Destination Storytelling


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A presentation for the Visitor Centres of British Columbia on destination storytelling using social media.

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  • I can imagine after a fun boat cruise and I saw some macarena pics going on on twitter last night that talking about social media at this hour of the morning might be an exuisite sort of torture, but I’ll start off slow and easy with a story first...\n
  • When I was in grade 6, my mother, in response I supposed to my father passing away, decided to take her three youngest children on a road trip form Vancouver to Saskatoon in her Datson 710. She tempered our enthusiasm of a summer trip with the strict parameters that we would be stopping at every visitor centre, every heritage attraction, every provincial and national park along the way. And we did. \n\nYou can see how happy my brother Alan is about it mid-trip in this picture. I however, loved it and those pit-stops made a life-long impression on me on the value of the visitor centre experience. \n
  • Anyone remember Kodachrome? that was our platform and by platform I mean a method of communicating our experience across or through a media form. It was a long process in our household to experience our travel other than in real life! \n
  • \nKeep clicking --\nwe are living in a converged world where real life --IRL--is woven into our digital experiences and digital experiences have become part of our daily lives. \nBut It used to be so simple right? We only had to worry about who was coming through our doors as customers. Now, with every platform--and you may use some of them--Twitter, Facebook, YouTube-comes a community, a gathering of people. -\n
  • \nthat has its own unique way of expressing and sharing the travel experience. Instagram travel stories are different then Facebook, different than YouTube, than Tumblr, and so on... But the one constant is in the way we connect on these various platforms and is through story. Stories being told, stories being shared. \nLet’s just for moment look at one story I think you are all familiar with that might help us to better understand some of the best practices on telling our destination story using social media. \n
  • A place, a destination begins in someone’s imagination. You imagine yourself in that place, you begin to create a story of your future journey. To fill in that story, you read stories of other people who have also journeyed to this place and your destination begins to shape into a kind of storyworld you get excited about going to. You look online at pictures, you watch videos, follow the visitor centre located in the area, maybe read a guide book about it. And soon you can’t wait to leave to go to this storyworld you have created in your imagination. \n\nSomeone who was very good at creating a compelling destination in our imagination, a place so incredible we had to go and see it, was a person most of us in this room have grown up with.\n
  • Walt Disney who was a master at destination storytelling, he painted a vision of a magical place through music, books, cinema, and in real life. You could say, he was the first person to strategically use multiple platforms to enhance visitors experience! You just knew when you entered his storyworld. You never wanted to leave. Even if you never went to Disney, you had the place in your mind, it was created in rich technicolour and you had a sense of longing for a place that was, in fact, only imaginary. \nHow did he connect with us in such a powerful way? All of us likely have a Disney story, am I right? How many of you, raise your hands, have a Disney story? And raise your hands if you imagined what it would look like, be like, before you went there? That was half the fun right? \n
  • this is a slide from a story workshop held with Disney leaders. I found it so fascinating to see the elements on this image that are important to the Disney story..\n\nLet’s just unpack some of those elements relative to storytelling and see what we can learn by relating them to using social media today.\n
  • Culture--there is such a strong storytelling culture at Disney. I used to teach at the STHM at RRU and my interns who went to Disney were prepped on it months in advance as was I. It was amazing to see the preparation for working for their company, their storyworld. Key learning: Prepare your story culture for storytelling.\n\nThe Art of Storytelling--well, Disney doesn’t scrimp on their storytelling, but this is an important point to talk about because everyone is a content producer now, media is democratized, and there’s stories everywhere in the digital space competing for our attention span--nowadays, being artful, taking care of your story from beginning to end, seeing it safely into the hands of your visitors, is critical\n\nGroup story--we’re sharing in story right now as a group! PARTICIPATORY story is here to stay and this in itself is nothing new (think: campfire storytelling) it’s just gone global in a way that has never occurred in our history and it can change the world. \n\nIdentity--you might call this branding but I think it’s a little more than that in tourism, it experiential .A few years ago I was visiting Lake Louise and as I walked in in the middle of the summer, pretty hot day, I looked at the bellman who had on old fashioned wool hiking pants, green wool socks, hiking boots, that reflected the history of the Swiss montain guides in that area. I said, aren’t you hot? He smiled and said, not really, it’s all part of the experience you know? I smiled and said, yep, I do. I would draw the analogy to social media that we wear our I (iconic) online as part of our destination identity. Our I plays a similar iconic story. \n\nBusiness practice--All of what we do is part of a business practice. If it isn’t, I would ask what is the purpose? So, our stories need to support us, quite literally, and be tied to business outcomes on every level\n\nElements of story--knowing the elements of his story was what Walt did very well, he introduced Mickey in a time when a nation needed a fearless character full of vim and vigour and parlayed this small storyworld into a vast one but kept the elements of his story in place: innocence, family fun, humour, and a happy ending you could always count on.\n\n\n\n\n
