Ready to get your CVB or DMO started in social media? Consider a Facebook Page

Facebook_logoI’m often asked by tourism professionals what I would recommend as a good first step in learning how to communicate with social media.

More and more these days, I immediately mention a Facebook Page.

By that I mean a Facebook “Fan” or “Business” Page for your tourism-related organization, not a personal page (although you must have a personal account/page in order to start a Fan/Business Page.)

Why do it?

  • Social networking dominance – over 300 million worldwide Facebook users as of this writing.  Go where the people are, because….
  • It’s free. Whose destination marketing budget doesn’t love that?
  • It’s a flexible platform to post not only written news and updates, but also the all-important photos and video. More importantly, your Facebook fans can also share their thoughts/photos/videos about your destination or attraction, so it’s great for building a sense of community (one that has worldwide exposure.)

Now, I know this sets your hair on fire and you’re ready to go sign up for a Page right now, but the next step is to make sure that this fits into your organization’s communications and destination marketing strategy.

This isn’t play (although it IS fun!) – this is professional communicating.  It needs to be integrated into your overall marketing plan along with the press releases or brochures or billboard buys, but remember, the social Web is different.

It is two-way, social communications with human beings; if you just pour stuff out into a broadcast pipe like you may be used to doing, your Page will fail. Your fans want to interact with you, not read your regurgitated press releases, so get some responsive personality in there.

Think of your Facebook business page as a “digital storefront” extension of your “home base” website.  Try not to clutter it up too much, show up regularly to say hello and interact, and make sure that your fans and customers can find the page.  Put prominent links to it on your home page, in your email signatures, mention the Page occasionally on Twitter and blog about it.

Need some kick-off ideas for your posts?  Here are 30 content ideas for your organization’s Facebook Fan Page.

Now, go knock ‘em dead (and leave a comment below if you have any questions or further suggestions – thanks!)

About Sheila

I'm a writer, speaker and consultant specializing in tourism, travel and social media. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. NHRA drag racing fan. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.
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9 Responses to Ready to get your CVB or DMO started in social media? Consider a Facebook Page

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  3. Thanks for including my post in your article Sheila!

  4. Charlie Shortlist says:

    Careful on the FREE. A well maintained and utilized Facebook or Fan page takes smart planning, consistent updating and time. If it’s just used to put up a post every couple days to talk TO people, it’s going to sink but if it’s used to create a dialogue and community, it can thrive.

  5. Hi Aaron – sure, you write good stuff.

    Hi Charlie – absolutely correct, which is why I wrote, “It is two-way, social communications with human beings; if you just pour stuff out into a broadcast pipe like you may be used to doing, your Page will fail.”

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