Bam! Market Research Made Easy

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Social media changes on a daily basis.  So much so, it’s hard to keep up with the newest shiny toy that shows up to solve all our marketing problems.  It’s great to experiment and try new things, but sometimes we forget about the fundamentals as we chase after the brass ring.   That’s why I get so excited when I see brands that still do the simple – and often overlooked – things in social media marketing.  Take today for instance …  Continue reading

National Tourism Week Goes Social – 2011

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]About this time last year I wrote about some cool social media promotions that DMOs around the country were doing to help celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week.  This year, National Travel and Tourism Week is May 7-15, 2011.  Hundreds of events will be held throughout the week to inform the public about the economic impact that travel has in our communities.

Many groups are holding local rallies.  Some are doing outreach to the media.  And others are stepping up their advocacy efforts to elected officials.  Some DMOs are including social media as a major component of their National Travel and Tourism Week activities.

Last year, I featured the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Visit Indiana, and Visit Jacksonville, Florida.  Swing by the U.S. Travel Association for all the information and resources you need to launch an effective campaign in your destination.  And if you tweet, be sure to add #TravelTuesday and #travelrally to your tweets on Tuesday, May 10 to help spread the word.

Are y’all ready for round 2?

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Creative Uses of Twitter Lists

Just the Grocery List [tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Ahh, lists.  We all use them – probably daily – to make life a little easier.  For those of us over 40, they are a staple tool to help get us the job done.  But lists are simply just utilitarian and functional.  Institutional even.  Or are they?

Enter the Twitter List.  According to Wikipedia, “In late 2009, the “Twitter Lists” feature was added, making it possible for users to follow (as well as mention and reply to) lists of authors instead of individual authors.”  Mashable wrote a great piece about 10 Ways You Can Use Twitter lists which covered most of the basics.  Many DMOs took the ball and ran with it, creating Twitter lists to help visitors and potential visitors find information about their destinations quickly.  If you were to look, you’d find that most social media-savvy DMOs have at least a few Twitter Lists at the ready.

But sometimes even a list can be a helpful tool and still have a little fun.  Not satisfied with simply being helpful, the examples below help to highlight the unique personality of the destination or of the creator.

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Don’t Mess With Texas … or our Tourism Advertising Budget

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Texas tourism has enjoyed a fairly good ride over the last several years.  We are the third most visited state in the nation – and have been for quite some time.  So imagine my surprise when I read that Texas gubernatorial candidate Bill White wanted to zero out the Texas tourism advertising budget.  I guess this should be a lesson to every DMO out there.  Whether you are state or local.  You will constantly and continually have to prove yourselves.  Never rest.  Never think that your advocacy efforts are enough.

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The Darlington Experiment 2.0: Croudsourcing an Image

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I ran across an interesting article back in early December that caught my attention.  At the time I thought it had the makings of a great Tourism Tech post, but I wasn’t sure what the context would be.  Now I think I have it.

According to their website, the Darlington Experiment 2.0 is “a fun web-based experiment to increase the positive perceptions of Darlington using social media sites.”  The goal is to get locals talking about why they love Darlington on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites for all the world to see.  It’s crowdsourcing for tourism.

The article that caught my eye described how Darlington named a “twitterer in residence”.  His name is Mike McTimoney and his “day job” is a school teacher, but his job for the Darlington Experiment 2.0 (or Dx2, as they say in Darlington) is to promote local events and inform people about local news.

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5 Tourism Industry Tweeps You Should Follow in 2010

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]David Letterman gets it.  His Top 10 list is usually the part of his show that everyone looks forward to.  I know I do.  I love lists.  To me, they’re like when you’re at a presentation and the speaker says, “If you only remember <insert any number here> things from my speech today, remember these.”  It catches your attention, right?  Now, you’re really listening.  Lists distill all the great content down into bite size pieces.  Things that are relatively easy to remember.  The good stuff.

I’ve seen several “Top 10” lists since the start of 2010.  You’ve got your top 10 predictions, top 10 trends in one industry or the other, top 10 reasons why something is the greatest thing ever, top 10 companies to watch, etc., etc.  And the list goes on.  Truthfully, I’ve probably read most of the ones I see.

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The Easy Button: Does Your DMO Have One?

the easy button[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]In today’s fast paced way of life, who doesn’t want things to be easy?  Everyone is so busy, our schedules so hectic that anything that makes things easy is welcomed with open arms.  Staples, the office supply store, really nailed it with their “Easy Button” campaign.  Need toner for your printer?  Press the Easy Button.  Need your office supplies delivered on the double?  No problem – just press the Easy Button.  Staples recognized a consumer need in the marketplace, and developed a strategy to fill the void.  Genius.

The Earthquake in Haiti

I got to thinking about this strategy while following the news about the Haiti earthquake disaster on Twitter.  It was such a horrible situation.  Such incredible need.  The American Red Cross (and several other charitable organizations) responded to that need by making it easy for all of us to help.  Their method was astonishingly simple.  It’s something most of us do everyday without a second thought.  The answer?  Send a text message with “HAITI” as the subject to 90999.  The results were overwhelming.

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Social media monitoring: Are you listening to what they’re saying about you?

listen

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Social media has given us another platform for communication.  There are conversations going on out there right now.  Are you listening?  For tourism businesses, this means that there are travelers out there talking about us, our destinations, our customer service, and ultimately their experiences … both positive and negative.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what they are saying?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to respond to them?  It’s what we would do if they were standing right in front of us.  Why shouldn’t we do the same when we have conversations using social media?

Fortunately, there are as many ways to listen to social media conversations as there are to have social media conversations.  If not more.

There are some excellent companies that offer fee-based social media monitoring solutions, such as radian6 and trackur.  There are also some very good free ways to monitor social media conversations if you’re willing to do a bit more legwork.

Here are a few of the free tools available to monitor conversations on Twitter and blogs.

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Which DMOs Are Using Twitter To Promote Their Destinations?

post1[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on market research.  It’s been a fun and very enlightening experience.  My quest was to find out which DMOs were using Twitter,  and how it was helping them promote their destinations.  The assumption I had going into this little project is that there would be hundreds (if not thousands) of state, regional, and local DMOs using Twitter … but that not very many of them would be from Texas.

So far, I’ve been right on both counts.  Now I’m on a mission.  We Texans tend to have rather high opinions of ourselves, but I find we are lacking in this department (trust me, that was hard for me to admit!).  I’d love to help change that.  Here’s one thing I’m doing about it.

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