  • Well, some of you may be thinking, we’re not Disney afterall so how do we stitch together our story with all of these social media platforms?\n\nThere are specific some tools and techniques that we can utilize to engage with visitors, before, during, and after their travel experience and I will endeavour to dive into some of these but first, there are a few critical things to consider...\n
  • Capacity--Who? will be telling your story?\n\nCommunication--do you have the tools to communicate your story? do you have the skills? \n\nConsistency--can you invest in social media? Can you show up, day in and day out to engage on these platforms? \n\nContext--do you know own story? does your team? is everyone clear on the context of who you are on Facebook? Twitter? youtube?\n\nContent--content is the big one, it takes the most time and needs all the other four c’s in order for it to be successful\n
  • The evolution of your digital content is dependent on your ability to tell your social story. As you become more confident, more nimble, more capable, to tell your story across social media your content will mature and become more complex and provide you with a more robust foundation on which to build strategic social media.\n\nWE are all at different stages in our content evolution and that’s okay, for instance, you might be at the beginning, just standing, full of curiousity and consideration--others might be off and running--the montizable stage where you are able to convert to purchase through your social media\n\nSo all of us are at different points in our evolution\n
  • I love this slide because it gives a visual to the idea of the around creating a story culture first. This is the up front investment that organizations need to do.This is really that ‘business practice’ piece I was talking about before, where you need to sit down and look at it from an operations, marketing, hr, pr, point of view before the first tweet is ever sent out! \n\nThe part of above the water is implementation, and is the actual day to day cost of doing business in the digital age. For me, it’s the fun part, where you get to share your story with others--ie the SOCIAL STORY part. \n\nThe other important section you’ll see there in the iceberg is Audience Analysis--who is your visitor? who are you telling your story to exactly? choosing a platform should consider first where your visitors are engaging--this is critical to success in using social media tools. \n\nLet’s just cover off the big boys, the channels for now that seem to be where visitors are congregating. I can’t cover off all of the tools, and in fact trying to is a little like reading War and peace on your lunch hour but let’s dive into some and explore how we can use them to tell our visitor centre story. \n
  • You’ll notcie I refer to them as tools--I believe social media is there to serve you, and when you’ve done that business strategy, created your story culture, then you’ll easily know which tool to use when and be comfortable adding tools as you require them.\n\nBut let’s just look at some of the key story tools today, right now, that can benefit you in engagin with your h visitor online. some of you are on and some of you are considering using. \n
  • Good storytelling begins with listening. for those of you starting out on twitter it’s important to set up a listening dashboard and hootsuite or tweetdeck are great. here you can see I created a storytelling list and there under magsedoyle/storytelling i’ve imported that list. You can also add columns where you might want to monitor your airport sign yyj or yvr or a another keyword or hashtag important to you IE CONFERENCE HASHTAGS, MONITOR AND OFFER SERVICE. Your visitors are telling the stories of their trip on this channel, 24/7, globally, sharing experiences. Tap into and listen. You can DIFFERENTIATE yourself on this channel just by listening. How many of us have tweeted a complaint and not heard back from a company? It feels disapointing doesn’t it? You want them to respond because afterall, it’s where you the visitor are spending your time. It’s a moment of conversion, where relationship begins, and community begins to emerge. Give STUDENT EXAMPLE, not sure if he’d be in my class or not if i didnt listen.\n
  • Twitter is a long term investment, like marriage. \n\n1. Seek out influencers. Follow to grow your learning & network to grow your influence. Get up to minute news from your community, find out about events, and know what is important to your visitors as they travel through your destination Tip: add people to lists instead of follow. \n2. Grammar--check it, google the word if you aren’t sure, take your time, better to slow down then make a mistake. Also, know your context, your brand essence, your character, persona\n3. Keep the 80/20 rule. Actually, it’s more like 90/10. As a visitor centre, your presence is seen as an extension of what you do in your centre which is offering exceptional service to the visitor so it’s really profiling those services and saying how can I help versus, this is what I did today. \n3. You can be an invaluable resource for mobile visitors. News, maps, lists, photos, videos, links to suppliers, events are all really useful to someone on the road.\n
