In celebration of Caribbean Tourism Month, CHTA carried out its annual #CHTAMyCaribbean Photo Challenge to promote awareness of the Caribbean’s diversity and limitless travel adventures. Many of you shared your favorite parts of your destinations and properties. As a result, we reach close to half a million impressions on social media (more than double the about of impressions generated in 2016).
Photo challenges work because people want to share things they love with others. It is that simple. They work well in the business to business space, and even better in the business to consumer space where most of our members operate. Photo challenges enable a business to accomplish any of the following goals:
How to Create Your Own Photo Challenge
1. Decide On The Purpose Of Your Online Challenge
Is it to grow your social media following?
Is it to build your email list?
Is it to boost awareness of a special promotion?
Is it to boost awareness of a new feature of your hotel property?
We highly recommend putting together a challenge that you can re-use at a future date or the same time of the year, every year. The first time you run a challenge, things will tend to start small and will tend to pick up momentum over time. If one of your objectives is building an email list, ask people to sign up to the challenge using an email so they can receive daily prompts in their inbox.
2. Create a Landing Page
This is not a requirement but it is helpful to have a landing page where all of the daily photo/video prompts can be listed, where you can have a social wall that collects all of the user generated content created around the challenge, and where you can promote other aspects of your property that tie into the promotion. This will also help drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Choose Your Platforms
You can use the social platform where you have the largest presence or you can do the challenge on all your channels to boost the number of followers. The choice is yours. The most important factor is optimizing each post for that platform. Be mindful of the dimensions allowed for each images on each platform, and the number of words allowed on each platform.
4. Length of your Challenge
This is a big decision, especially if you plan to use the challenge to connect with people and motivate them to purchase something down the line. We find that 30 day challenges are just too long and people tend to “fall off the wagon”. They start strong, but tend to drop off after 10 days. We have found that for our audience 5 day challenges work best. It gives participants enough time to engage, connect and generate a good amount of content, without being too time consuming.
5. Have a Hashtag Strategy
One of the most important aspects of any social media campaign, especially a photo/video challenge, is having a unique hashtag that must be used with every post. The hashtag accomplished two primary objectives: it enables you to measure your reach and impressions, and it makes your campaign searchable across the internet. Select a hashtag that is short (the shorter the better), easy to remember and relevant to your challenge. Make sure that it is currently not being used by another campaign.
6. Have a Content Strategy
Create content that will serve your audience, answer any pressing questions they need answered. In the wake of the recent storms, many travelers are interested in knowing that local attractions, stores and restaurants are open and ready for business. If you are able collaborate with local business and put together video and images that make the destination desirable. Be aware of any special dates, holidays, etc. that might affect your challenge.
We look forward participate in your upcoming challenges, and we invite you to participate in our upcoming photo challenge coming up in December. Details coming soon!