Maybe it’s time...

If your DMO (Destination Management Organisation) thought or hoped that TikTok was just a fad and didn’t need to be part of your social media content strategy, it’s time to admit that TikTok is more than just a fad: 

  • It has over 3.7 million active users in the UK and is downloaded more than a million times a month in the UK
  • Its reach is global and expected to have a user base of 755 million monthly users in 2022, which will make it the third-largest social network behind Facebook and Instagram
  • TikTok grew by 59.8% in 2020 and by 40.8% in 2021

With these statistics, it’s safe to say that TikTok is here to stay. 

This doesn’t mean your DMO needs to produce content for it, but since hundreds of millions view content on the platform’s top travel accounts, you probably should, too — if for no other reason than to see what it’s all about. 

This article is about inching your way into TikTok. Some of our client DMOs are already all-in, and maybe a year from now, you will be, too. For those DMOs still in the thinking-about-it stage, here are five reasons you might want to inch your way in: 

1. Your partners will benefit from any TikTok attention you give them, and they’ll thank you for it. 

Visit Gloucester smartly uses its TikTok to feature local businesses that could use the attention. This shares how visitors can make use of Gloucester’s new free coworking space. The second example is Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, highlighting the new Great British Car Journey attraction in Derbyshire.  

Visit Gloucester

@visitgloucester

♬ original sound - visitgloucester

 Visit Peak District

@visitpeakdistrict

The brand new Great British Car Journey attraction in ##Derbyshire 🚙🚘🚗🔥 ##travelinspo ##visitpeakdistrict ##peakdistrict ##visitengland ##traveluk

♬ Taste - Tyga

     

2. TikTok makes destinations come alive by showing a place’s sights, sounds, and spirit more effectively than still photos ever could.

Everyone loves a good destination web page, and articles on your DMO website will always have their place. There’s no way that TikTok, with its short-form videos, can provide all the information travelers need when planning trips. But they can inspire, often far more effectively than a static image on a web page.

See for yourself. 

@kristinacors Lake Como, Italy #travelbucketlist #travel ♬ young n beautiful - cat 💋

Articles on your DMO website will always have their place, but TikTok makes your destination come alive. It shows the sights, sounds, and spirit of a place more effectively than still photos ever could. 


3. We tend to see things through our particular lens, so even though you know your destination well, it’s good to know how others experience it, too.

Galway Tourism doesn’t yet post to its official TikTok account. Still, because it has an account, it can keep an eye on what travelers to the destination are seeing, saying, eating, and highlighting. Here are two examples of Galway through the eyes of visitors:

The first video highlights the garden of An Púcán Galway, an award-winning Irish Pub that serves not only 200 whiskeys from across the globe but locally produced craft beers, too. The second features actor Billy Connolly visiting his ancestral home in Connemara. These and other TikToks featuring Galway can give Galway Tourism good content ideas. 

@alex_redmond #sp #ad #influencer #ireland #galway #anpucan #fyp ♬ Remember - Becky Hill & David Guetta
@theirishconnection #BillyConnolly #Connemara #AnGortaMór #IrishConnection #Irish #Ireland #Soup #foryourpage #foryoupage #fypシ #fy #foru #foruyou #4u #4upage #4ypage ♬ original sound - The Irish Connection

4. Even if your DMO isn't on TikTok, your destination is. Shouldn't you know how it’s being presented and perceived … and are there perhaps opportunities to help shape the perception?

Let's use the National Park Service in the United States as an example. It's not a DMO in the usual sense, but the same principle applies. Even though the National Park Service doesn’t have an official TikTok, people visit and create content about it, which helps shape others’ perceptions of what it might be like for them to visit, too. 

@mouseandmoore

Girls trip to Yellowstone 😂 ##yellowstonenationalpark ##bozeman ##bozemanmontana ##girlstrip ##paradisevalley ##yellowstone ##nationalpark ##MakeItCinematic

♬ original sound - Shelbi Moore
@jonmiksis Yellowstone National Park in 7 seconds ✨ #travelblogger #nationalpark #naturelover #adventure #TubiTaughtMe #tiktoktravel #viral ♬ Give it your all and dont give up - 🚬🗿

The above two videos combined were 66 seconds long. Over four million people have watched “Yellowstone in 7 Seconds,” while “Girls Trip to Yellowstone” has 1.2 million views. Neither cost anything to make, so the return on investment if a DMO had made them is ... infinite? 

5. Sometimes TikTok is the perfect medium for a particular message that enables you to showcase your destination’s authentic heart, soul, and pride.

Visit Norway has a gorgeous TikTok and is running a “People of Norway” campaign in which a street photographer convinces residents to let him photograph them. It’s a beautiful effort that gives a glimpse into the character of the country through its residents. 

@visitnorway.com

Meet Sondre - a young boat builder from Lofoten. Portrait by @dino.serrao 🙌 model @sondres.k ##fyp ##norway ##traveltok ##norway ##visitnorway

♬ INDUSTRY BABY - Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow
@visitnorway.com

Ragnhild by @dino.serrao She is 90, she lives in Hammerfest and she is beautiful. ##fyp ##norway ##traveltok ##visitnorway ##peopleareawesome

♬ Becoming Everything - Kamikaze Kitty

    

            
Hopefully, these five reasons were enough to convince your DMO that it might be time to inch its way into TikTok to tell your destination’s story. No matter the content you create, the opportunity to reach millions of potential visitors is at your fingertips — literally!  

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