  • When you think about having someone over for dinner, maybe its family, maybe its colleagues or your girlfriends and you want them to feel comfortable when they come in, be at ease, you want them to feel like you put some effort into having them over. \n\nYou welcome them, take their coats, show them around, and then what do you do? \n\nAsk them what they’d like? wine, cooler, hard day, a scotch maybe?\n\nWhen you sit down to dinner, do you just have your old cutlery out? nope, you pull out the nice stuff, put some flowers in a vase, add mood lighting maybe, candles, music! don’t forget music.\n\nIn other words, you set the table, you set the mood, the scene. \n
  • Remember we talked about context earlier? This is a great example of that. On Facebook, we are allowed a little more casual tone, we can have a bit of fun. Tourism PG for their awesome Graphic. This is IN CONTEXT RIGHT? And has a great tone for Halloween. So you can STAY in someone’s personal space by remaining true to your tone, and gain fans by sharing content unique to your FB community. FB community, unlike Twitter and Pinterest, want to feel they are the chosen ones. They don’t want takeout--they want a home-cooked meal you created with them in mind. They are allowing YOU a business to be in their personal space so you need to create content that makes they feel special, exclusive to that platform. Set the table like you care who comes to dinner.\n\nFacebook is the best platform for micro-storytelling, but remember, Imagine you are at that dinner party, sitting beside your visitor. Would you shout out your supplier’s kayak special? not likely. You’d mention it, maybe talk about the experience from your point of view, ask them about their kayaking experience. \n\nSo its a conversation.\n
  • 1. So as I was saying before but the trick is creating micro-stories. Keep it lightweight. under 250 characters gets 68% ,more engagment than longer text stories. \n2. Visual content is a story element you can’t leave out anymore. \n4. Always leave room for visitors to engage, answer, participate The PARTY is in the comments actually. Stay attentive to these, these are your most important fans! They ‘visit’ often! Make them feel special. Maybe they get chocolate moose after dinner.\n\n
  • the algorithm Facebook uses to decide who sees your posts in their news feed.\n Lately, it just became harder to show up in our customer’s newsfeed due to some changes FB has made to their EdgeRank. Facebook is saying: \n We’re continuing to optimize News Feed to show the posts that people are most likely to engage with, ensuring they see the most interesting stories. I say, listen to Facebook and tell interesteing stories your visitors will appreciate\n\nWe may be setting the table but they are the ones who own the house...tell good stories.\n
  • Some say addictive..Pinterest users spend on average 14 minutes a day pinning. (more than LinkedIN and Twitter combined)\nThat is VERY high engagement. I have to admit to spending on some days up to an hour. Because you can scroll and scroll and don’t get interuppted, it creates a bit of a storyworld situation you can drop into (kind of like a great book actually does) \n More than one-fifth of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily (which represents more than 2,000,000 members!) \n Highly shareable: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, IRL\nCool idea: Printables: here you could do an entire board on how-to’s for your visitors whether it’s a map, or handy list for a mom on what to pack for young family, or a fun treasure hunt that leads them to your door. How’to’s are big on pinterest\n\n\n
  • 1. Visual storytelling is powerful Pinterest offers a lot of customization, lots of leeway to showcase your destination.Storytellers heaven! \n2. If someone re-pins your pin that is linked to your site, guess what? the link carries on to the next board, and so and so on. And these then are links to your website which are the GOLD or ‘juice’ that search engines love, particularly Google. \n3. You can create boards that visitors can use for their travel planning, ie. you could create itineraries that link to your accommodation and attraction suppliers, Let’s have a look at Tourism Saskatchewan as an example. \n
  • really in saskatchewan? is a place of discovery. \n
  • This platform is underrated in my opinion. I use it all the time. And you may not AND THAT’S OKAY, but for those of us that do? We really want you to be on there! I would go to Foursquare before I would go anywhere else for local info. It has detailed tips, comments, from real visitors and it has excellent maps, and I can have my choice of coffee shops to choose from if I feel like it. If I am coming your town, be it Sechelt, Prince George, Vernon or Comox, I am going to go to Foursquare to find a visitor centre. If you offer me a welcome, a list of things to check out, a clear profile that lets me know your hours, I am going to walk through your doors. Better yet, if you offer me an incentive, there’s no question I’m coming right over. \n2. Foursquare is fun for its users but with their new Explore feature, it can drive business right through your doors--you can see on the left is my desktop and the right is my mobile with suggestions on where to eat, people’s top picks----and so I can explore the destination using a combo of other visitor stories, geo-location, and incentives--a powerful mix that is \n3.So Foursquare tells your hyper-local story. It is your visitor in the hear and now, not somewhere out there in the ether. \n
