Snazzy Tweets and Dirty Streets

Creating excitement about visiting a destination, building excitement through social media interaction and hoping for a positive review afterwards is becoming a familiar pattern to destinations that are taking their first steps in social media management. Yet all too often they forget about the most important part: the visit itself.

It’s easy to share visitors’ Instagrammed shots of autumn leaves but not so easy to deal with angry Tweets about dirty streets, overcrowded squares and excessive parking charges, yet that’s the kind of attention visitors, armed with their smartphones are expecting too. The substance clearly matters more than the hype!

The above scenario was just one of the topics discussed at this year’s edition of WTM London which took place last week. Toposophy was at the heart of the action, where some of the leading thinkers in destination management and marketing (Toposophy’s own CEO Manolis Psarros) discussed what this year has brought in terms of challenges for the industry, and what lessons we can apply in the months to come.

Here are some of the subjects that caught our imagination:

-  Following on from the theme above, it’s what visitors are saying during their visit that matters just as much as what they say before and after. Just as airlines such as KLM or American Airlines are proving, managing social media and customer service isn’t just a job for 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. This is an evolving scenario that businesses across the tourism industry will have to keep up with as customers (especially Millennials) expect service on their terms, and according to their schedule.
-  The quality of your social media conversation matters just as much as what time of day you are tweeting. Customer service via social media is all part of the customer experience, so social media managers have to be lively, engaging and imaginative people –just the sort of people you want to be the public face of your organisation!
-   Customers will find aspects of your destination that you didn’t even know about. No matter how long you’ve lived in a city, a visitor will always see it through different eyes. That’s part of the beauty of user-generated content (and also one of its risks!). It also helps to open your eyes to the whole place you’re dealing with – not just the downtown tourist hub; an essential step if, like us, you really want to show the best of what every destination has to offer.

The few days we have spent at WTM and the new challenges we have come across, made us feel even more confident for our step forth. Our new expanded scope of services sets the stage for our new role: offering destination brands the visibility they need with a focus on delivering perfect integrated digital experiences.

You can find out more about TOPOSOPHY’s approach to social media marketing and management by scrolling through our 360 range of services, or stay tuned for more updates.   


Florian (The Place Brand Observer)

Spot on and well observerd. Product and service have to match the image created through promotion. Getting social media 'right' is hard and no excuse for lagging in terms of quality on-site. Just like a green hotel must be good at being a hotel first, and green second, destinations must excel as destinations first, and media-savvy, hip second.

November 12, 2014




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