Tourism groups leverage social media to drive economic growth in Columbia area | Columbia News

Tourism groups leverage social media to drive economic growth in Columbia area | Columbia News

COLUMBIA — A regional tourism group selling Lake Murray has seen its followers on social media develop to 432 p.c of what they have been a yr in the past, which the group hopes is driving extra tourism to the Columbia area. “We have made nice strides this yr in our social media advertising efforts,” mentioned Miriam Atria, CEO of Lake Murray Country, including that it has “introduced alongside many new guests.” The group’s followers on Facebook grew from about 20,000 to greater than 83,000 in lower than a yr, she mentioned.Social media is important for tourism as a result of it captures folks’s consideration and drives them to the company’s web site, mentioned Helen Dennis, the content material specialist at Experience Columbia, town’s tourism arm. “We do have analytics to present that social media is pushing folks to our web site,” Dennis mentioned. “And as a result of the web site is form of our endpoint, we wish folks to get there so that they’re going to e book a visit by our portals.”Posts which can be popularA profitable social media presence begins with constant posting and robust images, mentioned Micah Decker, vice chairman of promoting at Lake Murray Country.”We prioritize lovely images, high-resolution movies which can be edited with an air of professionalism to them,” Decker mentioned. “More individuals are going to cease in the event that they see a fairly image … that is what is going on to hook them first.”Additionally, Lake Murray Country has been working to incorporate extra video in its social media posts, as these have been monitoring particularly effectively in the age of TikTok and Instagram reels, Decker mentioned.”Video content material lives longer than a daily put up would and which means a broader attain,” she mentioned.While they is likely to be much less eye-catching, infographics may also be an efficient manner to educate vacationers and locals alike about a few of the areas property, Decker mentioned. Marketing a area on social media is a balancing act of publishing posts which can be assured to be in style, which can guarantee follows and web page engagement, and posting about extra area of interest topics, which can enhance folks’s notion of Columbia, Dennis mentioned. “We have what we name our hero posts that all the time do rather well,” she mentioned. “Anytime we put up about Soda City Market, folks get tremendous enthusiastic about it … or something to do with the University of South Carolina, particularly round soccer season.”Different demographicsWhat will represent a profitable put up is determined by the social media platform, Decker mentioned. The demographic of followers varies from platform to platform, so what is likely to be a success on Facebook might flop on Instagram, Decker mentioned. Facebook tends to skew older than different platforms, and Pinterest has a far increased share of feminine followers, she mentioned. “It’s about understanding every platform like who’s utilizing it, gender, age, all of that, Decker mentioned. “And then additionally tailoring your content material that you simply’re placing on each. That’s been part of (our social media growth) plan.”

Lake Murray Country’s 2022 social media plan, which brought about a slight funds enhance for the group, was exceptionally profitable, and Decker mentioned Lake Murray Country did see a lift in tourism this previous yr. The group hopes for a good greater leap in 2023, she mentioned.A frequent and interesting social media presence retains Lake Murray and the Columbia area on the high of the minds of people that have visited earlier than, and captures the eye of people that would not have in any other case thought of this as a trip spot, Decker mentioned. Tracking how social media followers interprets to tourism is not a precise science, as a result of there are such a lot of components in tourism advertising that would play a task. Experience Columbia primarily tracks how many individuals are directed from social media apps to the group’s web site, the place they’ll then e book journeys, Dennis mentioned. But it additionally emphasizes much less tangible suggestions on posts. 

“We get lots of nice anecdotal examples the place we’ve got folks (remark saying), ‘Oh, my gosh, I can not wait to do that’ or they tag their mates and say, … ‘We ought to go do that restaurant subsequent time we’re in city,'” Dennis mentioned.Looking ahead, Lake Murray Country’s purpose is to construct off the momentum it has on Facebook, and develop its following on different platforms, Decker mentioned.Click right here for extra information from Columbia, S.C.

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