Ocean City Today

Worcester tourism delivers report on social media use

Oct 12, 2017

(Oct. 13, 2017) The county’s tourism department, led by Lisa Challenger, director, and Mark Huey, social media coordinator, delivered a summary of their online promotion efforts to the county commissioners last Tuesday.

According to Huey, the county’s social media outreach, called “Beach and Beyond,” has nearly 16,000 Facebook likes, about 3,600 Instagram followers, approximately 3,100 Twitter fans and 330 supporters on Pinterest.

Each platform has its own uses, and content produced for each social media outlet has to be tailored to those experiences, Huey explained.

Facebook, for example, is concerned with “likes,” so the goal is to get fans of your site to interact on that level, by liking whatever it is Huey puts out there. That strategy works less well on a platform such as Twitter, where users prefer more real-time updates.

Social media platforms are under increasing pressure to monetize their interactions, and also offer various ways to target advertising at the audiences of sites like Beach and Beyond. Huey described it as a “pay to play” system that has its own benefits and drawbacks.

He said his strategy is to use the beach as a hook, since people online rarely get tired of looking at beach photos, but then suggest the other opportunities the county provides, like ecotourism, birding and paddling, plus the established downtown shopping of Berlin as well as the up and coming town of Snow Hill.

Huey noted the audience appears to prefer updates as close to real time as he can get them, as well as other pieces focused on sharing with friends and relatives.

“Mark’s part-time efforts yield full-time results. He gives 110 percent to the job,” Challenger said.

Currently, Huey is a part time employee of the county. Challenger has submitted budget proposals, as recently as this year, including requests to expand the job to full-time status, but has been denied by the county commissioners.

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