Trending at TwoSix: Story Extenders, Facebook Traffic, and Millennial Meeting Planners

Trending at TwoSix: Social Media Budgets and Solo Travel

TwoSix Digital wants you to leverage social media to capitalize on travel trends because we care about your goals. Therefore, we hope you find valuable information and inspiration in this week’s blog so you can apply them to your organization. Let’s get going.

Tip of the Week: Make gifs out of your videos to get the most out of your video content.

Be honest, before Tumblr and Twitter – do you ever remember hearing of Graphics Interchange Format? Gifs are a type of image file format that was invented in 1987. Due to the growing popularity of imagery on social media, gifs are now some of the most popular pieces of content on the internet.

First of all, we constantly encourage our clients to make the most of their content. Instagram photos can be strung together for a blog, Pinterest boards can be turned into Tweets. Also, YouTube videos can be turned into gifs!

It seems like many of our clients pay a decent price for video content. Therefore we encourage them to make the most of their content by repurposing videos into gifs. Check out the Giphy.com gif maker. Share the gif on Twitter, and watch your engagement soar! (Facebook claims to be gif-friendly, but we have noticed some functionality issues.)

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Gif is pronounced with a hard “g”. Jif is a brand of peanut butter. Boom.

Fact of the Week: Social media budgets have increased from 3.5% of overall marketing budgets in 2009 to 11.7% in 2017.

The TwoSix Digital team was surprised to hear this statistic, because we believe 11.7% is too low. Have you calculated your budget to see what percentage is allocated in social media? If you are under 20%, perhaps you can reevaluate your spending. Are their “legacy” budget items that can be removed? Do you REALLY need to advertise in the local community guide? Imagine the impact you can make on social media with a few extra dollars.

If you are stumped on social media spending, take a look at our list of services. Our Tactical Content Planning Program, and Integrated Digital Campaigns can help streamline your funds so you have the best results.

Noteworthy Article: New Survey Says Solo Travel Will Be the Key Trend of 2017


More and more travelers are looking for enriching experiences when planning their next vacation. This is leading to a rising trend in solo-tourism, allowing travelers the opportunity to have a truly personal experience. The article notes that 51% of those surveyed were planning on taking a trip alone.

How can you engage the solo traveler? Consider using images of independent travelers, or writing blogs about solo-travel at your destination.

Client Photo of the Week: Visit South Bend

Check out this beautiful photo of Potato Creek State Park thanks to Visit South Bend!

TwoSix on Tour

TwoSix Digital was out and about this weekend in our state’s capital and Dublin, Ohio!

TwoSix Anniversary

We celebrated our three-year anniversary on January 10, 2017. Thanks to all of our clients and colleagues for their support!

Thanks for reading! Stay up to date on industry trends by following TwoSix Digital’s Facebook and Twitter.

Trending at TwoSix: Embed Codes, Mobile Marketing, and Visitor Spending

Today, a visitor expects to be able to plan and book their travels from their smartphone. We see this as a major opportunity within the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. Therefore, we hope our clients stay up to date with our blog to discover new ways to increase the digital impact for your destination. Let’s get started.

Tip of the Week: Utilize embed codes from social media sites to visually enhance blogs and webpages.


As you can see, we are taking a page out of own book, because we have embedded every piece of media possible in this blog! Embed codes are pieces of HTML code inserted into a website to generate a piece of media. These codes are available on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Youtube. Here’s a great article on how to place embed codes into your website.

Why use embed codes? Because it creates more opportunities to connect with your audience. It also shows synergy between your website and your social media channels. Furthermore, embed codes give you the opportunity to utilize user-generated-content.

Some of our clients have used the power of the embedding tools. Check out these blogs from Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitors Bureau and Visit Baton Rouge for some great examples.

Fact of the Week: 44% of travellers expect to be able to plan their trip on their smartphone.


Nowadays we can order food, deposit checks, watch movies, plan workouts, and so much more right on our mobile devices. Therefore, it’s no surprise more and more visitors are expecting mobile-friendly service when planning their travels. We found this statistic in a study about 8 major travel predictions in 2017. Check it out here, and stay ahead of the curve!

Noteworthy Article: 6 Charts on American Visitor Spending and Sentiments Toward Destination Experiences

6 Charts on American Visitor Spending and Sentiments Toward Destination Experiences

We see many DMO’s adding economic impact goals into their strategic plans and annual goals. Hence, this week’s featured article focusses on visitor spending and how it relates to their perception of the destination. Those who were completely “delighted” with a destination spent $150 more than those were “pleased” (meaning the visitor experienced minor problems that did not spoil the destination).

Most noteworthy, “availability of travel packages” played a major role in visitors’ choices. TwoSix Digital partners with Pure Michigan on the monthly eDeals newsletter. The eDeals are e-newsletters giving industry partners the opportunity to promote online travel discounts, last-minute specials and overnight package offerings directly to subscribers. The subscriber list currently measures about 319,000 people. This is a sure-way for Michigan destinations to capitalize on this trend. If you want to know more, contact TwoSix’s Senior Digital Strategist, Grant Kenney.

