Suffocating Your Social Strategy

Don't restrict your social media campaign...

Ah social.  Has anything inspired and confused more tourism marketers over the last 5 years?

From a strategy perspective, I think our opinions on the subject are pretty clear (you can catch up with a quick glance through our archives) and yet on a regular basis we continue to see DMOs and CVBs making common mistakes.

Recently, I reviewed a RFP for a social media marketing firm.  The goal was for the firm to handle the strategy and execution of the social efforts on behalf of the CVB.

Nothing wrong with that per se.  Personally, I believe in the in-house approach first, but there are situations that call for an external firm.

No, the issue was the suffocating nature of the RFP which not only stipulated exactly what to talk about, but on what networks and how often.

A minimum of twenty (20) posts per week is required.

Yeah, that line is directly from the document.

I get it, traditional marketers are use to providing exact specifics when they start a campaign.  Length of the TV ad, size of the print ad or frequency of the PPC keyword.

We have been trained to run our marketing programs with precision.

No one would ever say oh, just run that TV ad when it feels right.

Which is why DMOs and CVBs, like the one in our example, attempt to place their social efforts in the same, restrictive box as the rest of the advertising campaign.

Yet we all know that social cannot be bound by traditional restrictions.  Social is, well, social.  The conversation is dictated by two groups, the marketer and the consumer, and therefore, does not respond to traditional specs and directions.

Unfortunately this CVB will learn that lesson the hard way.

And when they ask themselves why the selected social agency was not a good fit, it will not be because of the agency’s expertise.

No, it will be because of the suffocating specifications on this social strategy.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.