No, you don’t need to be on every social media platform

Leslie Sheila Tourism Currents Heartland Byways conference social media marketing for scenic byways every social media platform

Let’s talk about trying to be on every social media platform and DO ALL THE THINGS. Our advice – don’t!
(Leslie and Sheila speaking at the Heartland Byways scenic byways conference in Leavenworth, Kansas. Photo courtesy Stephanie Liskey from Sailforth Productions – website development and video production)

It is better to be really good at a few of the right social media platforms for YOU, than to spread yourself too thin and be mediocre on all of them.

We get this question a lot…

Does my destination, attraction, hotel, Main Street, or tourism partner business need to be on every social media platform? What about all of the new ones coming out and/or getting popular, like TikTok or Clubhouse or Discord, or even Reddit or Twitch? Help!

Here is our answer.


Here’s a video from us with a slightly more complete answer than that 😊, plus a transcript of our discussion below.

The bottom line is that you need to focus on being where your audience is, lock down your brand name on all other platforms, and review your situation regularly because what’s hot and what’s not changes quickly on social.

Our three-part Roadmap Package can help you get clarity into this question as well.


(Video Transcript)

Hi, I’m Sheila Scarborough with Tourism Currents; I’m based in central Texas. Hi there, I’m Leslie McLellan with Tourism Currents and I am in Whitefish, Montana. There you go, and today we want to answer a question for you that we get whenever we speak at conferences, workshops, uh all the training stuff that we do in social media training for tourism, learning and development.

So let me start by, oh, just a couple quick questions.

So, Leslie, do you think that my destination or attraction, hotel, whatever it is tourism partner business but mostly my destination – do you think we need to be on Twitter?

Well I don’t know. Is that where your audience is?

Do you think we need to be on TikTok?

Oh, I don’t know, is that where your audience is?

OK, so we can go on down the line of all the social platforms, but the bottom line – what we want to talk about today – is no, you don’t need to be everywhere on the internet, and here’s why.

You don’t need to be, because you need to fish where the fish are. You know, if your audience is on Facebook, you want to be on Facebook. If it’s on Twitter, you want to be on Twitter. However, you know social media has been around for a long time now, and you probably have trained your audience where to be. They know to find you on Facebook, or on Instagram. So, uh, just remember you want to fish where the fish are, but we’re going to tell you a couple other little tidbits here, uh, with what we’ve done with Tourism Currents.

Yeah, we’ve gone through this drill ourselves of, “Do we need to be here?” and “Do we need to be there?” and it all comes back to your overall strategy for your organization, and the specific marketing goals that you’ve set for yourself, based on the kind of folks that you want to connect with. And of course you know, Leslie, as Leslie said, social media has been around for a while, but we sure have seen a lot of changes. Things coming and going. You know MySpace used to be cool.

Now, OK, so you can’t just set it and forget it with this, and in fact for us as Tourism Currents, um, we’ve taken a look at our analytics – we’ve taken our Google Analytics in particular – what drives traffic to our website and what do people do when they get there? What kind of engagement rates do we have across the social platforms that we’re on? And what we found is that it’s time for us to do some adjustments ourselves.

And so for example, we’re gonna back off of our Facebook Page a little bit. We’re not going to abandon it entirely, but we’re just not getting the juice out of it that we used to, and we are discovering that we’re getting a lot of engagement and activity over on our LinkedIn Page, so we’re going to increase how often we post on that by a bit.

And we’ve decided – and it took us a few years to get to this point – that maybe it’s time to go ahead and activate our Instagram account. So, we have in fact activated our Instagram account and we’re starting to post on that and see what works and what doesn’t there.

But, the bottom line is, we ourselves know that we don’t need to be everywhere, but we need to be where our customers and clients are, just like you as a destination or tourism partner need to be where your visitors, guests, and customers are. Does that make sense?

One little tip is go ahead and go to TikTok or go to LinkedIn – wherever you’re not – and lock down your destination name. That’s really important that you have um have that done, and you could say right at the top of your page that it’s currently not active. We did that with Instagram, I don’t know Sheila, how long ago, I mean, it’s been a couple of years that we’ve…

Yeah, we’ve gone through this exact process. People are like, you know what? It’s okay if I’m not going to be on TikTok or whatever. I’ve determined that I don’t have… my audience is not there. What I do? And we always say, go lock down your brand name, or as close an approximation as you can get, on any new platform. And just as Leslie said – actually Leslie’s this way – just as Leslie said, um you know put in the bio who you are and what you do but just say this is not currently an active account.

And we did that with our Instagram account, and we also have a Pinterest account that we haven’t activated because this is another thing that, that comes into the equation… Is your audience there, AND do you have the time and resources to devote to another social platform?

And as we discussed, when we decided to ramp up a little bit on LinkedIn and activate our Instagram, you know there’s only two of us. We understand “Mighty Teams of One” and “Mighty Teams of Two” and we had to say you know, there’s not any more hours in the day.

If we do this, something’s got to give over here, and so we’ve decided to back off of Facebook a little bit. So not only are you looking for where your audience is, you’re also looking for, “Do I have the time and resources to do it well?”

Better to have an account that’s not currently active instead of start it, post for a few weeks, then stop, and then we come find you and your last post was, you know, November of 2018 and we see that all the time.

So if you have questions about where you should be, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email; you know, connect with us and ask us. And also we have got um a program that can help you with that, and Sheila, you want to explain the Roadmap program?

Yeah, when you know none of this stuff is static and so we review every three to six months where are we and what are we doing with Tourism Currents, you need to do the same with your destination, your attraction, your hotel, your tourism partner business, whatever it is. You know, where are we now, and do we need to make any adjustments? And this is one of the things that we talk about in our Roadmap Package, which is a three-part deal.

The first part is a strategy session with us – what we call the 30,000-foot view of where are we going, who is my perfect visitor, who am I trying to get in front of. And we talk about these kinds of issues of you don’t need to be everywhere, but where do you need to be, and how can you be successful there, in the first part of our Roadmap Package – the strategy session.

Then we follow that with a content planning session, where you literally walk away with a draft content plan for the next week, and a process you can use to plan over time so you’ll stop waking up and going, I need to, you know, I need to post on social today, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Um, so we help you with content planning, and then the third part of the Roadmap Package is working with your tourism partners, um to do a marketing workshop for your tourism partners, for whatever you say – you tell us as the destination – that you think they need the most. And we can do Roadmap virtually. We can do part of it virtually, part of it in person, the whole thing in person… whatever works well for you. But we really like it, because we think it gives you exactly what it’s named – a road map to more successful tourism marketing.

But it all starts with you deciding where you need to be, decide where your audience is, and uh and hopefully this short little video helps you clarify that, for sure. Once again, you don’t need to be everywhere, but you do need to be where your audiences are, and if you don’t think your audience is someplace, or you just don’t have the resources or time to devote to it, you need to lock down your brand name and put in the bio of that account “Not currently active” so people don’t expect to see anything from you. And then revisit that every three to six months to decide, has the ground shifted in such a way that we need to change where we are and where we are not, uh, and so we can help you with that.

Shoot us an email “” “” that email goes to both of us. And we highly recommend the Roadmap Package if you really want to dig into this kind of stuff with us. I’m Sheila Scarborough with Tourism Currents. I’m Leslie with Tourism Currents, we’ll see you soon. Catch you later. Bye!


(End of video transcript)

Have questions about where you need to be on social media? Have feedback on the video, or our advice? Let us know in the comments!



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