One of the key areas where the Summerland Chamber of Commerce works is Tourism. For some time we’ve been working on the new dedicated tourism website, tourismsummerland, which will launch in a few weeks. And as part of the process of gathering photos and information from our tourism related businesses, we’ve been evaluating our social media and the role of content in this digital age.
We all know that social media is a great way to communicate. Marketing professionals have described it as a channel, similar to other channels such as T.V. or print media. Others say it is ‘the new telephone’, allowing us to open a direct line of communication with our audience. In the case of a business this is our customers or prospects.
It’s important to remember that social media is not a fad; it’s here to stay. A stat from 2010 showed that even four years ago US internet users were spending 3X the amount of time on their social media and blogs than they did on their email. And what they are reading/viewing is content – all the photos and information that they can find about the topics that interest them. So if social media is the new telephone, think of content as the new brochure.
The new dedicated tourism website will be the largest promotional tool the Chamber will use to market Summerland to visitors. In order to help drive traffic to the website and further promote Summerland, we also manage several social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Having so many different ‘telephone lines’ allows us to engage with a variety of social media users so they can find information about Summerland. For example, the fastest growing demographic for Facebook is 45-54, and the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64. Both Instagram and Pinterest are dominated by younger users (18-35), and Pinterest is known for having a higher percentage of female users. Our content (our brochure) needs to reach all of these people in the way they like best.
There are two ways to use social media: create your own content, or share someone else’s. We create a great deal of content here at the Chamber but we are always looking for more great content to share with our followers. We follow the content generated by others in Summerland as we want to repost, retweet, and repin it. This also drives traffic back to your website.
Remember, content can be a photo of your breakfast at a local café, a great blog post, or a tweet about an upcoming event. The more shareable content we all create, the bigger the spotlight we can cast on our community. If you are active on social media, please tag your photo or post with #visitsummerland to help us track and share your content. After all, marketing our community is a shared effort. We need your help!
Follow Tourism Summerland and help us follow you:
Website (launching at the end of April) www.tourismsummerland.com
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitsummerlandbc
On Instagram at visit_summerland
On Twitter at @summerlandinfo
On Pinterest at our page: Tourism Summerland
We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our chamber president, Arlene Fenrich, at email@example.com .
Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.