Social & Search

Social DMOs: The State of Social Media and Destination Marketing

Published March 2015
Region: U.S. & Canada
Research Type: Report
Cathy Schetzina Walsh
Cathy Schetzina Walsh

Senior Research Analyst

Bing Liu
Bing Liu

Senior Analyst, Consumer Research

John DiStefano
John DiStefano
Chetan Kapoor
Chetan Kapoor

Research Analyst, Asia Pacific

Deepak Jain
Deepak Jain

Manager, Data and Analytics

Douglas Quinby
Douglas Quinby

Vice President, Research

US $299 FREE for Global Subscribers
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Social DMOs: The State of Social Media and Destination Marketing

Facebook has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide; over 500 million tweets are sent via Twitter each day; and new social networks continue to gain traction. Social media is no longer a buzzword, but a firmly established global communication and marketing phenomenon.

For many destination marketing organizations (DMOs), the path to becoming "social" has been one of trial and error, and this new and rapidly changing channel poses an array of challenges. From keeping up with emerging social networks and building followers to driving engagement and measuring success, devising and executing a social media strategy is a complex undertaking. 

Phocuswright's Social DMOs: The State of Social Media and Destination Marketing explores how destination marketing organizations are using social media and provides a benchmark for DMOs to evaluate their own social media practices. The report tracks which social networks DMOs use and value, and provides insight into key goals, challenges, tools and techniques related to social media.

Key topics include:

  • How DMOs manage, monitor and measure performance of their social programs
  • Analysis of 156 tourism board profiles and DMOs that have been especially successful with social media
  • Which objectives DMOs place as top social media priorities and why
  • The biggest challenges facing DMOs and their social activity
  • Key trends hitting social media and how DMOs can take advantage of them

Purchase Phocuswright's Social DMOs: The State of Social Media and Destination Marketing for insight into how destination marketing organizations successfully leverage social media for brand awareness.

  • Introduction
  • Research Highlights
  • Study Background and Methodology
  • Social Participation
  • Social Value, Goals & Challenges
  • Social Tactics: Tools & Techniques
  • Monitoring & Measuring
  • Social Media Management
  • DMO Facebook Analytics

Social DMOs: The State of Social Media and Destination Marketing analyzes social media practices and perspectives among destination marketing organizations. This report was created as an additional output of Phocuswright’s The State of Social Media in Travel, a larger research project that studied the global social travel landscape. The project incorporated two major research components.

Consumer survey: Phocuswright conducted a global survey on how travel companies use and manage social media – including their strategies, activities and successes. The survey was fielded via Phocuswright’s own database, as well as through the following six partners: European Cities Marketing, European Travel Commission, Hotel News Now, Miles Marketing Destinations, Pacific Asia Travel Association and TripAdvisor. 

Phocuswright received 580 qualified responses, reflecting a diverse cross section of travel industry segments, geographies and organizational roles. The largest share of responses (29%) came from DMOs, a subgroup of 168. The survey findings in this report are based on those responses.

DMO respondents represent a range of budgets and geographies. The majority (59%) have budgets under US$5 million (see Figure 1). North America is the most common market of operation (78%), followed by Western Europe (37%) (see Figure 2).

Facebook analytics with Socialbakers: Phocuswright partnered with social media analytics company Socialbakers to study the activities of travel brands on Facebook. The research provided a comparative analysis of activity on 639 travel brand profile pages from September 2013 to February 2014, including 156 DMO profiles. Phocuswright collected data using Socialbakers Analytics, a tool that enables brands to measure and benchmark the performance of social media campaigns.