eTourism Summit 2014 Highlights and Insights: Part 1

eTourism Summit 2014 Highlights and Insights: Part 1

I just returned from eTourism Summit 2014 in San Francisco where over 80 presenters delivered the latest insights, trends and successful campaigns in the tourism industry.

If you’re not familiar with eTourism, check out their lively video, Life is a Destination (below); their founder Jake Steinman says it  “perfectly communicates the spirit of eTourism.” I think you’ll enjoy it, too.

And read on for my Part I takeaways from the eTourism conference.

Facebook organic engagement

The folks from AgoraPulse took us on a journey of what works for Facebook organic engagement these days. It turns out that some Facebook pages are still doing a phenomenal job reaching their fans through the newsfeed. A couple of examples are Tough Mudder, a community with 59% organic reach and Animals Australia, a non-profit with 23% organic reach. Has your page reached an absolute low when it comes to organic reach? See how you compare against other people in your industry. (Source: AgoraPulse).

eTourism 2014 facebook organic reach

eTourism 2014

10 quick takeaways for travel brands on how to improve your organic Facebook reach:

1. Sharing food and scenery images works exceptionally well for travel brands. People want to see where they are going and they want to experience a destination through food images.


eTourism 2014 travel insights for brands


2. Keep it conversational. Social media is about having a conversation with your community. It’s not a one way conversation. So, try to ask questions and respond to comments and inquiries from your fans.


eTourism 2014


3. Ask a lot of questions. Use questions in your updates to get people involved. Just make sure to keep them relevant to your brand. Don’t ask questions like: “What did you have for breakfast?” Keep them on topic and watch your engagement increase.

4. Engage in contests and entertainment. People are on social media for fun. Well-crafted contests do really well, just ask yourself if you would want to participate in the contest yourself. If you are hesitant about it, your fans will probably be as well. Make sure your contests have a single goal. Check out this contest we executed for Squaw Valley which got picked up by InsideFacebook.




5. Ask your fans to share content on Facebook. One of the best ways to generate more content is to ask your fans to submit theirs. In a current campaign for Truckee we are doing just that with the hashtag #truckeemoments. We’ve seen amazing results and continue to generate interest in the award-winning campaign.


Also check out our case study on how Tourism Australia won social media through the power of user-generated content.


6. Deliver useful content and evergreen content. Repurposing content is an easy way to use what you already have in-house. Start with your old blog posts, frequently asked questions, and resources you already have. You can turn an old blog post in a presentation or a video in a blog post. Do an inventory on the things you already have and determine which ones will be useful to your community. For a visitor’s bureau, for example, it’s easy to turn all maps, guides and brochures into downloadable resources on the web.


eTourism 2014


7. Become a go-to spot for those who want to travel like locals. Everyone wants to know where the locals go. Whether you turn this into a campaign or simply providing inside information that is exclusive to your online audience, you will make people feel special. Everyone loves that!

8. Posting daily and often. Keep your presence active and check in regularly to stay on top of engagement. You don’t have to post 2-3 times a day. Lately, some pages are finding increased engagement by posting less frequently. Look in your insights and determine what would work best for your brand.

9. Curating other people’s content. For a useful list of curation tools check out Razor Social’s Curation List

10. Become fans of other local businesses and share their content. They will in exchange share yours, too! Be a good business community neighbor and share content from other pages in the area. (Hint: just make sure the pages you share content from have a higher “people talking about this” number than yours so you are not affecting your score negatively).

These and many more tips and examples were shared at the eTourism summit on how to improve your social media tourism marketing, and I hope you found them helpful. Stay tuned for more updates in Part II!


See our services for how Out&About Marketing can manage and improve your travel and tourism social media marketing.

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About Milena Regos

Marketer, Consultant and Creator of the Simple Marketing Blueprint online marketing course for busy professionals.

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