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How state tourism offices are selling adventure

How state tourism offices are selling adventure Doug Schumacher
Tourism is a business category rich in emotion and excitement. In this post, we’re going to analyze the content posted by state tourism offices and see what themes they post about the most, and how they talk about them.

We’ll start by taking a look at only the most powerful topics posted about by this industry. Topics used 50 or more times, on a single network, from Feb 1 – Apr 30, 2015.  You can see these topics in the word cloud below. There are a number of interesting themes to explore here. Family, weekend, adventure, festival, winter and spring. What I’m most curious about is to see how different brands approach the same subject. Do they post on the same networks, use the same type of content, and talk about the same related features.

For this exploration, I’m going to select ‘adventure’. This topic should appeal to a broad range of tourists, and should be interesting to see how different states approach it.

Below is a breakout of all the posts using the term ‘adventure’. In the Posting By Day and Engagements By Day charts, you can see this topic was used by most of the 9 brands analyzed here. Looking at the Top Related Terms cloud, we see topics that make likely pairings with ‘adventure’, such as ‘waterfalls’ and ‘canoe’.

Next, let’s look at how the top brands in this report posted about adventure. The Global engagement Leaderboard below shows the sum of engagements that were generated by the public content from each brand, per network. The brands at the top are the ones making the biggest overall impact with their content in this industry.

So we’ll analyze how each of the top three brands, Go Hawaii, Pure Michigan, and Visit Colorado, approached the topic of adventure.

First, Go Hawaii. Below is Zuum’s Subject Analysis of how this brand posted about adventure. The first thing to notice is, relative to the industry overall, above, Go Hawaii is posting a far higher percent of their ‘adventure’ posts on Instagram. 38%, compared to 21% for the industry average, as outlined in the Posts charts. To the right of each Posts chart is Engagements. Below, this shows that well over half of Go Hawaii’s engagements happened on Instagram, while far less than half for the industry average.

Go Hawaii’s Posts on ‘adventure’

Looking at Go Hawaii’s top posts on ‘adventure’, directly above, it’s not surprising that Go Hawaii has a water theme to these posts. It’s their big appeal, and clearly it’s resonating with their audience.

Next, we’ll look at Visit Colorado. Their posting volume on this topic is higher than Go Hawaii, and we see that reflected in the overall engagements generated, in the Engagements chart. Over 78,000 engagements generated on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Far more than any of the three brands.

It’s notable that Visit Colorado has about the same fan counts on Facebook as Instagram, as noted above in the Global Fan Leaderboard chart, yet is generating much more engagement on Facebook. As you may have noted in our previous posts, Instagram frequently will generate more content engagements than other networks with significantly more fans. So Visit Colorado’s Facebook community is highly engaged.

Visit Colorado’s Posts on ‘adventure’

Visit Colorado’s posts shows that while they don’t have water, they do have mountains, and in the tourism industry you need to talk about what you have. Based on their top posts, when Visit Colorado shows mountains, it conjures up strong feelings that well-represent the state.

And next, let’s review the 3rd brand that’s above the industry average in overall engagements generated, Pure Michigan.

It’s interesting to note here their relatively small percentage of ‘adventure’ posts utilizing Instagram. Only 7% of their posts across the three networks, as shown on the Posts chart. The Engagement chart indicates that Instagram content does generate a lot of engagement, so it’s surprising that they wouldn’t employ Instagram on a larger percent of their posts on this topic.

Pure Michigan’s Posts on ‘adventure’

Looking at Michigan’s top posts, you can see that while Michigan may not have the most immediately identifiable appeals as Colorado’s mountains or Hawaii’s Pacific Ocean, but they still make an impressive case for their own beauty and adventure. The top Twitter post is particularly interesting, showing that while they may not have coral, there’s some good diving to be experienced.

By looking at the Top Related Terms for each of the brands, you can see that while they’re all promoting the concept of adventure, each has a different angle on it, based on what they have to offer.

That’s a typical situation for brands in a broad range of industries. For while they may be trying to promote the same qualities as other brands (safety for automobiles, flavor for foods), each has to do it in a unique, and most importantly, genuine way.

Zuum can help you gain a deep understanding of how other brands might be promoting themselves, perhaps on topics your own brand would like to have ownership of, and use that information to inform your strategies and improve the impact of your posts.

Doug Schumacher is the co-founder of social media content strategy tool Zuum. Zuum reveals a number of key insights into what type of social media content will generate maximum impact for a given industry. His interactive career began in 1996...

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