[Interview] Understanding Kerala Tourism’s Social Media Strategy

Kerala Tourism - Interview

Having made use of every possible social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, an official website and also a live webcast, Kerala Tourism is surely one of those brands which has truly made an effort to achieve its objectives over social media.

The interview is aimed to figure out the need of social media for Kerala Tourism and the significance of various campaigns it has executed. Besides, it talks about how Instagram really helped in branding and promotion of Kerala Tourism.

Following is a transcript of our interview with the social media team of Kerala Toursim.

What are the objectives you aim to achieve from your presence on social media?

The main objectives of our presence in social media are the following :

  • Bringing Kerala to the people who love our beautiful ‘God’s own country’, no matter where they are.
  • Take Kerala to people who don’t know about Kerala.

We also provide support in terms of travel queries.

Could you please shed some light on the #GreatBackwaters campaign? How was it received by your audience?

Great Backwaters campaign was a successful one. The main aim of this campaign was to catapult the state’s backwaters into the league of the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a network of canals and lakes stretching from one end of the state to the other. Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else. Whether it is the canal networks, floating markets, houseboats, snake boat races or the whole way of life that thrives around water, this is a miracle of nature that will captivate the world.

More than one million people saw the Facebook post about the GreatBackwaters campaign. The campaign’s micro site (http://greatbackwaters.com/) got 7,000+ Facebook ‘likes’. The official twitter account obtained 500+ new followers during the campaign period, the website received 10000 visitors in the time period and the number is still increasing.

Kerala Tourism had become the first tourism board in the state to webcast a cultural event (Theyyam performance) live for audiences around the world. How did it work?

Live webcast of Theyyam was a tremendous success. The visit stats are given below :

The total viewership at the time of Live streaming from YouTube : 27,317

The viewership in Kerala Tourism pages :14, 721

Viewership after the event till 9 December 2013 :12,344

Total Views :54,382

Average viewing time :4.37 min

Total Viewership ( Approximately ) :4000 hrs

You have just begun using Instagram. How is the channel helping your brand’s objectives?

Yes, we just started Instagram to scale up our social media presence. Since the launch of Instagram, we have been witnessing wonderful cooperation from our followers. With time the Instagram account will expand further. Currently, our Instagram account has got 200+ followers.

Harnessing the powers of the digital revolution, Kerala has projected itself very well onto the social networking sites. How does your social media strategy differ from others?

We have no special top secret social media strategy per se. We put our customers on top in our content marketing strategy and we focus on quality content. Our success lies solely in the love and care that people all over the world gives to our small and yet beautiful ‘God’s Own Country’. They are the real heroes here.

Which platforms do you think work best in driving customer engagement and how?

Twitter fans are more loyal, they interact more. Also Twitter serves as a customer care platform. Facebook is more about awareness generation; it creates the want to travel to Kerala. Other platforms like Pinterest, Instagram also can be really helpful in the near future.

 How do you keep a track for conversion of fans into tourists?

Tracking of this conversion is done by the statistics wing in the Department of Tourism.

What are some current and upcoming trends in the travel industry on social media?

Travel is becoming more and more social. It would be unwise to travel these days without having a proper research in social media.

What are your top five tips for other tourism organizations to effectively survive on social media?

Be proactive, hear what others say about you, take notes of negative comments about your establishment if any and take necessary action to address the issue.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kerala Tourism keeps an eye on all discussions going on about Kerala and helps people who are planning a trip to Kerala even if they did not ask them personally.
  • For Kerala Tourism, Facebook is more of awareness generation, while Twitter serves as a customer care platform.
  • Being proactive, hearing what others say about you, taking notes of negative comments about your establishment if any and taking necessary action to address the issue are very pertinent on social media.
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