  • 1. Filling out your profile is important--you want to be found. \n2. Act as your community concierge! it’s competitive, so tell the untold story\n3. incentivizing your foursquare is highly recommended--having specials, offering your mayors a gift or discount, running a fun campaign that rewards first time check ins on this channel will drive those visitors who aren’t far away somewhere in the ether--if you are coming up on their Foursauare they are in your ‘hood! Make it easy for them to come through your So, welcome them in. \n
  • Visitors use INstagram to instantly recording their experiences and sharing them across their social communities. Instagram is a source of endless travel stories being told everyday--it offers versalitity through photo filters, collage tools, with a high shareability, that appeals to the mobile visitor. Instagram provides that behind the scenes, in real-time reportage we love in our media. For those of you with Instagram, raise your hands if you’ve photographed your dinner? \n Since FB acquired Instagram, there’s been a few cool improvements. Using the geo-tag feature on your Instagram as a business creates a photo map of experiences you can curate for your visitor --I’ll let instagram explain it better than i. \n
  • \n
  • If you want to be found online, this is one platform that you can’t ignore\n They have a feature, their plus one, that is similar to Facebook’s ‘like’, but with the versatility of not having to follow someone to +1 their content \n Google + is generally considered to have more intellectual content, and hangouts are used by brands to engender a deeper dive into their content \n What we can do on our Google platform is strategically relay insights into our destination, and offer longer form content for a visitor in the travel planning process (VIDEO NEXT SLIDE IMPORTANT) But just under Google in search popularity is YouTube where video production has truly been democratized.I’m going to show you a video, created by a popular YouTuber, Hana, on her visit to Canada. Notice that it isn’t fancy, doesn’t have a slick production, but did get over 170 thousand views. This video though has those typcial qualities of storytelling on this platform: a ‘real’ person, told simply, with humour, and not overly produced\n \n\n
  • what has fundamentally changed is our perception of moving pictures, we no longer say, oh that is a bad video, NOW our frame of reference is it real? is it funny? is it authentic? was it made by that person? so it’s a great platform for telling stories. \nMoving pictures inspire us in a profound way which causes the reaction inside the visitor to aspire--I see that person LIKE ME having that experience in that destination and now I want to do it too!!!! on youtube, passion trumps production. \n\nBut you don’t need to be a big production company to produce a great video. Handheld, with a bit of planning and a big does of humour can work too! Key is to know our visitor and what they’ll respond to. Note: Humour make not work for some of your demographic. \n
  • 1. Visitors trust visitors so if you can capture a video story of yoru vistior that is awesome. When it comes to video, take a reporter’s approach. If you are shy, then just put the camera on your visitor and let them do the talking! Also, interview your suppliers and let THEM explain their why their attraction is worth seeing. \n2. Keep it fairly short and sweet-bite-size, easily consumed on mobile- and create a series--what I might refer to as the long-form story--a series it works great on YouTube because a it converts visitors into subscribers just waiting to see your next story! YOu don’t have to be Spielberg, just be yourself is what really works on YouTube. \n\nbut with \n
  • With the freedom of expressing your story comes well, the freedom of expression! Everyone has an opinion now--good or bad--and they’re not afraid to share it. Trip Advisor has been a huge part of our travel experience for over a decade! WE’re habituated to review in our industry! Daniel Craig likely covered off reputation management yesterday very well, but I might add here that being authentic, staying in context, keeping true to the essence of your story is critical in the face of criticism. On social platforms, it is best to take it offline and encourage resolving the issue with direct conversation whenever possible. I would turn it into an opportunity to deepen the understanding of your service and your destination story. \n Many of you will work in a multi-generational workplace and when it comes to social media, a lot of the misunderstanding between generations can crop up. Important: Gen y--Boomers--speaking different languages, communicate to agree what your voice is, what is okay and what is not and there is an agreed upon consistency to your centre’s story online. Having a social media policy in place isn’t a bad idea either. \n
  • who here owned a smart phone 5 years ago. Who does now? \nHow many of you have a tablet, an iPad 5 years ago? Who has one now? \n\nWhat is coming for our industry, in fact is already here, is the Mobile Story. It is changing the visitor experience in a profound way. \n
