Destination Marketers, You’re Not Managing The Whole Team


You may be managing your in-house team well, but what about the thousands of freelancers?

What about the tourists who walk around in your city and post their selfies on social media?

What about them?

Well, it is a known fact that social recommendations and word of mouth are at the top of the list when it comes to making a decision where to go next on vacation. So, you probably shouldn’t be missing out on the ones who generate it. Hence, you need to make sure that your user (tourist) generated content stands out on social media. You need your freelancers do a good job for you as well.

Choose quality over quantity

If taking social media and tourist generated content is definitely the way to go, the quality of the content is essential to get tangible results in terms of reach, engagement and brand perception. Instagram and Facebook feeds are flooded with vacation pictures. Thus, putting more of them won’t improve your social media game. The quality will. And you can take care of it.

Control the content shared and build engagement

First, you need to instal a process in which you can control how the pictures are being taken by the tourists in your destination. To have an idea, you can check what other destinations have already done, how they have set up the selfie spots for their visitors.

New-York and San Francisco, for example, sprayed painted footprints to make sure you take the selfie from the right spot. Montreal placed frames indicating the best view.

Brussels created the whole experience, which results in their visitors receiving a panoramic selfie of themselves together with the scenery of the city.

All of these cities took control. They made sure that their visitors take and post the right content, which compliments their destination.

Now, having that process is great - even crucial - but you need to make sure that the resulting picture features the following elements to build a deeper level of engagement on social media. Let’s take Instagram, for instance. It may only have been around since 2010, but we already have some solid stats about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to engaging with your audience:

Tagged locations

Pictures with a tagged location tend to drive 79% more engagement. Most people can’t resist telling everyone where they are.

So, how to take advantage of it? Make sure not just to have your city named in the hashtags, but also have it mentioned in the location tag. You can create an obvious sign for tourist that encourages this behaviour.


Scenery pictures vs. selfies, who wins? Well, pictures featuring faces get 38% more engagement. So, it means that, on average, a selfie will get more attention online than a great landscape picture with no one in it. On the other hand, it fails to put the city or the destination in the spotlight.

What can you do? Set up an experience or a spot that highlights both the subject of the picture and the location. Whether it’s pointing out a great angle or maybe having people to take pictures for your visitors. As mentioned before - take control.

Light images

Light pictures get 24% more likes than dark ones.

How to manage it? Pick spots that are located outside or at least well lit. Select the best angle according to the position of the sun, especially in sunny locations where shadows will look all the more intense.

Amount of background

Even though selfies get more attention than landscape pictures, having more background in a selfie still means you’ll get 29% more engagement. All the more reason to showcase that background!

What now?

Now you know that your team extends beyond the limit of the people who are actually working with you, and you’re already ahead of 90% of the competition.

Now you know how to make sure your freelancers promote your city in the way you want them to and how to get the most out of it.

So, pick the best locations, set up a process and put your tourists to work!

To learn more about how to leverage your tourist generated content, read this short introduction.