Can you believe that a mere 15 years ago Mark Zuckerberg was a junior in high school, the # symbol was still remembered by teenagers as a pound sign, and when the words “food” and “porn” were used in a sentence, they probably weren’t referring to your mouthwatering mound of mac ‘n’ cheese?

The shift towards a digital age has changed every aspect of our lives from the way we date, learn, exercise and even travel. Last year, approximately one-fifth of leisure travelers worldwide turned to social media platforms for advice and inspiration regarding their travel destinations. Given the popularity of users sharing their travel aspirations and experiences on Twitter, here are three simple Twitter tips every tourism brand should consider:

Listen and Engage
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With more than
200 million users chatting on Twitter, it may seem overwhelming to keep up with people discussing your brand. However, you must remember that the main purpose of Twitter is to have a conversation. And when users speak, you listen.

Twitter’s search engine is an excellent tool for listening into potential guests’ conversations.  Third-party applications such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck add an extra benefit that allows users to set up monitoring streams that consist of keywords and search terms. These streams are helpful in finding relevant conversations that your brand can join.

We pride ourselves on taking the time to respond to everyone who mentions @VisitNewOrleans (one of our clients) regardless of their clout score or social influence. Whether or not you engage with fans can be the deciding factor of them traveling to one destination over another.

Educate and Inform
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Whether it’s for an anniversary trip or a bachelor party, traveling to a new city is bound raise a question or two that visitors want (quickly) answered. That’s where you come in. Through careful monitoring and utilizing search tools to identify people interested in your city, you can educate them and act as a resource to ensure they are getting the most out of their stay.

We receive questions daily from users wanting to know the best place to get a po’boy, hear live music or my personal favorite, “What’s one thing I have to do while in New Orleans?” This is your chance to jump in, share your expert knowledge and get respected as a brand with authority and value. Once you establish this reputation, you may find your fans doing the promoting for you. 

Utilize User-Generated Content

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It’s always great to share an article featuring your city as the “Top Travel Destination” or video displaying must-do’s around the neighborhood. But some of the most compelling forms of content are created by your visitors. It’s emotional, passionate and powerful. Brands have a huge opportunity to leverage this content to give your fans a realistic view of the city and inspire them to indulge in all that your destination has to offer. Through the use of search tools you can discover beautiful images users have captured to add to your content strategy. This simple, yet effective approach not only creates brand awareness, but also lends credibility to your brand.