Mastering social media is difficult. Social Media Analyst, Matthew Kobach, sums it up by saying “it takes different skills to be good at Twitter than it does to be good at TikTok than it does to be good at Instagram than it does to be good at YouTube than it does to be good at LinkedIn than it does to be good at Snapchat.” Whew.
And while you don’t have to be proficient across all social media platforms, it does help to master a few. Especially now, when your audience is spending a lot of time online. Social media can be a space of solace and support too – particularly with peers in your industry who are facing similar challenges.
But why is it important, especially now, to connect and collaborate on social media?
Sara Garibaldi, Managing Director of Ketchum’s Travel & Economic Development Sector, writes that players in the tourism industry (globally) need to coordinate, collaborate and rise together instead of going at it alone, in other words, “embracing a collective, mutually beneficial and coordinated approach. Because a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Social media offers a small step in this direction. Here a just a few ways you can collaborate on social media:
1. Promote your region
Rather than concentrating on self-promotion, become an advocate and cheerleader for your region. Share your favourite photographs of Mpumalanga (or the Northern Cape, or the Garden Route). Tag other operators or suppliers in your area and encourage them to do the same. Share your favourite venues, menus or excursions. Celebrate peers, partners and competitors alike. Remember, when South Africa (and the world) is able to travel again, your entire region will benefit.
2. Honour great work being done in your community
There is little to celebrate at the moment. SMMEs are facing a mountain to climb. But there are still some good news stories to share. Look for NGOs or community projects worth celebrating. Share their work and let people know how they can contribute. Now is the time for your region to pull together – and we can all make a positive difference, no matter how small.
3. Share content and barter skills
You might not have the first clue when it comes to TikTok or Snapchat, but do you know someone who does? Often our peers in the industry have different strengths to our own, we can celebrate our differences, leverage each other’s skills and work together in a coordinated approach. Contribute content to a blog post or article, share images and TikTok videos (even agree to appear in one) – or collaborate on a YouTube video around your region’s must-do sights and experiences. A rising tide lifts all boats.
4. Tell stories
People are feeling a little lost, perhaps nostalgic, and looking for some relief, distraction and entertainment. Happily, South Africa has a wealth of great storytellers. Share wonderful stories and anecdotes on social media platforms – the type that raise a smile and are just begging to be passed on. You’ll increase brand awareness, attract new followers, be remembered by customers and raise the profile of your region. Remember to like and share other people’s stories too. Team tourism needs a lot of love – and momentum.