November 2011 – Steal These Ideas

BlogWorld West Tourism track - lots of ideas! Becky McCray and Sheila Scarborough with the Day One sign.One more month to go in the year….how are things shaping up for you so far?

Back in January, we said that this would be the year than many would get serious about social media marketing for tourism.

If the attendance numbers and smart questions at this fall’s tourism tech conferences are any indication, we appear to have been correct.

So, you’ve either already been serious about telling your story online for awhile, or you recently made the leap into some sort of social communication channel (you started a Facebook Page, or a blog, perhaps.) The more you get into it, though, the more you realize that something has to give with regard to workflow and time management, and deciding where to put more effort and where to put less.

We brought back some Tourism track communications ideas and streamlined content creation tips from BlogWorld in the newsletter below….



Promoting Your Event During Your Event:

Content Creation in Real Time

At BlogWorld Expo, Eric Berto from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide gave tips on how to create content “on the fly” as it is happening. While Berto acknowledged that real time coverage is impossible, he said that nearly real time is possible, with good systems.

Tip 1:   Having a style guide makes it easier to create content quickly. Create the outlines you’ll use over and over. Prepare ahead of time. Know what style, what voice you’ll be using.

Tip 2:  Know your audience. Also, know what devices they use. Knowing what audience you are targeting with your content makes it easier to create content. You’d tell the story differently to your grandmother than to your peers at work. Make sure you know who you are creating this content for.

Tip 3.  Know what success looks like. Why are you going to the effort of doing this work? There is something you want to achieve, and you have to know what it is, before you can reach it. Berto suggested a question they use at W-E: what is the business problem we are trying to solve? Include a call to action. You can’t measure and track your success until you know what it looks like.



Shoestring Budget / Minimal Time Video Tips

From excellent BlogWorld and SoMeT presentations on shooting video with limited time and a small budget, by Brian Matson from the Fargo (ND)-Moorhead (MN) CVB:

—->>  Make videos short and snappy. Limit your shots and the editing process will go a lot faster.

—->>  Try to shoot one video per week and take no more than about an hour to do it. This will force you to make some super-short ones (30-45 seconds) and will train you in working rapidly.

—->>  Get a digital audio recorder, and conduct brief interviews with the owners/operators of your local attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc. Many times they’ll be a lot more relaxed about being recorded than about being on video. Use the audio as voice-over for video clips that you shoot around their property.

—->>  Huge bonus – visits to your local attractions to shoot video of their offerings is a golden opportunity to build partner/member relationships.

Here’s the presentation as it was given at SoMeT, very similar to his BlogWorld version. WELL worth your time to watch! (Direct link to the video on YouTube if you can’t see the embed box below.)


Your Smartphone – A Timesaving Content Production Machine

Let us count the ways….

**  Tweets on the fly, including photos

**  Facebook Page updates on the fly, including photos

**  Audio updates with a service like (update April 2013 – Cinch has shut down, so we now recommend SoundCloud.)

**  Short videos shot with a smartphone, like those made by Tom Martin with an iPhone for Talking With Tom (update: the series went away when Posterous shut down) – strike while the iron’s hot!

**  Livestreaming video to the web with a service like Qik. (Update: or Periscope or Meerkat)

Also remember to periodically act as a visitor would, and do some local searches using your phone, including trying to navigate your own website. Are things easy to find? Does your Event Calendar work well on a mobile device?


Get More From Location-Based Services

Here’s how you can fit location-based service updates into your busy life….

A single visit content bonanza:  go to one of your locally-owned partner/member restaurants, check in on Foursquare and leave a tip, add them to your ongoing Foursquare List of local eateries, upload a photo of a favorite dish to Foodspotting, shoot a quick video of the chef making something and then take a few photos of the interior, exterior and waitstaff/owner.

Voilà: mega content!

From the 17 November #tourismchat on Twitter (one of the most valuable professional development hours you can spend, we think) here are some examples of good uses of location-based services:

—->>  Visit Savannah’s Craft Beer in Savannah Foursquare List.

—->>   Visit Baltimore’s Foursquare Page.

—->>   Visit Philly’s Foodspotting list of great Philadelphia hoagie sandwiches.

—->>   The Japanese Food Scene in Columbus, Ohio (brand-new on Foodspotting!)

And here’s another resource on location-based services:  Location-Based Marketing for Dummies by Aaron Strout and Mike Schneider.


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