Since the emergence and consolidation of social networks as a great channel for the distribution of content, the tourism brands – whether DMOs or companies – are inevitably the product of the experiences of individuals and their tale on them, instead of monolithic marketing strategies.
As Niels Frederik Lund, Caroline Scarles, and Scott Cohen explain in the article “The power of social media stroytelling in destination branding”, “while a brand may initially embody a manufactured commercialised story, consumers’ storytelling of personal experiences and opinions becomes absorbed into the brand narrative, hence changing, diluting or disintegrating its identity. Social media are therefore facilitating a democratisation of media production and a power shift towards consumers who can now produce content and publish via communication channels where marketers are not invited”.
Faced with an ecosystem as described above, rather than generating impermeable and monolithic discourses, brands should build master lines in a virtual playground, large enough and attractive so that the users who weave their stories around the brands themselves feel recognized and encouraged to continue making their narrative contributions. Communicative managers of tourism brands must be able to deploy sufficient efforts to channel consumer input appropriately, be creative and at the same time non-invasive, generate a kind of soft control over content policy that affects the brand. From the management of the hashtags to the quotation of the people who make their narrative contributions, either in the form of comments or audiovisual pieces.
As set forth in the article “The power of social media stroytelling in destination branding”, social networks emerge as spaces for constant narrative invention, for the co-creation and practice of an “open- source” branding.
Generating and consolidating mental frameworks where being able to fit consumer inputs requires constant effort. Sometimes even some “content generators” consumers can act as brand ambassadors in future pieces promoted by the institutions themselves.
In this sense I would like to emphasize the marketing strategy of a tourist company that seems to me paradigmatic. In order to promote its resortsCamping & Resort Sangulí Salou and Cambrils Park Family Resort, the company Cambrils Park Resort has decided in 2018 to launch a campaign directed by influencers. Four different examples of families from four different tourist markets have starred in an audiovisual campaign with different video formats, designed to showcase the variety of experiences that can be experienced in their tourist complexes.
The “#SummerFeelings” hashtag, which crosses the campaign, is revealed as the necessary “frame” to articulate the whole campaign storytelling. In addition, the fact of having audio-visual pieces of different duration (from pieces of one minute to bumper-ads of 6 seconds) has allowed the versatility and agility to adjust the communicative stimuli and the conversations at around the brand in social networks.