A Tourism Operator’s Guide to Social Media Part 1: What is social media and how do you measure it’s ROI?

If you’re a tourism operator, this blog post is for you! There is a big, wide world of opportunity out there and with the ever increasing uptake of social media, it’s now easier than ever to communicate with your target market… however, it is now even harder to engage with them. So what are your options? First, let’s cover what social media is.

Social media can be defined as various activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. It’s more than just another tool to communicate with your target market, it is an online environment built on people’s contributions and interactions. Essentially, social media harnesses the power of word-of-mouth. It offers more than just the promotion of your website and organisation; it offers an avenue for storytelling, which is one of THE most effective marketing tools.

Social media enables you to create an online persona that your target market can relate too.

Scary facts – did you know that almost 20% of Australian’s search for local suppliers and services using their mobile phone on a daily basis. That means, over 4.2 million people are online, searching, researching and scouring the world wide web every day – potentially looking for the likes of you. So what have you incorporated into your marketing plan, so that those 4.2 million people daily can see and hear what you have to offer?

Now that we’ve recapped what social media is, how do you measure it’s ROI?

Not unlike other aspects of business, you have to set specific goals and objectives. To properly manage your social media presence, look at it as an investment. Whether it’s your time, an employees’ time or another professional’s time, your social media activity needs to be accountable – so, set up a social media strategy.

A great way to create a tangible benchmark is by remembering Marketing 1-0-1, the SMART acronym.


A business objective that follows the SMART rule is more likely to succeed. Why?

  • Because it’s clear (specific), you know what needs to be achieved;
  • You can tell when it’s been achieved (measurable) because you have a way to measure completion;
  • Because it’s achievable;
  • Before setting the objective, relevant factors such as resources and time were taken into account to ensure it’s realistic; and finally
  • The time scale element provides a deadline which helps people focus on the tasks required to achieve the objective.

Here’s the SMART acronym in action:

You currently have 100 likes on your business Facebook page. Your goal is to increase your page likes by two, every week, for ten weeks. By the end of ten weeks, you should have 120 page likes.


Continue onto… Part 2: What social media channels are good for tourism operators?


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