  • In a recent study by Adobe, 73% of respondents and stated they wanted businesses to tell them a story and not ‘sell’ to them and 67% said that user generated reviews were the best source of truth. Combine this with the evolution of our multi-screen world and you will see very quickly that the person up there ahead of us is in fact the consumer. HOW MANY HERE WATCH TV AND CHECK THEIR SMART PHONE OR LOOK AT THEIR TABLET? HOW MANY HERE WORK AT THEIR COMPUTER AND CHECK THEIR SMART PHONes? \n\n90% of our media time is screen-based. So only 10% are paper, radio, magazine, your travel brochure, old-fashioned maps. Where do you spend your time telling your story, and engaging with visitors? The answer: whereever your visitors are. \n\nUse of mobile in Planning a trip is now fully integrated in the sequence that may or may not begin with a pc. 80% of search on mobile is spontaneous, meaning, I’m looking for a coffee shop right now and where’s a good one? I just landed at my hotel and want a bite to eat, or I just landed at the airport and I have no clue what to do. \n\nBy creating lightweight-stories on your social media channels, creating in essence, micro-stories that can be consumed on the run, you will engage the visitor that is looking for answers in their travel planning search across multiple devices, MULTIPLE screens. \n\n\n\n\n
  • The behaviour of your visitor in the mobile space, in particular on social media channels is very active. the stats are staggering: \n\nThere are over 1.2 Billion people accessing the web from a mobile source regularly \nOver 300,000 apps have been developed in the past 3 year\nGoogle earns 2.5 Billion in mobile ad revenue annually (Source Digital Buzz Blog)\n\nFacebook: 600 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in Sept 2012 \n Twitter over 60% of use is through mobile\n
  • So--the consumer is in the driver’s seat. how did this happen? \n\nFirstly, the barriers to owning a smart phone dropped--worldwide. If half of all search is on mobile, wow, just imagine where will that number be in 5 years? \nAs smart phone ownership increases, so does tablets (ANYONE OWN THE MINI-IPAD YET??) So of course Apple has figured out a way to lower that barrier right to owning? \nuse of Pc’s will be less and less as barriers drop to owning. Mobile optimization will become the norm for a company’s online presence. \nCombine all of this with access--that is the hot in hospiotality and travel now--how many of you have paid for wi-fi access in a hotel? How many of you would like it to be free? Would you rather it was free? Demand for free access is going to increase--Gen Y’ and Z, when surveyed in the US responded that wi-fi was as important to them as air and water. \n\nWhat is GREAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, is that it allows for the little guy to be seen in that huge mobile stream. \n\n \n\n\n
  • Your future vistiors want to enter into a storyworld from any device, or channel they choose. They want to play in it, not look AT IT. They want it to be seamless, accessible, experiential. \n\nVery few of them will ever require traditional media from you. And they want your information to come to them on their terms, the don’t want to hunt for you, if they can’t find you online the chances of converting them into someone walking through your door will be very difficult.\n\nThey DO want to be part of your story though. \n
  • GEN Y AND Z MORE THAN ANY OTHER GENERATION, VALUE AND REWARD STORIES with their attention: but I would also say that for all generations there is a certain truth stories and that is that stories are our emotional transportation. STORIES ARE OUR GLOBAL EMOTIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND THIS MOST APPARENT IN THE on social media. \n\nHow do you retain a strong presence? Have a strong story. Alberta is running this new story campaign and they are incentivizing the sharing of stories. Story is now the currency of social media. (and you can tweet that) \n\nRecently, i found a clip from a visitor centre in New york that teamed up with Google that really made me see the connection between the visitor in real life and the digital experience...what was interesting is to see the kind of technology being developed that is connecting the visitor to the destination in real life as well as in the digital space. \n
  • Actually, it’s not the future, it’s now. \n\nDespite technological advances however, we still need to connect and communicate as human beings. We still need the campfire. And Social media is our global campfire that allows visitor centres to AMPLIFY THEIR SERVICES beyond their local borders to the entire world. Your relationship with visitors can also now extend across the entire CUSTOMER CYCLE.\n
  • Visitor centres have the unique and special opportunity of interacting with visitors to BC face to face. They also can interact with them in their planning stages online--I would ask you, where you are today in your visitor’s story? at the beginning, mid-way through, or the end? When you can connect with them in those early stages of planning--when the visitor first begins creating the story of their journey in their imaginations-is a powerful way to have meaningful relationships that translate to increased visitation. \n\nThrough social media, you can be a resource and an authority, and the propective visitor will want to seek you out in person when they get to your destination. And afterwards, keeping in touch with them is a great way to make them an ambassador for your destination. So, it’s an exciting time where we get to be a part of their entire visitor story--beginning, middle, and end. \n\n By extending that exchange with your visitor into the digital space we extend the influence we have as a destination to the world. \n
  • Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. I’m excited about the hobbit coming out in December so thought to use this quote but also to illustrate a story about a visitor centre that I want to share with you--that didn’t in fact have wi-fi, big budgets, Google sponsoring them, they were in a remote location with a very small team with no experience using social media. \n\n\n
  • This is the story of a little centre that could...who in May they started their visitor page on Facebook and began posting stories about their community and attractions and people. What they did right from the beginning was tell stories authentic to them. They didn’t try to be like anyone else. They kept it real. \nBeing surrounded by pristine BC wilderness, it made perfect sense for them to start a series called Name that BC Park. right from the first day it had engagement but a few months in they posted this question: It’s time for Name that BC Park. Many travellers have warm memories of this BC hot spot. CAn you name it? Even if you’re not sure, take a guess, and hit like if you have been there. \n
  • \n 960 likes, 39 shares, 401 comments \n viral is exciting, and mysterious...what caused this do you think? ASK THEM on next slide. \n\n
  • \n
  • Shared story--seriously powerful mojo... (note video on next slide)\nSo this destination is really is that place in someone’s mind, it is a memory that exists in their heart, and is unique to them, a memory they wouldn’t often get to share very often and when you can create opportunities for visitors to share this, where you can give visitors a virtual campfire, you create opportunity to engage meaningful way. \nWe all know where we can share stories about Disney but how often do you get to share a story and connect to others about your Laird hot springs experience? Not too often. READ SOME OF THE QUOTES. \n\n2. So you want to create opportunities for visitors on your social media platforms TO SHARE THEIR STORIES, their photographs, their videos because visitor created content engenders TRUST. We see ourselves in that regular person having that experience which means we can too! Receently, the tourism Canada launched a wonderful campaign called 35 Million Directors that celebrates what Canada means to us, from our point of view. Here’s one by Doug Copeland I really like. CHANGE SLIDES\n
  • Very inspiring. \nSo, Visitor and employee created content allows people to feel a sense of trust with your centre because they are able to see themselves in your story. \n\nA sharing community means you also need to invest time in being in the community. Remember those monitoring tools I was talking about? critical to integrate with guidelines and/or policies that allow you to pivot and respond to your community. Customer service on social media requires nimble responsiveness; companies that can pivot and respond online are companies that will have greater ROI and positive sentiment. \n
  • Align business strategies to support social capacity & Reinforce goals with team \n Create a Cohesive story across the visitor centre IRL & digital spaces\n Leadership: decide on what, who, when, where and why and revisit every season/campaign\n Everyone singing from the same song sheet: tone, context, brand essence\n Support for the storyteller! Support those creating content by giving them time & the resources\n Invest in training (remember the iceberg!): communicating across multiple platforms isn’t a skill we naturally have \n Foster alliances online, get to know your digital neighbours, industry partners and your global tourism community\n Create opportunities for collaboration, participation, set the table, invite your visitors to sit down, have a great dinner party they’ll remember and tell their friends about. You never know, their friends might just come back, knock on your door, ask about the great chicken cacitorie you cooked!\n
  • You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”\n\nSocial media is about people, never forget that and have fun out there!\n
  • \n
  • Destination Storytelling

    1. 1. 1Destination Story Using social media to share & enhance visitor travel experience
    2. 2. 2Visitor centres are the icons of ourtravel experience.
    3. 3. 3Experience on one platformMy mom took the photos.A few weeks after we got home they were printed asslides.We sat in the dining room as a family and watchedthem like a show.
    4. 4. 4Experience on multiple platforms. Nowadays, you take the photo. Upload to smart phone. Share instantly to: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest
    5. 5. 5The travel experienceof a destination isdifferent on everyplatform.
    6. 6. 6At the heart of all tourismexperience is the story. The experience of destination begins first by imagining ourselves in the place. We begin to tell ourselves the story of our future journey. Someone who instinctively understood destination storytelling was a person who created a storyworld we all grew up with. A world many of us have experienced. A story none of us will forget.
    7. 7. 7“You can design and create, and buildthe most wonderful place in the world.But it takes people to make the dream areality.”
    8. 8. 8Walt Disney: Master Storyteller
    9. 9. 9What are the important elements of tellingyour destination story? Culture The art of storytelling Group storytelling Identity (wear your story) Business practice Elements of storytelling (flow, structure, tone)
    10. 10. 10How do we stitch together story + media?
    11. 11. 5 C’s of Storytelling on Social Media 11CAPACITY COMMUNICATION CONSISTENCY CONTEXT CONTENT Photos courtesy of Tourism British Columbia Media Library
    12. 12. 12 The evolution of your content isthe evolution of your storytelling.
