Have you seen the #GoBR key chains on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? #GoBR is a Visit Baton Rouge (VBR) social media campaign that aims to garner interest in the capital city and ultimately increase travel and boost the economy, which is the mission of the organization.
Baton Rouge (BR) is both a business and a leisure destination. VBR inspires people to travel here and is a resource for visitors and residents alike.
Katie Guaso, director of marketing at VBR, leads the charge and was our speaker at our October membership meeting. She said it’s important the organization’s message is consistent across all social media platforms and advertisements.
Guaso spoke with members about the #GoBR campaign and how Visit Baton Rouge makes online marketing and social media worth it.
Research and Analytics Pay Off
Visit Baton Rouge is very strategic in its approach to social media and marketing and utilizes data and analytics to drive all efforts.
“As content coordinators, we are married to our content,” Guaso said. “Allow other people and research to help you do it better.
One big trend VBR says it cannot afford to ignore is mobile. Research has concluded one out of seven people do most of their online browsing on their mobile phones. According to the survey results Guaso presented, approximately 51 percent of Millennials, 36 percent of Generationals and 19 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed used a mobile phone to plan travel.
To help increase website traffic, VBR checks out the top search terms, hot spots, the top pages and the largest drivers to the site. Trip Advisor, Miss Universe and Louisiana Travel were recently driving the most traffic to visitbatonrouge.com.
Guaso said re-evaluating content and sharing results can not only help VBR but can also help the city. For example, many people search the Visit Baton Rouge website for alligator tours in the Baton Rouge area; the city/state may consider having an alligator tour that meets participants in Baton Rouge.
Research Changes Social Strategies
The research doesn’t stop with the website. It’s just as important for planning social media strategies. VBR uses travel resources to find out how social media use changes over the course of a trip – from planning to returning home – and looks at its Return On Investment. Research and evaluation proves VBR’s social media marketing has a direct impact on the city’s economy.
Total Economic Impact of VBR Social Marketing:
- Facebook – $9,416,734
- Twitter – $709,757
Overall, social content plays on Louisiana State University or food because those posts/content garner the most engagement.
Guaso said social media is a full-time commitment that requires dedication, and she suggested brands dive into the conversation. The #GoBR campaign went beyond diving into the conversation; the city’s residents and visitors became VBR’s content creators.
All it took was a hashtag, a key chain and a creative roll-out.
On May 5, 2014, while gearing up for Miss Universe, VBR essentially covered the city handing out #GoBR key chains from hosting Cinco De Mayo events for media and its staff to attending local events.
So what’s next?
A year of food the in capital city.