By Justin Aufdermauer
We’re getting ready to roll out a new interactive social media advertising campaign that you’ll start to see at a variety of businesses and attractions around the Tillamook area. We’re calling it ‘Tell Your Story’ and the goal is just that: to encourage locals and visitors to share their stories and experiences via social media platforms.
One thing we know is that many people have a cell phones (duh!), and they probably have one or more social media accounts attached to it. And while they’re eating ice cream at the Cheese Factory, feeding the goats at the Blue Heron, or sitting down to eat a coast-to-table meal at Pacific Restaurant, we want to make sure that they’re sharing their authentic Tillamook experience by tagging our local businesses and places.
Here’s how it works: We will be visiting up to 50 Tillamook-area businesses and providing them with a variety of collateral pieces specifically-branded for this project. Each piece – whether it’s a poster for the window or a table tent – will have the business’s name and location and a unique hashtag associated with that place. That way, when people visit and want to share their experience with their social media followers (we all do it, don’t judge…) they will be reminded to give proper credit to wherever they are at. Research shows that people are more likely to use a specific hashtag if it is presented to them with a call to action.
Chances are, people are already sharing their experiences and stories, but we want to make sure that our business community has the resources and know-how to be able to check these social media “check ins.” They serve as a review almost, and a positive presence on social media can make a difference about whether someone chooses to stop there or not. It’s just as easy to look a business up in Instagram and peruse through photos and reviews as it is to look in up on Google (In fact, 35 percent of users use hashtags to search content). And whereas Google will tell you whether or not a place open and if they have a website, an Instagram post is coming directly from a customer who is offering an unsolicited opinion. That kind of word-of-mouth speaks volumes to a potential customer in this digital age.
What’s more, the research coming out of Visit Tillamook Coast is showing that the people visiting our area are millennials, road trippers, and Gen Xers who are looking for an authentic experience to engage with. They don’t want casinos and carnivals anymore. They want real people, real products, and real adventures and the best way to find them is by seeking them out via social media content. As more people trickle into our area and create this organic social media content, it will spread to people we would never be able to reach on our own.
So how will we track this endeavor? It’s pretty simple. I would wager that with an intentional message targeted at visitors, we can capture hundreds of thousands of impressions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Capturing these free experiences will bolster current and future visitors’ impression of what an authentic visit to Tillamook looks like, and creates continuity and volume for potential visitors to see. And what they’ll see is that Tillamook is not a ghost town – people have been here and this is what they took pictures of, this is what they said, and this is what they did.
If you want your business to be a part of this ‘Tell your Story’ Campaign, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.