Client Photo of the Week: Grand Hotel


Check out this awesome photo of the historic Mackinac Bridge near Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!

Where was TwoSix this week?


We didn’t go too far this week! Right down the block from the TwoSix headquarters is Becker Brewery, where had our headshots taken by Cami Fussey. Stay tuned for the final product! (No beers were harmed in this process.)

Thanks for reading! If you are perplexed by any of this information, check out our list of services to see how TwoSix can help you accomplish your goals. Also, stay up-to-date on tips and tricks by following us on Facebook and Twitter!

Trending at TwoSix: Hashtag Overload and Hotel Website Tweaks

The landscape of the web and social media is ever-changing for the tourism industry. Just when you think you have the solution, consumers change their minds on what they would like to see. Never fear, TwoSix Digital strives to keep you informed of notable industry trends in travel, hospitality, and tourism.

Tip of the Week: Create custom posts for each channel. Authenticity cannot be automated.

 

One of the most cringe-worthy social media acts is automation between channels. We have all seen a Tweet that says something like, “Come on down to our awesome event on June 25. We will have a barbecue, pony rides, live music, and more! The event starts at… fb.me/GPLFF10.” A post such as this shows the original message was crafted in Facebook, and was not optimized for Twitter. The content provides little value, and sends a confusing message. Take the time to craft individual posts for each audience. Engage with each channel, build a community, and be authentic not automated!

Fact of the Week: Twitter found Tweets without a hashtag or mention generate 23% more clicks.

 

This one hurts a little. The hashtag was Twitter’s “easy button” for content marketing. While this statistic makes the symbol formerly known as “pound” seem irrelevant, there is still a time and a place for hashtags. Twitter still features trending hashtags on their channel, meaning there are relevant conversations to capitalize on.

Consider these examples when using hashtags in the future. Let’s assume #NationalSuperheroDay is trending on Twitter.

Do: “Find your inner hero on #NationalSuperheroDay by visiting one of our local comic shops! yourdestination.com/comics”

Do Not: “Our #city has tons of #comicbook stores! #NationalSuperheroDay #Superman #Batman #WonderWoman”

Hashtags are still a powerful tool on Twitter, just use them with intention! You can learn more interesting stats on building traffic with Twitter in this article.

Noteworthy Article: How the Simplest Changes in Hotel Web Design Can Impact Revenue

How the Simplest Changes in Hotel Web Design Can Impact Revenue

This case study highlights a hotel’s effort to increase revenue by reviewing their website analytics. Despite a brand new, responsive, image-driven website, the hotel was experiencing a decrease in revenue in 2016. The hotel was able to identify its most visited pages, and simply added copy with links to their bookings page to encourage viewers to book a stay. This lead to a significant increase in revenue, and proves data-driven decisions can have a serious impact on the bottom line!

TwoSix Client Pic of the Week: Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

With waterfront views this festive, who needs ❄?

A photo posted by The Outer Banks (@theouterbanksnc) on

TwoSix’s Client Pic of the Week featured Outer Banks Visitors Bureau in North Carolina! This historic lighthouse dates back to the 1800’s, and is now home to maritime exhibitions throughout the year.

Thanks for reading. Stay up to date with our tips and tricks by following TwoSix Digital on Facebook and Twitter!

Trending at TwoSix: Snap Stats and How Social is Changing Tourism

TwoSix Digital is proud to work within travel, tourism, and hospitality. Our industry helps create some of humanities most cherished memories and experiences. With social media providing so much information to a potential visitor, how are you breaking through the noise? This week we are focussing on the importance of landing pages, industry trends on social media, and the power of Snapchat.

Tip of the Week: Create landing pages with useful information that inspires your audience to take action.

We have all been there. You are scrolling through Facebook, you see an ad that interests you, give it a click, and a useless page appears, making you feel very disappointed. We are disappointed because somehow the ad promised information, and the landing page did not deliver. Marketers spend tons of time (and money) developing creative campaigns, and can still fall short on the landing page. We recommend making the information as useful and ingestible as possible. Furthermore, if you have other goals (i.e. obtain e-mail subscribers, grow social media audience, etc.) make it easy for users to take action relating to your goals. An effective landing page can and should deliver the promised information and help you accomplish more than one of your goals.

Fact of the Week: More than 400 million Snaps are sent every day and 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second.

With stats like these, we are anxious to see how many clients launch new Snapchat initiatives in 2017. Some of our clients such as Explore Branson use Snapchat as another social media outlet. They post unique content on the app, just like any other channel. Other hospitality organizations are dipping a toe into the Snapchat waters by creating geofilters. Read more about Snapchat trends, and let us know if you are working with this popular channel in 2017.

Noteworthy Article: 5 Ways Social Media Has Transformed Tourism Marketing

This article covers some basic yet important ideas to keep at the forefront of your mind. Here are some highlights from the article.

