The Colorado River Trail is an 11-county region that follows the Colorado River through Central Texas. The river is our common denominator, but the region also shares love for history, heritage, and culture. We have 4 Main Street cities, including Llano, Bastrop, Elgin, La Grange, and Bay City.
We had several issues that we needed to overcome, and thought social media might be a possible solution. I asked permission to start a Facebook page, and got it. From there, I (with my boss’ support) went a little rogue and created all our other social media channels without getting permission from our Communications department. Even though it’s worked for us, I don’t recommend following my lead. We’ve toed the company line in our messaging and have been relatively successful in our outreach efforts. We now have a team of people (with me as the lead) who are behind our social media outreach. Our communications group is now following our lead.
A Flickr group is a great way to get quality photography about your destination for free. We started ours in February of 2009. We currently have 327 photos taken by 67 group members. Most of our photos are from amateurs, but we also have several from professional photographers. We can use these photos for any web-based purpose, because we ask for their permission to do so prior to them joining the group. We recently created several “galleries” to showcase certain aspects of our region.
We started the CRT Twitter account in June of 2009, and have over 404 followers. I tweet about things to do in the region, tourism in general, our niche recreational markets, and social media.
We started blogging in February of 2009. Our blog is pretty simple. Posts are mainly a picture from our Flickr group and a couple of paragraphs of descriptive text. We always include links for more information and tag each post with searchable keywords.
Facebook was the first for us. We started our fan page in January 2009, and currently have 224 fans. We’ve seen an increase in fans of almost 36% since September.
We’ve been doing a newsletter for the Colorado River Trail for over 6 years now. It’s been entirely web-based for 1 year. This allows us to track how many people open the newsletter, what stories they click on, and whether or not they forward it to a friend. We have over 580 subscribers from all over the state.
Use a character to represent your site when appropriate. Humor’s good too.
Here’s a good example of the kind of humor they do with their Twitter account.
Promote your programs.
Here they are promoting another museum’s very unique use of Twitter.
I guess I like it when sites use characters on Twitter. I just think it’s clever and opens up lots of different possibilities for sharing information.
On this date in history …
Promote your blog.
Add value. This tweet isn’t about a specific site. It’s shares information related to heritage tourism that will likely be of interest to Gozaic’s followers.
Promote your VIP opportunities.
Using Social Media To Connect 2010 Texas Preservation Summit February 5, 2010