This final phase of the tourism social media strategy is about demonstrating your comfort and use of social media. The purpose of the demonstration phase is to direct your customers and potential customers to YOUR social media places instead of engaging with customers in THEIR social media spaces. In essence, during this phase you are orchestrating and facilitating the conversations you have with your customers rather than just joining in on existing conversations. A simple analogy for this would be throwing your own party as opposed to going to someone else’s party.
An important thing to remember with the demonstration phase is that customers will only participate with you in your space if they trust you and if they feel comfortable sharing with you. Even though you are having a party doesn’t mean anyone is going to come. You need to invite them to your party and you need to make it worthwhile for them to come by providing something of value. In this case, you may provide them with access to interesting articles, content, and knowledge they can’t find elsewhere.
The objective of the demonstration phase is to better manage the conversations around your brand. Remember that like all social media, you will never be able to control the conversations, but you can influence where, when, what, and how people talk about you online if you are listening to what they say and providing information that is relevant and timely for them (during the articulation phase).
Success in demonstrating is measurable by the number of people that choose to accept your invitation to connect and by the increase in brand recognition you receive. The primary ways to measure your success are:
- An increase in the number of fans and overall engagement of fans on your Facebook fan page. You will also find that your Facebook fan page will rank highly for your chosen keywords and your brand when searching on Google. This is why it is important to have it stand out differently from your regular website and blog.
- An increase in Twitter followers and overall engagement of users on Twitter. This may not be directly attributable to an increase in followers but could be because you are actively engaging with other Twitter users. It is okay for you to follow a large number of users on Twitter, however, be careful not to follow spam followers or robots, because this will only result in spam filling your friend feed.
- If you run any promotions, then the level of engagement of the contests will also be a good indication of how involved your Fans are with your brand and how interested they are in receiving promotional messages from you. This is why I recommend that the contests be unique to the channel and have their own specific targets. In this way, you can effectively measure the success of each promotion by channel.
- Increased engagement with B2B through LinkedIn. This will occur organically as you build your network and connect with people you know. This is particularly true if you are in a visible position with the organization.
As we dive into the demonstration phase, we’ll take a look at a variety of different tools and methods for demonstrating your expertise. As with all good things, you must be patient and persistent in your demonstrating. The perfect party takes time to plan.