In this new environment of social distancing, travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, social media usage spikes. For brands, this is the time to build community across your social channels. Those that inform, communicate and evolve will be better positioned to advance during the recovery period. The best practices and recommendations below serve as guiding principles on how destinations can approach social media in this unprecedented time.
- Ensure that you have the necessary data, context and benchmarks set up to inform your social media strategy.
- Set up alerts for updates across your location in order to stay up-to-date on news, guidelines and restrictions.
- Monitor sentiment for your brand and utilize social listening tools to understand conversations taking place online regarding COVID-19, your location and travel.
- Take the time to review content from any outside sources, understand how specific hashtags originated and how they are being used.
- This is not the time to be quiet on social; this is the time to communicate. Take responsibility for ensuring information is accurate and serving as a resource for locals, potential travelers and partners.
- Ramp up community management efforts and continue to respond to questions and comments on social in a timely manner.
- Use social media to communicate major changes and FAQs, directing users to one easily accessible place on your website with the most up-to-date information and details.
- Confirm how major changes or closures will be communicated.
- Prepare sample responses and establish a protocol for escalating any negative feedback, taking those conversations offline.
- Be agile in your social media approach, acknowledging that this is not business as usual.
- Consistently review upcoming content and adjust messaging based on news, guidelines and restrictions.
- Acknowledge how travelers are feeling and be empathetic.
- Share organic content that provides value. For example, create helpful content around health, safety and staying home as well as inspirational content that encourages engagement and positivity and brings people together.
- Keep business goals in focus: Maintain visibility and drive awareness while considering how content can bolster the next phase in recovery as traveler confidence increases.
- Utilize paid tactics to amplify your content strategy and create building blocks for recovery.
- Destinations are positioned to lead recovery efforts, and social media plays a vital role in increasing confidence and in the inspirational phase of travel planning.
Find clear, timely answers to questions about COVID-19 and travel and tourism in Miles Partnerships' Clarity in a Time of Crisis resource center, including essential insights and recommendations for DMOs and tourism organizations.