    13. 13. 13 Communicate/share your story Cost of business InvestmentYour Story Culture
    14. 14. 14 SocialStory Tools
    15. 15. 15Twitter Good storytelling actually begins with attentive listening. Use a monitoring dashboard such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite and create ‘listening’ columns so you can find opportunities to help visitors and be a resource Listen to your colleagues, industry partners, your community (local and global) and find opportunity to share content by retweeting, commenting, favouriting Keep a close eye on your mentions (@yourname) so that you can respond to your visitors and engage in real time
    16. 16. 16 Tip: Try to retweet with a Twitter is a networking engine. Make acomment. It shows you long-term investment. Build a community. read the content andhave an opinion to add Use the list tool to create strategic lists of your suppliers, value to the attractions, tourism partners. Lists can be resources for conversation! visitors and shared as a link on other channels. Think before you tweet. Check: purpose of tweet, links, grammar, relevance, ‘voice’ Refrain from over-sharing! Go easy on the hashtags #makethemrelevant Be a connector for visitors on the road. Travel hashtags:#TTOT, #TravelTuesday, #FriFotos, As a visitor centre, you can be an invaluable resource for #WineWednesday mobile visitors. News, maps, lists, photos, videos, links to suppliers, events, don’t forget visitor stories!
    17. 17. 17Set the table. Facebook
    18. 18. 18Facebook is your visitor’spersonal space. Build your relationships by: Helping others! Be welcoming, warm, authentic Share content unique to Facebook This is critical for campaigns, contesting, sense of membership From Tourism Prince George
    19. 19. 19 Keep it short. Tip: Be personable, Posts that are between 100-250 characters get 68% more not personal. engagement than those with 250 or more. Use visual storytelling Posts with images and video get a whopping 180% more engagement than posts without visual story elements. Tip: Ask your visitors what theyYour FB insights is where you can think! learn about your Posts with questions get 90% more interaction. Show thatvisitor and plan for you want to hear their stories. Create openings in your content content for shared storytelling.
    20. 20. 20Your Feed Story: Seen? A word about Edgerank...the algorithm Facebook uses to decide who sees your posts in their news feed. “We’re continuing to optimize News Feed to show the posts that people are most likely to engage with, ensuring they see the most interesting stories. This aligns with our vision that all content should be as engaging as the posts you see from friends and family.” From, 2012
    21. 21. 21Pinterest The dream story platform for tourism! Pinterest users describe their experience as ‘addictive’ More than one-fifth of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily (which represents more than 2,000,000 members!) Users spend more time than LinkedIn & Twitter combined Highly shareable: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, IRL
    22. 22. 22Destination storytelling on visualplatforms is powerful.Pick your images carefully, organize strategically to promoteconversation, click through, likes,& grow followersTake advantage of backlinks to thesource websitePinterest is a great referrer. Be strategic in what youpromote and link back to. Link text, videos, photos!Tell the story of your destination throughyour board themes and content.Make it an experience for your visitor. If they have nevervisited your destination, they will appreciate tips, maps,how-to’s. You can be a part of their travel planning online!
    23. 23. 23
    24. 24. 24Foursquare Have you claimed your centre?
    25. 25. 25 Take care when you claim your centre. Fill out your profile completely and keep track of your log in information. Be sure to post as manager and not from your personal account! The untold story Foursquare is a great place for a visitor centre to show off their expertise with unique lists of things to do, attractions Foursquare is adding to see, themed experiences to trylot of connected travel apps! Drive visitation in real-time The visitor that is checking-in at your destination is active on this platform and actively looking for places to eat, places to sleep, attractions to see. Be visible to them!
    26. 26. 26Instagram Best practice tip: Be sure to have visitors sign a photo/ video release if you are intending to use Since Facebook acquired Instagram, the photo/video in promotions. there’s a lot more traffic as it gets integrated into that platform by more and more people around the world Instagram is popular because it is incorporates many of the hallmarks of what we want media to do for us now: Creates a tangible story of the here and now, provides ‘behind-the-scenes’ view, and UGC (user-generated content or better, VGC! (visitor-generated content)
    27. 27. 27Instagram Photo Map
    28. 28. 28Google + The one story platform that was created for integration (across all of Google’s products and platforms); will land you high in visitor search results Organizing your circles into ‘customers’, ‘suppliers’ so that you can target specific messages to that group; this will also allow you to easily file new contacts Using the ‘plus one’ symbol is a great way to let someone know you liked their content and shared it with your community. Integration
    29. 29. 29YouTube Visual storytelling rule: make it snackable, run a series, keep it real Passion trumps production Visitor stories are the best! Inspire = aspiration! Second largest search engine: be sure to use meta data to describe your video (tags, description, title opportunity for keywords to be added) Post to your Facebook, link from Twitter, and if you have a blog, embed it and monitor your comments and subscriptions to see what works
    30. 30. 30Think story capture Real life. Real stories.when filming: seek out the human Your visitor stories help the prospective visitor get to know story, ‘capture’ your destination through the ‘visitors lens’. meaningful Visitors trust visitors! moments Keep it short and purposeful. Your audience should know what the video is about in the first ten seconds. Keep it under 3-4 minute mark for sharing potential. (For Facebook under 2 minutes) Second largest Create an ongoing video story search online: Tags, and about your destination.description of your video important! Creating a series will boost subscriptions. We are hardwired for ongoing story!
