When everyone works together something magical happens, and social media is no exception. CVB’s and DMO’s work with bloggers every single day. I was recently contacted by a destination who wanted some advice on how to work with bloggers. I’ve put together some tips to help destinations work with bloggers.
BLOGGERS ARE BUSY
Bloggers are busy people. It’s not always feasible for them to come to an event with a 24 hour notice. A two month notice is always fabulous. Bloggers often have calendars that are full four to five months out. If you want bloggers to showcase an event, invite them as soon as possible.
If bloggers are expected to send out a particular number of social media shout outs, let them know when you invite them. If you have a hashtag for your event, let them know. Bloggers will give you a ton of social media love through hashtags. If you expect a post or two about something specific, let them know. If bloggers don’t know what is expected, they won’t provide destinations with the information they are looking for.
I asked Libbey Patton ( Clear Lake, Iowa Tourism Director) tips that she would give destinations on working with bloggers and she had this to say. ” It’s important to respond in a timely manner, to answer their questions and provide as much info as you can to them so they can give you correct info. If there is something you want them to mention, make sure they know. It is important to know what your purpose is in any kind of marketing, so be clear with your message to the blogger (if you have hired their services). Bloggers are working their way up the media hierarchy of influence so it’s very important to embrace their work and make them a part of your marketing strategy.”
Clear Lake, Iowa has worked with the North Iowa Bloggers. One such event was a trip to Chicago, flying through Air Choice One (local air carrier in North Iowa), and showcasing what Clear Lake has to offer folks in Chicago.
Bloggers want to get to know the folks behind the scenes of destinations that they adore visiting. Often times these destinations are right in a blogger’s back yard. I would encourage CVB’s and CMO’s to attend social media breakfasts in their area. This is a fantastic place to meet bloggers and find people that will be some of their biggest online cheerleaders.
Bloggers also need to realize that they need to provide content about their visit. That does not mean that the conversation stops after a visit. Bloggers and destinations have the opportunity to continue the relationship and grow together. If a destination is not interested in building a relationship with a blogger, it’s my opinion that they should not be working with bloggers. The online conversation continues after I visit a destination, as that is when the magic happens! Opportunities continue for both parties and I can tell you from experience that it’s exciting to be a part of an economic success story.
If you are the tourism director or director of a DMO for a particular area, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’m always loving the creativity that destinations offer through social media and the excitement that they have to share with bloggers.