How Social Media has Changed Public Relations for Destination Marketing

By Anna McDermott

Charlene Williams, Marshall Communications President

Charlene Williams, the president of Marshall Communications, was a guest on The PR Maven Podcast® with Nancy Marshall. She has managed their client, the Maine Office of Tourism, for many years — if anyone understands destination marketing, it’s Charlene. She shared some great tips about using social media for the tourism industry. If you have a tourism-based business, like a B&B, restaurant or tour company, read on!

One of the biggest changes in the last 10 years in marketing a tourism-based business is social media and how we use it. Social media enables businesses to go directly to the consumer in a very effective way.

Charlene said the best use of social media for the Maine Office of Tourism is posting user-generated content. If you search Instagram or Facebook for hashtags related to your business and find great photos, share them! You can post something saying: “Thanks to @SoAndSo for this great shot from their recent visit to our neck of the woods!” You have free content to use and you’re building relationships online that help boost your business. People also love to have their posts shared.

Another great way to use social media for your tourism-based business is by connecting with travel writers. If you follow them on Facebook and Instagram, you can learn all about what stories interest them and use that knowledge to pitch stories relating to your company or location.

Use social media to reach your goals. Depending on whether you want to grow your business or want to increase engagement, you can tailor your posts to these goals. Promoting posts on Facebook and driving people to your website is an effective strategy to build your business, while focusing on retweets, likes, and shares is a key performance indicator for increased engagement.

The biggest thing to remember about all the various platforms you can use is that they are social. Interacting with your fans is crucial. Respond to their comments, like and comment on their posts, and always be listening.


The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is a fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to a playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit Marshallpr.com/quiz

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