    31. 31. 31Your Story In ReviewRelate the experience on a personablelevel versus personal. It’s a fine line.Don’t cross it.Best practice: a social media policythat everyone is aware of andunderstands. Clearly. “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.Gen Y + Gen X + Boomers = team #nbcpolitics,” @KitchenAidUSA posted to 24,000 followers before quickly deleting the tweet.effort works best. -from, 2012
    32. 32. 32The Mobile Story From
    33. 33. 33Retrieved from:
    34. 34. 34Rise of the Mobile VisitorFacebook: 600 million monthly active users whoused Facebook mobile products in Sept 2012Twitter over 60% of use is through mobileFoursquare uses geo-discovery better than anyother tool, specifically designed for the mobile userGoogle + is integrated with #1 driver of sales online(search) well integrated into other platforms (email,docs, etc)Pinterest’s mobile use is increasing but thecompany is still young so may see more advancedmobile features in the coming year (or months!)From Business Insider, 2012
    35. 35. 35 Smart Tablets Mobile sites Access phonesBarriers to Barriers to Mobile Consumer willowning a owning optimized demand accesssmartphone are lowering- versions of everywheredisappearing More robust websites will capabilities become the normUbiquitous, global, Hyper-connected, able to Optimize click through’s,conversation in real-time do the work PC’s used to local search, purchasing air, water, wi-fi
    36. 36. 36 GENERATION Y & ZWant information on Media relevant to Seamlessthe devices they use them as experiences individualsMobile access 24/7 Immersive, participatory stories
    37. 37. 37Story is the currency of social media.
    38. 38. 38Visitors of the futureIn an age when there is chaos in ourmedia, fierce competition for ourattention, unrestricted development ofnew media forms, and pervasiveconnection everywhere how do westay connected with visitors in thedigital space?Stories connect us as human beings,whether they be told by a campfire, atthe side of a child’s bed, in a tweet, avideo, over a phone, or in aphonographic soundscape.
    39. 39. 39The Visitor Story Visitors centres have theunique opportunity to meettheir customers face to facewhich is also greatopportunity to furtherengage them in a longer-term conversation online Employees empowered torelay the experience in real-time up the food chain
    40. 40. 40Even the smallest person can change thecourse of the future. -J.R.R. Tolkien Virality is a mysterious thing. You can try to strategize for it but more often than not it just happens when you least expect it. And it can happen to anyone.
    41. 41. 41
    42. 42. 42Virality 960 likes, 39 shares, 401 comments
    43. 43. 43Why?
    44. 44. 44The shared story of Liard.
    45. 45. 45TRUSTThe more ways youallow for visitor andemployeegeneratedcontent, the moreyou will allow uniquecontent to emergethat is more likely tobe shared
    46. 46. 46How can we prepare towelcome the digital visitor?1. Align business strategies to support social capacity, reinforce goals with team2. Establish a core, cohesive story across the visitor centre IRL & digital spaces3. Leadership: decide on what, who, when, where and why and revisit every season/ campaign4. Everyone singing from the same song sheet: tone, context, brand essence5. Content creators: everyone can contribute, but one person leads editorial decisions6. Invest in training (remember the iceberg!): communicating across multiple platforms isn’t a skill we naturally have7. Foster alliances online, get to know your neighbours, industry partners and your global tourism community8. Consistently create opportunity for collaborative storytelling in your social media
    47. 47. 47 But please don’t forget:“You can design and create, and build themost wonderful place in the world. But it takespeople to make the dream a reality.” -Walt Disney Also, have fun out there!
    48. 48. 48THANK YOU! Twitter: @magsedoyle @tourismstory (NEW channel!) Pinterest & LinkedIn: magsdoyle Live the story, share the story!