Photos are one of the most effective tools out there for increasing traffic and driving shares, and now that almost everyone has a Smartphone in their pocket, there’s no need to do all the hard work setting up great shots yourself.
Each time your guests create and share visual content related to your property and their holiday experiences, you benefit from an invaluable ‘stamp of approval’ that gets seen by their friends, family and wider social circles.
So how can you encourage your guests to share their snaps and capitalise on this social proof? Here are two simple ways you can work with your online community to create great images that increase your visibility, organic reach and traffic.
Give Your Fans Creative Control
Follow the lead of Tourism Australia and simply invite your online fans to do the work for you.
In 2011 the company abandoned its usual social media strategies and encouraged fans to create photos showcasing Australia’s beauty and share them on Facebook and Instagram under the hashtag #seeaustralia. The tourism experts then tracked the hashtag to measure the success of the campaign and highlight fan photos.
Fast forward almost three years, and Tourism Australia’s online community are still happily sharing more than 1000 photos on a daily basis! The brand groups the best ones into themed photo albums to share on its news feed. By handing over creative control like this, they’ve seen their following skyrocket to nearly 5.5 million fans, earning them the title of the biggest and most successful ‘destination’ page out there.
Although you can’t hope to achieve the same audience figures, you can adopt and adapt the same tactics by handing the reigns over to your community on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a hashtag and encourage your guests to post images around a common theme or interest, eg. #springinsydney. To get the most out of this tactic, make your hashtag short and snappy and be sure to search Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram first to make sure it’s not already in use. Don’t forget it’s also fine to use more than one hashtag in an update – using several at once will help you reach fans of other related content too.
Encourage Real-Time Sharing
When you have a great experience, spot something interesting or try something new, it’s natural to want to share it with friends and family straight away, and thanks to the prevalence of Smartphones, most people can do exactly that in just a few seconds.
Holidays provide a rich-mine for this organic in-the-moment sharing, which means you should be encouraging your guests to do as much visual content creation and sharing during their breaks as possible.
You can do this by providing the means (onsite WiFi) offering to take group photos of your guests and encouraging them to post these images to your social media pages, and always taking care to credit and thank those that do share.
What do you think? Do you work with your fans to include them in your property’s visual content creation campaign? Is it something you would try in the future? Let us know in the comments below!