VisitWiltshire is the overall winner of the English Tourism Social Media Index. Home to the Stonehenge and Avebury monuments, the south west county is also popular amongst tourists for its rolling countryside, country houses as well as destinations such as the historic city of Salisbury.
Outperforming the competition, VisitWiltshire achieved one of the best data scores due to their breadth of social channels, high engagement across the various social platforms and the responsiveness to their communities. The tourist board attained top marks for engagement across both Facebook and Twitter, with the content produced clearly in tune with their fans’ wants and needs.
In addition to achieving a great score in the algorithm-based section of the methodology, judges said VisitWiltshire showed a diverse range of content, from the creation of their own videos, to the sharing of bespoke images and links to third party content. The panel was also impressed by the tourist board’s strategy implementing the #timeforwiltshire hashtag across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, achieving great, shareable, user-generated images and content.
Finally, although not ground-breaking activity, the regular updating of cover photos, keeping the social channels fresh for their fans, struck a chord with the judges. Their overall understanding of social media and responsiveness to their communities, in particular on Twitter, cemented VisitWiltshire’s place as winner of the inaugural English Tourism Social Media Index.
Leading the North West table, and placed 21st in the overall index, Visit Manchester scored consistently well in the algorithm and impressed judges with their breadth of social channels and the creative content used across its different communities.
Visit Manchester achieved a perfect score for its use of social channels, with the organisation present on all nine tracked channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Vine, Pinterest and YouTube. The tourist board’s data score was boosted with great response and engagement rates on its Twitter account – moderators clearly take the time to reply to their community.
Judges also noted the variety of content produced for different audiences. The image-led Walk of the Week post on Facebook and Twitter was praised for the use of its own hashtag (#WOW) and the championing of lesser-known public walks in Manchester. Combining this more family-orientated content, with the latest student and youth-related events showed Visit Manchester understood the diverse demographic of its communities.
The panel thought Visit Manchester demonstrated excellent channel community management, ensuring they get the basics right – a task more difficult than it appears with such a wide breadth of social accounts.
Visit Cornwall is the runner-up in the English Tourism Social Media Index, placed just behind the winner VisitWiltshire in the overall, south west and counties tables. Known for its beautiful beaches, dramatic coastline and culinary delights, Cornwall is one of England’s most popular tourist destinations.
In the algorithm, Visit Cornwall achieved top marks for engagement and fan growth on Facebook and Twitter. The organisation was additionally one of only a small group tourist boards who secured no red flags for replication of content, spelling or grammar mistakes, hashtags or periods of inactivity.
Judges were very impressed with array of content utilised to promote the destination. Bespoke videos, showcasing some of the best views of Cornwall, were given a twist by incorporating tweets from their communities, which included the hashtag #lovecornwall.
The excellent use of sharing third party content was also praised by judges, with Visit Cornwall regularly re-posting images, events and links from not only their communities, but relevant news sources from the region. When promoting news from their own sources, such as visitcornwall.com, the content was curated by third parties – including local journalists and bloggers.
The panel believed this rich content strategy, combined with fantastic engagement across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, secured Visit Cornwall’s second place in the inaugural English Tourism Social Media Index.