Travel Trends – States Vie For Visitors, Social Everything!

Breakdown of state spending.

Tan states vs. light blue states!

States Vie for Fewer Domestic-Tourism Dollars – A good summary this week from AdAge on the current state (ha!) of the state-level DMO market.  Basically, some states have a strong budget, others are seeing cuts, everyone is touting value, many are re-focusing with in-state campaigns and travelers will spend less money overall.

Also, some good quotes from our friends Will at Visit Florida, Susan at the California Travel & Tourism Commission and of course, George from Travel Michigan.

While the article is state-centric, the overall theme for 2009 is in there…if you look for it.  Those who can take advantage of the current market, whether that means executing a more targeted campaign, expanding your media presence and frequency or delivering valuable content via unique methods will prevail.

The lone comment on the post raises a good question and brings the article into focus.  How will you, in this market, answer the question ‘why come to your state, city, attraction (etc.) over another?’

If your answer is ‘value (only)’ you might want to take a look at what the state next to you is selling.

Social Everything! – Good stats from a new social media study, including which social media marketing tools marketers are using and how much time they are spending per week on social media marketing.  The latter, easily the #1 question when trying to ‘sell’ social media to a boss, board or organization.

From the article:

According to a social media study by Michael Stelzner for the Social Media Success Summit 2009, 88% of marketers in a recent survey say they are now using some form of social media to market their business, though 72% of those using it say they have only been at it a few months or less.

Marketer’s Use of Social Media Tools

Twitter    86%
Blogs    79%
Linkedin    78%
Facebook    77%
YouTube or other video    41%
Social bookmark sites    38%
Forums    38%
StumbleUpon    28%
Digg, Reddit or similar    26%
FriendFeed    18%

Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report, March 2009

64% of marketers are using social media for five hours or more each week, with 39% using it 10 or more hours weekly and 9.6% spending more than 20 hours each week with social media.

  • Those working for a company are twice as likely as business owners to be committing 20+ hours a week to social media
  • 44.8% of those ages 30-39 old spend 10+ hours weekly using social media marketing
  • 40.3% of 20-to-29 year-olds spend 10+ hours weekly
  • 38.7%  of 50-to-59 year-olds spend 10+ hours weekly

According to the survey, 81% of all marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. At least two in three participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours a week invested in social media marketing. Owners of small businesses with 2 – 100 employees are more likely than others to report benefits.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing
(% of Respondents, multiple response OK)

Generated exposure    81%
Increased traffic, subscribers, list    61%
New business partners    56%
Increased position in search rankings    52%
Generated qualified leads    48%
Reduced overall marketing expenses    45%
Helped close sales    35%

Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report, March 2009

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