Destination Expands its Social Media Footprint
Underscoring its leadership position as a tourism innovator, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is making major strides in the digital media arena. Earlier this year, the JTB launched an intense social media campaign to secure the destination’s footprint on key platforms that include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogs. Street teams have also been put into action, blogging about the destination, posting comments on message boards, and tweeting about Jamaica’s latest news, events, tourism offerings and more.
“The media landscape is continuously changing, and the Jamaica Tourist Board saw the importance of incorporating these digital media platforms into its marketing efforts,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch. “Using social media channels, we have initiated two-way dialogue with Jamaicans, Jamaican Diaspora, visitors and potential visitors. We are able to address their positive feedback as well as their concerns in real time, while also sharing information on our tourism product, culture and heritage.”
Jon Baker, Founder and CEO, Geejam Media, commented: “The JTB has been much more aggressive than many of its competitors in the implementation of its social media strategy, and we are happy to support this effort. Jamaica has indeed positioned itself as a leading destination that is using social media to build lasting relationships with consumers. The utilization of knowledgeable on-line teams to promote Destination Jamaica reinforces its distinct brand elements in the marketplace.”
Following enhanced outreach by the JTB, Jamaica recently hit a Facebook milestone by reaching 100,000 fans of its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/visitjamaica. Jamaica is the first Caribbean destination to achieve this landmark volume.
The Facebook community continues to grow due to continuous interaction with the fans, engaging them with fresh video and photo content every day, as well as interactive promotions. For example, in June 2010 the JTB launched a one-month One Love promotion that encouraged Facebook users to go to the VisitJamaica page and click on the One Love tab to send a letter to a loved one. Each user who clicked on the tab and sent a letter was entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip to Jamaica.
The My Jamaica Experience promotion, created in conjunction with attractions partner Chukka Caribbean Adventures, encourages visitors who participate in a Chukka activity to post a photo on their personal Facebook page and then tag both the JTB and the Chukka pages immediately after. The goal of this promotion is to inspire visitors to share their Chukka experience with the world, as well as excite future visitors to enjoy their own adventure.
The JTB continues to engage its Twitter followers with innovative strategies. Two Twitter handles were created to provide visitors with up-to-the-minute news and information on the destination: @VisitJamaicaNow (www.twitter.com/visitjamaicanow) and @AskJamaica (www.twitter.com/askjamaica). Followers of @VisitJamaicaNow will learn about the latest packages, promotions, deals, events and news from the destination, while @AskJamaica serves as a concierge for its followers by providing real-time answers to questions as well as getting involved in twitter based theme chats daily and engaging with potential travelers.
Additionally, in September 2010 the JTB teamed up with JetBlue to host the destination’s first All You Can Jet Pass Meet-Up. Followers of JetBlue and the JTB who purchased the JetBlue All You Can Jet Pass were invited, via a series of tweets, to meet at Scotchie’s, a popular jerk stand in Montego Bay, where they received a complimentary Red Stripe with their order.
Three YouTube channels were created to share Jamaica’s dramatic landscapes, music, culture and entertainment: www.youtube.com/MyJamaicaJTB, www.youtube.com/VibesJamaicaJTB and www.youtube.com/AboutJamaicaJTB.
Jamaica is the only Caribbean destination with a popular webisode online, Pon Di Road, which airs every Thursday on the MyJamaicaJTB YouTube channel. Each webisode follows a young married couple as they visit some of the island’s most exciting locations and events.
The Island Buzz Blog, www.IslandBuzzJamaica.com, was created as a forum where the JTB can engage travelers, travel bloggers and agents with travel topics and developments in Jamaica’s tourism product with a distinctive conversational tone.
Additionally, the JTB has proactively engaged bloggers who cover a multitude of travel niches, such as cuisine, culture, adventure and weddings, and in July 2010 hosted its first bloggers meet-up in Jamaica. Top bloggers from across the U.S. were invited to visit Jamaica and blog about their experiences, including travel to the island, the hotels, the food, the music and the attractions. The JTB has also hosted a mommy blogger trip and a wedding blogger trip, and regularly invites bloggers to experience Jamaica’s tourism product as well as interact with leading Jamaican bloggers for a unique cultural exchange.