapse video of your beautiful rural starry dark skies at night. Upload to YouTube. Embed in a blog post about the best places to see sunset and then go stargazing. Include information in the post about when your local amateur astronomers meet to see the skies.

* Are there good hiking or biking trails nearby, especially those that can accommodate hikers or bikers of varying abilities, including those in wheelchairs or with mobility issues? Take photos of each – the trailhead where people can park and get started, plus a great view or two from each. Share the photos on your Facebook Page, and as a photo carousel on Instagram. Bonus – do this for paddling trails if you have them.

Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway custom Google Map
Screenshot of a custom Google Map made for the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway.

* Create a custom Google Map of day trips and/or scenic byways and historic highway drives in your area, including parks and preserves where people can get out and wander. Note which parts are particularly motorcycle- or bicycle- or RV-friendly. Embed the map on a website landing page or blog post about road trips and outdoor adventures. Bonus – include independent, locally-owned places to get breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a cup of coffee during a drive/ride.

* Does your area have outdoorsy places for executive retreats, team building, guided hunts, horseback riding, fishing, etc.? Post about them from your LinkedIn Page.

* Tweet and Instagram your fall foliage and spring wildflowers updates, with photos and explanations for getting to the best spots for viewing.


History Content Ideas


* Make an Instagram or Facebook Story of the five to seven most interesting items and anecdotes from your county history museum, or key moments from reenactment celebrations. Replicate the information in a Pinterest Idea Pin. Embed the Idea Pin in a blog post.

*  Be ready for #MuseumSelfieDay on Twitter and Instagram, usually in January each year. Also follow #MuseSocial and #MuseTech hashtags on Twitter and Instagram for smart, fun insights from digitally-savvy museum folks.

* Does your local library or school have oral history recordings by interesting locals? Could you partner with them to repurpose a 2-3 minute snippet of each recording as a mini-podcast series?


Whistleville combined with Bugscuffle to create Valley Spring Texas in 1878 TX historical marker (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
"Whistleville combined with Bugscuffle... " AND the inventor of the electric typewriter. 😃 There's a lot packed into this little spot in the road.

* Run a “Did You Know?” series of blog posts about historic events and significant people related to your town or region (including indigenous or Native.) Create Instagram Stories that summarize each post’s information with photos and short video, make sure you include the link sticker that links back to the blog post. Make a Pinterest Pin or two related to each blog post, and link the Pin back to the post.


People (Historic or Current Residents) Content Ideas


* Do a YouTube video interview series “Local Secrets” with 60-90 second interviews with various locals about one or two favorite things they like to do in town, or a favorite anecdote or story.

* Create a blog post series using the videos above, one video “secret” per post, embedded from YouTube uploads. Follow with a round-up summary blog post with links back to all of them.

* Share the round-up blog post to your LinkedIn Page – look at all the fun things there are to do in town when you book your meeting or group tour here!

* Do a short, snappy TikTok or Instagram Reel with your best local reenactors or costumed interpreters telling their favorite story about a local historic character or famous person from your town. Re-purpose that into a YouTube Short.



Whew, we know that’s a lot to absorb, but if you have another example of heritage and cultural tourism content, leave a comment down below and tell us about it…

All photos by Sheila Scarborough

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Arts build community graphic from SaveYour.Town

The latest video from our rural and small town champion colleagues at SaveYour.Town is a perfect fit for heritage and cultural tourism.

As Deb Brown says, “In rural areas our cultural arts are often expressed through music, craft, food, and ways of doing things. These are things all of us do. We don’t think of it as ‘art’. But it is, and it helps make our communities stronger when we can connect through these various skills.”

In this video, Deb and Becky McCray help you expand how you think of the arts, and how to apply their Idea Friendly Method to involve more people from across your community.

Go here to learn more about how the arts can help build community, especially in small towns and rural areas.

The video is available for purchase now through all of February 2022 for only US$9.00


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