Are you struggling to write new engaging content for your Website?
Then join the club, whether you are an operator, Local Tourism Association, Regional Tourism Organisation or even a State body, the collection and curation of content assists with your SEO and is an essential part of your Online strategy.
There is an old saying, “If you want to know the best spots, then ask a local”, in this post I’ll explain how to use the power of Social Media, to gather content and engage the community.
If your role involves content collection it will become easier if you enlist an army of recruits to gather your content. After all, it is not possible for you to know every business, every cafe and restaurant, each new B&B that pops up as soon as it opens, so why not enlist and invite the locals.
What are the benefits?
The benefits for you are obvious, new fresh content for your Website, but for your community there are also benefits. Very few people when stopped in the street by a tourist and asked a question, will decline to assist. It’s a sense of pride they have about what their area has to offer, often they are over zealous rather than unhelpful. The same principles apply online, people love to share their part of the world. For the tourist there is a validity of local knowledge that surpasses any glossy brochure.
Where to start
Start with the Social Media platform you are most confident with and which has the most traction, it could be Facebook or Instagram for example. For this blog we’ll use Facebook. You could run a competition, if you do remember to be very clear about your terms and conditions and exclude people from self-promotion.
A post should be designed to generate some interest, maybe you could get an operator in your area to provide the prize in engage for the online publicity. If this is not feasible a carefully worded set of questions should prompt some appropriate responses, after all the beauty of Social Media is the social/sharing element.
“With Spring approaching, what do you like to do in our town/region, What are your favourite spots and why?”
By adding the why at the end you’ll engage with the person and get more of a story about why they liked what they did. If you are concerned you may not get many responses perhaps try adding a number to the question. What are your top 3 things to do in .. and why?
Make sure you ask a couple of leading questions, to gather more than just a list of great places to visit. When you get replies, engage with them, ask they why they liked a particular place, was it the service, price or the experience they had for example.
What to do with this content?
The first thing I would do would be to validate it check the place exists and gather some relevant information, location, opening hours etc. Secondly, I would do my own checking online to make sure they’re weren’t any consistent negative reviews. I then start curating the content into themes.
You could curate it into geographical groups, or experiences. Maybe a particular demographic ” The top 5 things to do with your kids”, “Eat you way around…in 7 hours” or ” 3 things to do on a budget in …”
Develop your content plan
Who are you going to talk to and when? Use common sense, if the school holidays are coming up then put your blogs about activities for kids up. Tag the people who provided the content in the Facebook posts by using the “@” symbol, link your Facebook post to the content on your website.
Publish and replicate
Once you have created and curated your content, publish it and repeat. Remember not to do this too frequently as your community may get bored, once every couple of months should be fine.