Social Marketing Agency At Your Service Bermuda
I made my Social Marketing Agency available to Bermuda this week. I did so in response to an article where a member of the National Tourism Board describes the rocky road his nation has taken in an effort to expand tourism, and get out of a downward spiral lasting three decades.
While he is correct to point out the complexity of Bermuda’s challenges, it’s not the kind of message you’d expect to hear from an official in the midst of executing a multimillion dollar campaign taken on by Bermuda’s government to drive changes to tourist consumer behavior and reinvigorate their economy.
To the rest of Bermuda – It’s not your fault you were forced into being a commodity by consumers; the world has changed with social and mobile technologies. While they’ve faced all kinds of dilemmas impacting tourism throughout their colorful history before the social technology boom, what’s happening in Bermuda today is happening to every business throughout the world.
Is Bermuda a Safe Pair of Hands?
Not everyone would agree with Mike Winfield’s assessment of Bermuda’s challenges, solutions or success measurement. While the Bermuda Department of Tourism has undertaken multiple projects with different agencies in the last five years, they should really look to their foundational stakeholders for advice. Bermuda’s selling position is unique, but many locals I speak to have witnessed the negative impact foreign workers bring when they deprive the nation of its uniqueness.
Winfield wrongly cites Bermuda’s fall from a premium destination to a commodity holiday hub as a preventable mistake. In actuality, times have changed and so have consumers. I’ve written about the rise of purchasing power where major companies have switched from traditional sales channels to more modern, targeted social outreach. Bermuda’s solution could be quite similar.
I would encourage the members of the National Tourism Board and Department of Tourism to engage the end-user communities into this debate, including both people who visit or aspire to visit Bermuda and the community of Bermuda stakeholders, hoteliers and restaurateurs, etc.
An authentic Bermuda getaway used to be one where visitors from abroad could immerse themselves in the lives and values of authentic Bermudians, calling on locals working at every post who can point guests to the best local attractions. This bona fide experience can only return by engaging the citizens of Bermuda who have skin in the game and wear their hearts on their sleeve.
One step may be the launch of a “What’s it Going To Be Bermuda?” Private Facebook group for year-round citizens of Bermuda only. I am offering the resources of both my Social Media Marketing Companies to facilitate an online community on behalf of all Bermuda locals, because the best step forward may mean a step back, to align the values of all who prosper in Bermuda.
With over 61,000 Facebook page fans and 4,500 Twitter followers already following on the Bermuda Department of Tourism’s official social networking channels, why not ask the cheerleaders of Bermuda’s asset’s to play a bigger part in developing Tomorrow’s Bermuda?
Right now, these pages act as online billboard advertisements with beautiful photos and feel-good quotes and passages. Tourists gloat over their times spent or upcoming travels and link to their own networks. Never mind the experience they could have had with an authentic culinary experience, unique cultural attractions, or a locally-guided undersea reef adventure.
What if, instead, users were engaged and invited to be honest and open? Questions like; “If Bermuda was a person, how would you describe her personality traits to friends who’ve not met her yet”.
What do you love about her and what would you love to see her change about herself to make her more attractive to the people she’s attracted to? Who do Bermuda locals want her to be attractive to?
Why have airlines dropped flights to the country and what do cruise ship operators find burdensome? For residents, what drives you to live somewhere else for part or most of the year — instead of spending the whole year in Bermuda?
Bermuda faces an enormous struggle with seasonal occupation swings and a loss of highlighting unique traits that frequent, high-end travelers undoubtedly notice.
The Bermuda brand must find its strategic importance in our new and ever-changing media scape. If Bermuda Tourism joins us to paint a vision of what’s possible, Social Traffic Inc. will facilitate a conversation (online) where Bermudian stakeholders can foster their imaginations, to deliver an innovative solution.
I want to ask Bermuda Stakeholders; “are you happy with the performance of Bermuda Tourism’s Facebook fan page, 60,000 likes and 10,000 people talking about Bermuda (16% engagement’s not bad), but as I understand it no bookings as yet (please correct me if I am mistaken)”.