What digital marketing tool is best for me?
Digital marketing is vital in promoting your business, brand, products and services. Yet, with a plethora of choice, it can be confusing. The latest Tourism Intelligence Scotland webinar hosted by Highlands & Islands Enterprise ‘Is Digital Marketing a DIY Job?’ can help tourism businesses identify which is the best tool for them.
At the time of publishing, Twitter had 645 million registered users generating some 45,000 Tweets per minute and Facebook 1.3 billion users sharing one billion pieces of content daily. Whilst LinkedIn remains the largest social media network in the world dedicated to business professionals, with more than 300 million business members in 200 countries worldwide.
A managed approach to digital marketing, and especially of social media, is vital for the tourism industry. Potential new customers utilise the information available on these channels to find out more about the area and the organisations before deciding if it is right for them. Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s ‘Is Digital Marketing a DIY Job?’ webinar highlights ways in which to tackle the difficult subject of social media and how to use it effectively.
Before diving straight in to the variety of platforms out there, experts highlight the need for a business to plan what its objectives are for social media. Consider where your customers hang out online, and select the appropriate channels to use to connect with them. It is tempting for businesses to want to be on every platform available, but it is much better managed and your communication is likely to be more effective, by choosing the right ones.
Decide what social media currency your business wants to take from it. Do you want to direct traffic to a website, increase direct sales, or simply raise awareness of the business? Plan ahead the time needed to set up social media channels. This will require a high level of time at the start, but once set up, this can be as little as 15 minutes per day to monitor and manage the feeds.
Once you are up and running, it’s important to collect data. This will help you understand how your customers are visiting you online, manage your sites better, monitor for direct contact from customers and respond accordingly and, most importantly, timely. Instead of watching your screen all day, there are tools to assist with this. Some of these include:
• Hootsuite – This is a desktop dashboard which allows you to view multiple social media channels at once. You can view your Facebook feed and messages as well as your Twitter comments, hashtags or key words which you may want to look out for and respond to.
• Scheduled posts – There are certain times in the day that are more effective in reaching an audience than others. In the UK, it is considered better to post in the morning and in the evening around 9 or 10pm, as that is when most users are online. There are a variety of scheduling tools built in to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and Hootsuite can help you manage this by writing your post in advance and scheduling it to post at a certain time.
• Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics – It is vital to collect data of how your visitors are communicating with you on social media. The analytic tools allow you to see when people like your posts, tweet you, visit your page and which posts are more popular than others. This will allow you to fine-tune your content to what you know people like to see on their social media news feeds.
There are lots of phrases and tools that might be new to you. Check out our handy Decoding Digital – 25 digital terms explained! article to find out more about them.
Further help and advice on digital marketing and social media is available on the Tourism Intelligence Scotland, ‘Shine Online’ guide.