Before you get started on Instagram (or any social media) do this

Here’s a forum question that I saw recently from a smart but very busy destination marketing professional. Does it sound like your situation?

Q: I am, I’m afraid, woefully slow on jumping on the Instagram bandwagon. How do I go about setting up one for my DMO? Can you point me to the Instagram for Dummies instruction site?

Here was my answer in my Tourism Currents advisory hat:

I’d say play with it on a personal account first (for at least a couple of weeks) to see what works, what doesn’t, how it fits into your work day and how it fits with how you [and your visitors] use mobile devices. Go ahead & register to lock down the [destination name] first, if you can.

Also think through how it supports your overall marketing strategy, pick a marketing goal that it might support, then pick a simple metric or two that helps you prove it’s helping you achieve those goals.

I should have front-loaded the second bit of advice …. decide how Instagram or ANY platform is going to help you reach the goals that you’ve already set, and have some way of figuring out whether it and your social media strategy are actually working for you and your destination, attraction or hotel.

Another question to always ask: Is my market there? What about key communicators who might be interested in my market – are they there?

Don’t jump onto some platform’s bandwagon just because it seems like everyone else is doing it. Always integrate it into your overall strategy and decide how to measure its worth.

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