Social media is a great way to connect with your visitors, but success on social media takes a lot of time and effort. Attractions often start off with the best intentions, but after a while accounts are forgotten, and social media takes a back seat.
Whether you’ve just started an account or want to take your existing efforts to the next level, these useful tips will help you successfully engage with your target audience.
1. Identify Your Audience
Thinking about your audience, and what they really want to see, will help you when it comes to setting up your account. If you need a little help, consider looking at a competitor’s page to see what’s working well for them. Larger attractions are especially good for inspiration, as they’ve probably already invested the time and money required to figure it out.
A general rule of thumb for attractions is that both images and videos make good content, but that videos often receive better engagement. Competitions are also a great way of increasing reach: by having users like and share a post to enter, you can get in front of a large audience for the relatively small cost of a prize.
One attraction with a great Facebook page is Pennywell Farm in South West England. The page is updated every few days with news from the farm, cute pictures of their animals — which get great reactions from followers — and a weekly competition, #WinItWednesdays. In return for liking and sharing the regular Wednesday competition post with their friends, followers are entered for a chance to win free tickets to the farm that weekend.
2. Be Consistent
If you’ve tried using social media before, it’s likely other things got in the way, meaning your accounts and content marketing were put on the back burner. That’s completely understandable! Content marketing and managing social media accounts can take a considerable amount of time — larger attractions have teams dedicated to their accounts and producing their content. If you have a small marketing team or it’s just you, managing all the accounts and producing content regularly can sometimes feel overwhelming.
A great place to start is to set aside an hour a week to plan your social media content. Think about topical items that your audience would find relevant and/or interesting. Then set aside another few hours in the week to produce this content. For Facebook and Twitter, posting three times a week is an excellent start (and you can make your life easier by using similar material on both platforms).
3. Timing is Everything
So, you’ve produced some great content and you want to make sure your audience sees it, right? Consider when your target audience is likely to be online. If your target audience is teenagers, try posting between 5pm and 9pm, after they’ve finished school. If your target audience is parents with young children, consider posting later, after they’ve put their children to bed. Most important of all, experiment. Every page is unique, and it’s not unusual to discover an optimal time for posting that you just can’t explain.
Once you’ve settled on times, remembering to post on schedule can be difficult — luckily, there are plenty of tools available to do the remembering for you! Facebook has its own built-in scheduling tool, and there are many other options to cover all bases, like Buffer and Hootsuite. Once you have your content ready, just create and schedule your posts and they will go out automatically.
4. Monitor Your Accounts
An important part of any marketing strategy is to monitor and evaluate how well it’s working. You don’t want to spend several hours on something that isn’t benefiting your business. Similarly, if you can see that something is working and is interesting to your audience, you want to continue with that.
Look at the insights and analytics from your social media accounts to see what posts your audience is engaging with. Evaluate why the ones with the best engagement work, and why the ones with the least engagement don’t. Check that your content is engaging, relevant and reflects your brand.
5. Experiment a Little
Most attractions have a Facebook page, and the majority also have a Twitter account. Almost all of them post photos because this is the easiest type of content to get out there. So mix it up a little and go for something different. If you’re using Facebook, consider including some video content — it’s likely to get you more views than a photo, and it’s more visually stimulating.
Also, try using different platforms. Europa Park in Germany has an Instagram account with really high-quality imagery. It’s very different to other attractions’ Instagram accounts, but in a new and refreshing way. It’s an Instagram account you’d want to scroll through, or more specifically, that their audience would want to scroll through.
Another park using a different platform to reach its guests is Alton Towers. To advertise their Scarefest event, Alton Towers has been using Snapchat and its Stories feature to give followers a sneak peek into the scare mazes. This exclusive view gets guests excited for the upcoming event and will prompt them to look for more information. If you decide to go this route, consider linking the post to your website — that way, followers can swipe up and be taken directly to your event ticketing page.
Social media is more important than ever for attractions, with those considering their next day out increasingly looking to their friends and influencers for inspiration. Regularly popping up in the social feed of your target audience and sharing interesting content that makes them smile is the perfect way to remain front-of-mind.
Now a final thought. As critical as it is, keep in mind that tweeting and posting isn’t the only way to engage with your visitors, and the best attractions always have their finger on the pulse when it comes to new innovations. For example, Attractions.io’s visitor experience platform enables you to have incredibly personalised conversations with all of your visitors — automatically. Technology will continue to shape the way that we communicate with our audiences, and those that fail to adapt will be the ones that get left behind.