Social Media 101

Social media can either be an asset or hinderance in both your personal and professional life. It is important to understand the differences between the various platforms to determine which are best for you or your business.

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of different social media platforms, but there are 5 relevant ones dominating the media world right now. Additionally, travel and tourism posts are among the most shared topics on “The Big Three” (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter). Social media in the tourism industry is so important because people often pre-plan their vacations based on online recommendations, reviews, and relevance (3-Rs as I like to call them). Follow along as each platform is explained and especially note what to expect from our Enjoy White County accounts.

Website:  A website is the foundation of an online presence. There are many different content management systems or “CMS” options to choose from when building a website. Some of the most common are WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Joomla, Weebly, and Shopify. To give some local relevance… enjoywhitecounty.com and madamcarroll.com are WordPress sites, docksidelakeresort.com, monticellolakesresorts.com, and lakeshoredrivein.com are Wix sites, and whitecountyunitedway.com is a weebly site. To the viewer, these are all well-done websites, but they are all created so differently from the backside of development.

Facebook: Everyone knows about Facebook. Facebook is used by individuals to connect with family and friends as well as businesses to expand their brand awareness and reach customers. In fact, some organizations use Facebook as their website. Settings allow for an excellent dynamic of photo/video content as well as editorial to read. Facebook is great to quickly share information, but for security purposes, many 3rd party websites do not link to Facebook profiles as it increases the susceptibility for scam emails. The Enjoy White County Facebook page, @enjoywhitecountyIN, shares positive stories, business spotlights, statewide advertisements, and event information.

Instagram: This is your social media platform for photo and video content! Some of the most common industries that use Instagram include real estate, retail, restaurants, education (college level), and entertainment (Hart, 2017). Basically, whatever products or services you want to see before you experience, should have and use Instagram. Upload photos, edit them, and #hashtag trends! Just don’t post too many words, it’s not the platform for long wordy posts. Instagram is NEW to the Enjoy White Count initiative! Each White County community will soon get a photo spotlight and brief summary, so follow our profile to see the most beautiful representations of White County.

Twitter: Tweet as a tweeter by tweeting on twitter *say that 3x fast*. This social media platform is one for word content and is less photo driven. It is ideal to keep the tweet short, sweet, and to the point. Twitter is an excellent “real-time” platform that is ideal for news outlets and industries that need to leverage current events and happenings. The Enjoy White County initiative will soon create a twitter to inform users of local current events and public press releases.

Blog (Tumblr): Blogs are often used to tell a personal or business story, share insights, publicly review products or services, and showcase the actual personality behind the computer or phone. A new trend derived from blogs are “vlogs” which are video blogs. Vloggers post live videos of themselves offering insight or offer How To demonstrations.

Snapchat: The fastest growing social media platform and the most commonly used by younger generations, Snapchat is an app for mobile devices that allow users to capture photos and videos, edit them with filters, and share them privately between selected individuals or publicly for all of your friends to see.  Although there is a time limit viewing option (between 3 and 10 seconds), don’t let that mislead you… because nothing in the digital world just disappears forever. Snapchat is entertaining and fun but be cautious with photos and monitor the use with young children.

Some honorable mentions for popular social media platforms include LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

References:

Hart, K. (2017, August 25). What Industries Need to Use Instagram to Build Their Brand? eSoftload. Retrieved on October 20, 2020 from https://www.esoftload.info/industries-need-use-instagram-build-brand

Lang, V. (2016). Social Media and Tourism Marketing: A Match Made in Digital Heaven. Uhuru Network. Retrieved on October 18, 2020 from https://uhurunetwork.com/social-media-and-tourism-marketing/