Is tourism in Lanzarote reflecting the changing needs of travellers, and in the way people communicate and share information? How do we work together to improve the promotion of Lanzarote via Social Media? How can we create and contribute to the dissemination of content that is attractive for our visitors? How do we articulate a joint promotion strategy in Online Marketing through Social Networking? (Spanish Version)
To address these concerns John Beckley called us last week for the first meeting of ThinkTank Lanzarote SocialMedia. The small groups consists of lovers of Lanzarote associated with the promotion, communication, and tourism on the island – each with a big presence on social media. In just two hours of brainstorming several topics were covered, and many active and interesting ideas were proposed.
Here’s a brief summary of our list of requirements and suggestions for improvement that we believe will begin to reap real benefits for the island’s tourism.
Gentlemen prepare this has just begun! 😉
1 – Changing mindsets: #OpenYourMind
The social web has brought a change for everyone and requires a new way of thinking adapted to the demands of social traveler. This change of mindset needs to be understood in a global way, and every initiative needs to take this into account.
Businesses need to understand that they should view their role on social media as one of promoting the whole island of Lanzarote and not just their offer. If we all promote Lanzarote, our power to connect with people is multiplied many times over.
Every business on the island is affected by the success of tourism. We are all holidays, we are all Lanzarote.
2 – Collaborate and share: Lets make the # BigWave
In line with this, it is necessary to establish new relationships with consumers, as a destination as a whole. We must join forces with the government (Cabildo, Councils), public entities for promotion, local associations (at all levels: tourism, sports, environmental, business ….) to work online promoting and marketing of the island in an organized and coordinated manner, implementing integrated strategies with clear objectives that are linked to the strategic objectives of Lanzarote social networks.
Companies must adapt to this new business culture in their relationships with the customer and support the collaborative economy to everyone’s mutual benefit The competition system no longer makes sense in this collaborative stage. Sharing is the great power of social networks.
Ideas for action:
1) Maintain communication between authorities, promoters, companies and online marketing and communication professionals, to encourage the dissemination of events, interesting projects, pass on valuable information to media or for snippets to be shared by visitors etc …
2) Work in groups to create viral content. By creating a group on Facebook or Linkedin for sharing the information listed above and then making it known to the group, so that each group member can pass it on to their respective audiences.
Buzzsumo is a useful tool to see what is trending socially.
3) Create a website called “Hashtapedia” which lists hashtags created relating to Lanzarote in order to have a guide to us all communicate and tomake it easier to track any news or information related to an event or occasion. This facilitates the transmission of information in real time and makes the destination more visible.
4) Create a media image bank and high quality videos on Lanzarote contributed by local professional photographers, residents and visitors with content that can be downloaded per item (free or paid) and used for various publications, events, promotions, presentations etc … Encourage the generation of content by organizing competitions, exhibitions etc …
3 – Invest in Online Marketing: # BussinessKnowHow
Marketing and promotion in social networks is key to the promotion of any business, and senior management are slowly becoming aware of this fact. Budgets need to reflect this requirement to ensure that the right people are in place and with the right resources.
In many cases, the management of a company’s online presence is in the hands of the wrong people.
Too often, those resources are used on the basis of traditional media spend, where the return on investment becomes a debate about numbers, without any real strategy measuring engagement. Companies often have a social media strategy that consists of “posting 5 tweets per day or “getting 7 Facebook likes per week.”
If business leaders are not 100% focused on their customer service and their PR profile, then we are wasting our time.
4-Training and education: # BeCreative
In many cases SMEs on the island only just understand the power and reach of online marketing and social networking. This is a disadvantage in the market and can jeopardize the competitiveness of the company in particular and the destination in general.
There is a real need for specific training and seminars to train the managers, who in turn can train their teams to exploit the power of social media.
Ideas for action:
5) Develop from the local business environment, training programs, seminars and workshops for managers of tourism businesses (or any other field), communication managers and community managers from both private companies and municipalities and promotional agencies work in a global promotional strategy.
5 – Think globally, act locally: # LanzaroteCoWorking
Too often local professionals are ignored when organisations and government bodies hire “gurus” from outside to give talks, and run workshops in online marketing and innovation. These people have a commercial interest, rather than a commitment to the island.
These may have been effective in creating a wider initial audience, but with the number of seminars I have attended in recent months, the euphoria fades, the follow up actions reduce, and the level of commitment and involvement becomes less. (See findings on Workshop RumboLanzarote and Creating Tourist Experiences).
Definitely the awareness stage is already past, and it is now time to take action.
Ideas for action:
6) Implement a working group of local media professionals and digital marketing experts in conjunction with Patronato, the municipalities and promotional authorities to work on strategies in online marketing. Develop lines of action consistent with planning and the market, to be followed by companies, the administration and communication professionals to disseminate messages in a timely manner and exponentially multiply their reach.
7) Track influencers (via Klout or similar) in travel, tourism and communications that are in our networks and platforms and other private media in general, and encourage them to be “teachers” of Lanzarote: to join our community and share their experience writing on the island in blogs, specialized media, interviews etc …
8) Actively participate in national and international events related to tourism and innovation via social networks using the hashtags that refer to Lanzarote, for greater visibility.
6 – Activate and Listen To The Conversation: # KnowMe, # LikeMe, # Buyme
Success in social networks is not about only trying to convey a message. Its great strength lies in “listening” and participating in the conversation. How many questions remain unanswered after publishing an attractive picture on Facebook?
Customers are becoming more demanding and require information, answers and personalized attention in real time.
What is the point in having a corporate account on Facebook or Twitter, if customers and potential customers are still being asked to communicate in a different way? Do we understand the concepts of «Community» and «Social Network» as key tools in customer service? Are we “part” of the conversation?
Ideas for action:
9) Use question marks in Twitter searches through Tweetdeck to monitor what users are asking about Lanzarote or anywhere on the island.
10) Collaborate together to respond to these consultations and monitoring between us we can all answer their questions!
7 – Mobile connectivity is the future and WIFI access throughout the island a priority: #LanzaroteSmartIsland
We have an example very close by: El Hierro, the first island in the world that offers free wifi.
Ensuring High-Speed Internet across the island and making Wi-Fi available to our guests should be a top priority for companies and the administration.
Customers demand internet access so they can share and like stuff online while they are on holiday. They want to post their picture right now!
If we do not provide this resource, we are missing a valuable opportunity for thousands of pieces of content to be published about Lanzarote. Because if people cannot do it “now” they won’t do it when they get back to their hotel WiFi.
The destination brand of Lanzarote is a collaboration between local accommodation, catering, entertainment, transportation, retailers and of course residents. Improving the positioning of Lanzarote is not just a task for the promotional bodies, but is one for each and every one of us to work on and to collaborate on spearhead initiatives like #ThinkTankLanzaroteSocialMedia.
We need to publicize Lanzarote in the universe and beyond! Love the customer, offer something exciting to make the island their dream destination, and when then give them a reason to visit again!