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The state of Florida continues to stand out for its destination marketing initiatives, especially the use of social media in new and creative ways to attract new tourists. Visit Florida, the official destination marketing arm of the state, has created a wide-ranging social media presence that includes every single major platform (even Pinterest). So what can other digital marketers learn from Florida’s success?
#1: Adopt a bold, bright and consistent visual presence
One of the most impressive aspects of Visit Florida’s social media marketing efforts has been how seamless and consistent its content is as you travel across every major platform. For example, if you take a quick look at the @VisitFlorida handle on Twitter, you’ll see just a scattering of text and mostly big, bright visuals, plenty of videos, and lots of GIFs. In other words, it’s hard to tell that this is even Twitter – it could just as easily be Instagram. Or consider the example of the @VisitFlorida Facebook page – the main hero image is actually a 60-second video that starts playing as soon as you visit the page. It’s an easy way to draw in tourists and residents, encouraging them to explore more.
#2: Embrace the power of the crowd
Another secret to Florida’s success is tapping into the power of the crowd. On the main VisitFlorida.com website, the tourism arm of the state boldly celebrates all the great Instagram photos being taken across the state by visitors. And the same is true on other platforms as well. The secret to doing this well is the use of hashtags. In this case, the hashtag that everyone is using is #LoveFL. This makes it very easy to spot interesting and visually appealing content about Florida anywhere on social media. On its main website, Visit Florida makes this hashtag very visible and encourages people to “share what you love about the Sunshine State.”
#3: Experiment with new platforms and new product features
The biggest social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – constantly release new innovations and new product features, but how many brands actually play around with all of them to see how to use them best? Florida has traditionally been one of the earliest adopters of these technologies – everything from spectacular drone imagery to live video. In the past, Florida has experimented with VR, AI and just about any new technology that gives visitors an immediate, real-time look at what’s happening within the state.
#4: Tie in social media content to real-world happenings and events
One other interesting aspect of the Visit Florida social media presence is how relevant and timely everything seems to be. For example, MLB spring training just started, and Florida is all over it, promoting the state as the premier destination for MLB #springtraining baseball. And the Twitter and Facebook feeds contain regular updates on what to do during the month. So, instead of just posting gorgeous stock photos of Florida beaches, the state does everything possible to tell people what’s happening right now, and why they should be making plans to visit right now.
All of these steps are within the reach of just about any destination marketing agency. And that means that they are also within the reach of small business brands trying to make a splash. Especially if you’re a small business within the travel and hospitality sector, you can adapt some of these tips and tricks from Florida to grow your own business.