Congratulations, you’ve made it through another major holiday! Many of you saw a massive influx of visitors over the weekend, which was a welcome sight – and a reward for all of the hard work you put in. Now, you probably want to give your team a break, put the weekend behind you, and focus on the next big event. But you’re missing out on a place branding opportunity that so many others ignore as well.
There’s a saying in sales that goes, “the fortune is in the follow-up”. The same holds true in tourism. So many people visited your area (perhaps for the first time) and you need to encourage them back. The time right after an event is perfect for reaching out and continuing to make a strong, positive brand impression.
The approaches I mention below are more related to branding than marketing since they relate to the impression that a visitor has in their mind of your destination. Your marketing strategies likely brought them there; strategic place branding will help to convince them to come back.
- Share posts that used your hashtags. Do some hashtag research on a tool like Hashtagify to uncover posts that used your destination as a hashtag. Comment on those posts to let those users know that you appreciate their visit. Share the really good one.
- Tag every person or business you can in each photo. The likelihood of those people or pages sharing your content will increase dramatically, exposing your destination to a broader audience.
- Delight new followers. Chances are, your social accounts gained some new followers over the weekend. The time shortly after someone follows a page is a time where they’re more likely to be shown posts from that page in their feed. Take this opportunity to share posts from your local businesses as a way of helping those new followers relive a great experience. If they engage with these posts, they’ll continue to see your destination’s page in their feeds.
- Schedule as much as you can. By this point (a couple of days after the event), your local restaurants, shops, breweries, etc. have already posted their event photos and videos. Share their content over the next few days, but schedule them to go out over time. This one-time exercise will make sure that you have a constant stream of great experiences to show your audience.
All of these tactics are designed to give you as much prominence and momentum following your event. Some keys to excellent place branding are the ability to connect as individually with your audience as possible and to remain top-of-mind.
It can be tempting to not look back. You put a lot of work into the event and some of it may not have been much fun. But some follow-up steps after each event can help you make each event more and more successful, resulting in less effort to fill your downtown year over year.