Social media is a key part of everyday life nowadays, even for cities! This proper presence is of utmost importance to promote their attractions, events and what unique aspects the city has to offer. From the early hours of the morning to the earliest hours of dawn till well beyond the witching hour, each city offers a plethora of activities in all shapes and sizes to suit even the most particular folk.
This liveliness can be showcased best sometimes through a camera lens or the fingers of a talented author. And what better place for either of those than social media? It’s no surprise that cities all around the world have official social media pages and website promoting tourism and whatever lifestyle the city has to offer to its inhabitants!
The UK is no stranger to this strategy; most of major cities have their own pages and profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – managed by the official tourism bodies of these cities. We’ll be taking a look at some of the best and active profiles in our series on the Best UK Cities on Social Media where we’ll be covering Facebook in this specific post, stay tuned for more from other platforms.
Size does matter
The main cities covered in this post are London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and last but definitely not least – Belfast. Does size really matter? Or is it the final engagement that these pages get that has the biggest impact? Let’s find out together.
It doesn’t come as much of a shock that London has the largest fanbase among the Facebook pages of the cities mentioned – and the highest Interactivity Index (a composite metric by Sotrender measuring the effect of likes/reactions, comments and shares that a page has achieved over a certain period of time).
It seems in the case of UK cities on Facebook, size truely does matter. London clearly takes the cake with the biggest Page size and the higest Interactivity Index (InI) having an Interactivity Index of 5 times it’s size! Now that’s a big one. Visit London’s new year’s post (the top post between all selected profiles from October-January) shows just how well the size of the page affects the highest level of engagement!
Now getting back to the serious business, this can be attributed to several factors. First of all, London is probably one of the most well known cities in the world along with the likes of Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, New York, Dubai and the likes. The other main difference between London and the other cities on our list is that Visit London’s page has the majority of it’s fans from abroad (mainly Italy, Brazil and the USA), while the rest of the pages have fans from the UK way outnumbering the ones that are from abroad, sometimes by a factor of more than 10 to 1.
Not to say that internal tourism isn’t good, but tourists coming in from other countries could generally be more active on showing where they’ve been or responding to things they find helpful or useful rather than just clicking on the links posted and going directly to see the information they need.
Another factor could just be the popularity effect – the more people see a post being liked or reacted on, the more likely they are to also show some sentiment towards it. Kind of how it’s like with other humans, but this time with social media posts.
However, even though Visit London have the highest rate of engagement, the quality of engagement isn’t as high as that of Visit Bristol, Manchester or Belfast for example. While Visit London boasts a huge % of engagements through likes and reactions, the others have a much higher amount of comments and shares on their posts – which means people are engaged with their content at a higher level with respect to the effort put in at least.
Keep reading to find out why!
Content for Days
When it comes to content, it’s not only important to make sure that you have engaging content but also to make sure you engage with the fans on your page as well. This makes sure that these fans and other potential ones would like your page and engage with it more. This can be done by liking comments, replying to them, moderating them and making sure to be as helpful as possible to people who have valid questions.
This is exactly what Visit London and Visit Belfast are doing by having such a high rate of comments throughout their activities – which is a very good approach. Community management and engagement with the fans is a very good indication of an active page that cares about its fans and will promote further engagement with the page.
Another factor to take into consideration is the type of brand’s posts and what kind of content they’re promoting. This can be in the form of links, statuses, videos or photos – each with a specific purpose.
Links usually drive traffic to the website that the page is promoting; especially in this case where the links for the most part drive traffic to the specific posts or promotions that the “Visit” websites have at the time. These include links for attractions, itineraries, free things to do on the town and much more!
Other tactics which Visit London is employing really well is giving recognition to the community through sharing photos by people who are documenting their visit in London and taking breathtaking photos of the different events or places they’re visiting! These types of posts generally drive the highest level of engagement with 17 of the top 25 posts within the last 3 months being pictures taken by others and reposted to the page!
Here are some examples of this in action – witness the greatness of hashtag usage and Instagram sourcing!
Here’s some bonus content of penguins walking around a bubble making machine – and loving it!
Social media can do a lot to help cities get more traction of tourism and propose plans for people to enjoy their stay and become promoters later on! The reach that it provides and the ease of access to information that it provides potential visitors with (especially content that is more visual can be a huge help. Make sure to check out the profiles of these great cities and see what more you can learn from them!