Social Media Boot Camp for Tourism

 

"Accomplished: A room full of people who are passionate about tourism and social media."

So tweeted Arianna Bañuelos from her @AryCancun twitter account at the close of the first ever Social Media Boot Camp for Riviera Maya Tourism. Looking around the room, I see people putting the finishing touches on their notes, asking questions, exchanging email address and twitter handles. Each one of them looks tired but happy.  I have come away with a notebook full of information, cemented some friendships and made new relationships with smart motivated people working in this region. We all represent different industries and interests but each of shares the desire to promote Riviera Maya as a destination and increase commerce within the region. We also seem to share a passion for learning and a willingness to share our collective knowledge and experiences.

Without giving away the farm, here are my personal Top 10 Takeaways from Kay Walten's Social Media Boot Camp for Tourism.

 

1.     People want to do business with people, not companies. Put a face on your company or humanize the customer interaction and engagement in every way you can.

2.     100 Fans or Friends who engage with you and advocate on behalf of your business are better than 10,000 that do nothing.

3.     If your messages are well organized, well researched, properly timed and interesting, your advocates will "share" it and spread your sphere of influence.

4.     Be consistent with your social media efforts by creating and utilizing an editorial calendar.

5.     Better to learn and master one social media venue and utilize it effectively than to dabble in 5 or 6 poorly.

6.     Connect and cross promote between all the social media venues you are using. Integrate social media with traditional marketing strategies.

7.     Whatever social media platform you are using, finding and using the right keywords and search terms will be essential to getting found by your target audience.

8.     Before you jump into social media, make sure your house is in order. Be 100% ready to receive an increase in business.

9.     Be honest about how you portray yourself and your product, service or business.

10.   Don't broadcast or sell. Offer information. Answer a question. Solve a problem. Start a dialogue. Engage.

 

It is so important that we take advantage of opportunities like this to invest in ourselves and in our businesses whenever we can. The information we were provided over the weekend, regardless of how much or how little we are able implement right now, will help to make each of us influencers and trusted experts in our respective industries in Cancun and all along the Riviera Maya. I am coming away inspired and looking forward to continuing my social media education with all the great online resources we were turned on to and especially with Kay's upcoming webinar series. As soon as I have the registration details, I will be sure to get them out to all "Life's a Beach" readers who have an interest in social media. Take a moment and sign up. Even if you can't commit to the live webinar times, you can still receive and listen to the replays at your leisure. You can even listen to them on the beach with your toes in the sand sipping on a margarita! Isn't that what we all came here to do?

UPDATE

******If you are interested in social media and interested in tourism don't miss Kay Walten's upcoming webinar series. It is reasonable priced and includes a line-up of great speakers and instructors. You can sign up right HERE.