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Attracting Tourists with Stellar Social Media Marketing

Northwest Florida – a haven for sun-seekers, adventure enthusiasts, and beach bums alike. As a local business and resident, you know the magic our area holds. But how do you capture the attention of tourists planning their dream vacation and get them through your doors? The answer: strategic social media marketing!

89% of Americans go on social media while on vacation with 31% spending 1-2 hours each day on social media. Source

What Social Media Platforms Do Tourists Use?

An open pie graph showing which social media platforms travelers use most

Tourists on vacation tend to flock to these social media platforms:

  • Instagram: King of visual storytelling, perfect for showcasing stunning photos and videos of your location, offerings, and happy customers.

  • YouTube: YouTube is a fantastic place to share stunning videos and really showcase your business offerings.

  • Facebook: A broader platform, ideal for sharing updates, events, and special promotions.

Social Media Marketing That Will Attract Tourists

Creating a strong social media marketing strategy is the best way to get started. With your ideal tourist in mind, schedule social media posts that:

  • Inspires wanderlust: Spark their desire with breathtaking visuals of your location – crystal-clear beaches, vibrant sunsets, exciting activities, and mouth-watering food.

  • Offers insider tips: Help them plan their trip. Share "must-see" spots, hidden gems, or recommended tourist attractions near your business. Don’t forget to share any information they need to know about your business. For example, if you are a restaurant, are reservations recommended? If you’re a jet-ski rental, what are the requirements to book your service?

  • Connects them with the local vibe: Give them a taste of the local culture and atmosphere. Feature local artists, musicians, or events.

  • Showcases happy customers: Testimonials and positive reviews build trust and encourage them to visit. You can pull these from previous social media comments, Google Reviews, and anywhere your customers may leave their testimonials.

What are tourists actively seeking on social media when traveling?

An open pie chart showing what tourists are searching on social media when traveling.

Reasons why tourists are searching on social media

A bar graph showing the reasons why tourists are searching on social media

Do Your (Hashtag) Research

Hashtags are key to getting discovered. You’ll want to spend some time searching hashtags to see which ones will give you the best reach.

A screenshot of an instragram search for Pensacola and the list of related hashtags

An instagram search for #gulfcoastrestaurants and the hashtag results.

But make sure you use them correctly! Only use relevant hashtags. Here's a mix of popular and location-specific options:

Beyond the Hashtags

  • Partner with local influencers: Collaborate with travel bloggers or local accounts to reach a wider audience and gain their trusted recommendations. 45.49% of social media users trust (to some extent) travel influencers (source: photoaid)

  • Respond to comments and messages: Show you care about your audience, answer their questions promptly, and build a community.

  • Run targeted ads: Utilize social media advertising platforms to reach tourists based on demographics and interests.

  • Offer exclusive deals: Incentivize tourists with special discounts or packages for following you on social media.

Bonus Tips

  • Be authentic! Tourists can sniff out a generic marketing ploy. Showcase the genuine personality and heart of your business.

  • Don’t forget to update your website for SEO: Review the current keywords that are trending or applicable to your business and industry. Find out what tourists are searching and make sure you’re incorporating those keywords into both your website AND your social media captions.

A person holding a cellphone and a large sign that has a heart and a number 1 on it. The words next to the image are, "Connect with Your Customers Like Never Before" and a button says "Manage My Social Media"


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