Today, we officially publish the first-ever Digital Engagement Ranking, featuring a digital and social media ranking of the 50 United States Tourism Offices.
Over the past six months, we have had several requests from state tourism offices to re-develop the benchmark process that I originally published in July of 2009. But, like everything digital, there is an evolution process. We felt that the use of digital and social media marketing had evolved over the past few years and the measurement had to extend beyond social media.
In our conversations with a number of destination marketing organizations prior to working on this rankings report, we learned that concerns have grown beyond social media. The common thread in many of our conversations was in regard to the development of website content and how that content can be integrated into multiple social media channels to inspire prospective travel consumers to take action.
One reoccurring theme throughout our discussions was a re-emergence of the organization’s website. Over the past few years, websites took a backseat to social media – as the new, shiny applications, got a lot more of the attention. But when we reflected back on the primary call to action for almost all promotional and advertising efforts, the website was the core of the tourism organization’s efforts.
As we developed our new ranking criteria, we placed a significant emphasis on website engagement and the importance that content development plays in that process. We also utilized numbers of followers and fans to determine overall audience reach and amplification, along with placing more emphasis on the popular social networks and the engagement that each network generates.
There is a detailed breakdown of the ranking criteria and weighting scale within the report. This report covers the third quarter of 2014. We intend to publish it on a quarterly basis in the future, along with adjusting the weighting criteria to coincide with tourism industry and digital marketing trends.
Now, we would like to congratulate the top ten states:
1) Michigan; 2) Massachusetts; 3) Oregon; 4) Louisiana; 5) Virginia; 6) North Carolina; 7) Hawaii; 8) Florida; 9) Tennessee and 10) Georgia.
Special thanks to Laura Edgington for coordinating the ranking process and Kyle Jurczak, from Michigan State University, for his help with the mathematical calculations and weighting scales.
As always, feedback, comments and ideas on improvement for the ranking are always welcome. Please be sure to leave them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TwoSixDigital.