Not all engagement is equal: How your destination can nurture higher-quality interactions

Katie Shriner

19 July 2016

Before you keep reading, open up any popular destination’s Facebook or Instagram page. Choose a post and scroll through the many comments. On a page bursting with engagement from fans, which messages should you respond to? As a content manager, understanding where to focus your time is one of the best ways to build a community of engaged people who will keep coming back to your destination marketing organization (DMO) as a source of credible information and help.

Focus on high-quality comments

High-quality comments are easy to spot as they usually include more detail than a generic “nice photo!”. They are often in the form of a question, tip or story. While it’s great to have fans engage with your pages in many ways (including brief comments or emoji), as a content manager, you have to split your time between numerous channels, so it’s essential to prioritize your efforts.

This is especially relevant for DMOs because they can they help people plan trips and influence their decisions very early on. This makes focusing on high-quality comments far more valuable than spending time responding to all mentions. Your engagement time should be spent with potential visitors who make the extra effort to write detailed stories and ask real questions. See the examples below:

High-quality comments

High-quality comments

Lower-quality comment

Low-quality comment

Once you have adopted a quality-over-quantity mindset, start to build in the following best practices to get the most out of your interactions:

Be timely, friendly and informative

If someone has taken the time to leave a detailed comment, put some thought into your response and reply in a timely manner. Include the person’s name in the reply and make sure that what you write is of value to them. If it’s a question that the wider community can help with, put it to them in a post and let that person know. This is a great way to thank those who take the time to engage with you.

Be curious

Sometimes the best interactions come from being curious. Ask people where they are traveling from or for how long, and if they could share pics or their favourite experience. Even if someone doesn’t directly ask for help, let them know that they can come to you for answers.

Track your conversations

The more you focus on quality interactions, the more you will understand how people are talking about your destination. This is why it’s crucial to keep track of high-value replies and comments. In these living spreadsheets, you can start to identify the niches, interests and issues that your most engaged followers are talking about and customize your content to suit.

Nurturing the interactions that are happening on your social channels shows both the individual and the wider community that you care and want to meet their needs through your content.

Featured image credit: Kirsteen, Flickr


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