  1. How Social Media Has Changed Travel Research: When booking travel, 89% of millennials plan travel activities based on content posted by their peers online.
  2. How Social Media Has Facilitated Social Sharing: Over 97% of millennials share photos and videos of their travels online.
  3. How Social Media Has Enhanced Customer Service: When Twitter users contact a brand, more than half expect a response. If they are reaching out with a complaint, that number rises to almost 75%
  4. How Social Media Has Effected Travel Agencies: They are still responsible for 55% of all airline bookings, 77% of cruise bookings, and 73% of package bookings.
  5. How Social Media Has Changed Loyalty Programs: More than 25% of millennials that participate in loyalty programs are very likely to post about a brand in exchange for loyalty points.

Where was TwoSix This Week?

TwoSix Digital’s Senior Director of Strategy & Education, Brian V. Matson, was in Traverse City this week! He visited one of our favorite Pure Michigan destinations to deliver a series of digital marketing audits to this amazing DMO.

TwoSix Client Pic of the Week: Traverse City Tourism

Boats or no boats there’s always a good photo op at the marina. #traversecity #clinchparkmarina

A photo posted by Traverse City (@traversecitytourism) on


Just because you need some more beautifully snow photos of Traverse City, they were selected as our TwoSix Client Pic of the week.

Have any questions about something you read in the blog? Let us know and stay up to date on our tips and tricks by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Trending at TwoSix: Ask, Target, Optimize

The TwoSix Digital team has officially kicked off our very own content plan so we can bring you our knowledge and expertise throughout the week. The blog will dive deeper into the factoids we throw your way throughout the week, so let’s get rolling.

Tip of the Week: If you would like to know what your audience wants to hear…ASK THEM!

This is a pretty basic tip, but always rings true. Do you get stumped on your blogs? Are you writing about a subject matter that is outside of your area of expertise? Try ASKING your audience for their ideas and insight. Their answers might surprise you. Gaylord, Michigan recently asked their audience for their thoughts on ice fishing on their Facebook page. Take it even further, and repurpose those comments into a blog! Also consider testing out Twitter polls. One thing we know for sure, the general population LOVES sharing their opinions on social media, so tap into that!

Fact of the Week: 30% of online Americans who earn $75K or more a year use Twitter.

When working with a DMO, we often hear their targeting people with a disposable income. So what are you doing to go after this audience? That’s why we found it interesting 30% of higher income individuals use Twitter. Time and time again we hear Twitter is a “pain point” for our clients. Here’s your proof to not throw in the towel! We found this little factoid on Hootsuite’s blog. Take a look, and let us know what other statistics about Twitter are interesting to you.

Noteworthy Article: When It Comes to Facebook Posts, Size Matters

SocialTimes recently published an article that notes the correlation between post word count and reach on Facebook. They are not sure why this is the case, but you can’t argue with the numbers! Read the article here for more information.

Where was TwoSix Digital this week?

TwoSix covered some serious ground this week! Dave traveled up to Sault Ste. Marie for their Annual Luncheon with Dave Lorenz to talk about plans for 2017. Brian bounced between Ludington to deliver their 2017 Digital Strategy and Lansing to speak about video strategies at the Recreational Boating Educational Conference.

Client Photo of the Week: Visit Owatonna

All sorts at the lighted holiday parade. #onlyinmn #downtownowatonna #visitowatonna

A photo posted by Visit Owatonna (@visitowatonna) on

Congrats to Visit Owatonna for having the Client Photo of the Week! Stay tuned to see if your pic is picked next!

Thanks for reading! Be sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on our tips and tricks. Make next week your best week yet!

Facebook Messenger Games and Tips for 2017 Planning

3163237-facebook-messenger-instant-games2A belly full of Thanksgiving turkey is a sure sign the new year is on its way. With 2017 just around the corner, how are you evaluating your competitors and effectiveness on social media? Don’t spend all of your time on the new gaming feature in Facebook Messenger, and check out these interesting tips to make 2017 your most successful year.

Hootsuite recently shared an article on how to conduct a competitive analysis on social media. They offer a few key tactics you can easily employ:

  • Start by Google searching keywords your brand or destinations hopes to lead, and see who makes it to the top of the search (i.e. “Small town Midwest destinations”, or “Best state to visit in the winter”, etc.) .
  • Once you find your competitors, find out what channels they occupy, how often they post, how fast their audience is growing, and where they rank with engagement.
  • Conduct a simple SWOT analysis, and use the information to inspire your strategy, not duplicate.

There are several tools listed throughout the blog to make this an even easier process, so be sure to read it before your holiday break. While you are pondering on your competitors, check out these tips from Social Media Today on 6 Tactics to Instantly Boost Social Media Reach For Your Brand or Business. Hint: The first one is video.

Last but certainly not least, have you tried the Instant Games on Messenger feature? Facebook makes another bold move to completely take over the internet by adding Pac Man, Words with Friends, and Space Invaders to Messenger.

Did you come across any interesting articles or social media news? Share them with the TwoSix Digital team by Tweeting us or posting on our Facebook. While you’re there, giver a shout out to the newest member of the TwoSix Digital team – Marissa Conniff. Thanks for reading!

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