Digital

How America’s State Tourism Boards Compete on Social Media

Jul 03, 2014 2:00 pm

Skift Take

Are visual-based social media platforms being leveraged enough by U.S. destination marketing organizations? We think they could do better.

— Joyce Manalo

Turnkey Analytics to Track Your Competitors


Go Hawaii’s Facebook Page

I Love New York’s Twitter Account

Visit Florida’s YouTube Channel

Pure Michigan’s Instagram

Visit California’s Instagram

Independence Day, the most American of U.S. holidays is upon us.

To celebrate this holiday, we came up with a summer 2014 edition of the official U.S. tourism boards for each state by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram followers.

Although 100 percent of the states — along with Washington, D.C. — are on Facebook and Twitter, only 59 percent are present in all four platforms. 96 percent have YouTube channels and 65 percent are present on Instagram.

Eighty-five percent of 12.5 million followers that drive the total social media presence of each brand comes from Facebook. Twelve percent hail from Twitter followers and less than 1 percent are on YouTube, Instagram.

The average number of followers for Facebook is 215,000; Twitter is 30,000; YouTube is 1,000 followers; and Instagram is 10,000 followers. Fans of these tourism boards were more likely to follow on Instagram than on YouTube. The immediacy of Instagram and its user experience on mobile is a huge factor.

Fifteen of the 20 states without Instagram accounts had Pinterest accounts. It will be interesting to see how the brands will choose to optimize their presence and content for both these visual-based platforms by the end of 2014.

The top tenth percentile of the brands with the strongest presence on social media includes Hawaii, New York, California, Michigan, and Florida. Each of them dominate on different platforms.

Hawaii is number one on Facebook at 1,784,296; New York is number one on Twitter at 230,000, double of Michigan’s followers; Florida has YouTube 10,355 subscribers and Michigan comes in second at 5,291; Michigan is number one on Instagram with 102,693 followers, double of California’s with the second highest Instagram following.

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US Tourism Boards Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Total Followers
Hawaii 1,784,296 29,484 2,201 38,090 1,854,071
I Love New York 1,274,052 229,525 960 3,902 1,508,439
Visit California 805,931 45,792 3,439 42,692 897,854
Pure Michigan 658,567 110,456 5,291 102,693 877,007
Visit Florida 618,044 74,873 10,355 5,945 709,217
Visit Colorado 443,419 81,961 1,162 13,266 539,808
Visit Virginia 448,283 32,373 1,185 4,470 486,311
Destination DC 317,484 65,870 284 383,638
Travel Wisconsin 283,916 54,736 706 339,358
Travel Alaska 306,523 25,954 437 332,914
Explore Georgia 257,883 43,887 385 8,418 310,573
Travel Oregon 240,403 36,991 4,028 19,192 300,614
Louisiana Travel 264,219 25,210 527 4,733 294,689
Arizona Office of Tourism 256,784 25,649 562 282,995
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism 200,420 59,812 311 2,930 263,473
Discover South Carolina 235,792 8,316 508 244,616
Montana Office of Tourism 204,071 16,372 502 2,974 223,919
Visit New Hampshire 195,428 13,900 56 209,384
Visit Connecticut 195,032 10,119 166 205,317
Wyoming Tourism 172,592 10,508 614 570 184,284
Travel Nevada 120,050 18,774 1,018 1,178 141,020
South Dakota 117,060 14,275 922 132,257
Tennessee Vacation 103,695 11,579 494 1,731 117,499
Explore Minnesota 98,393 12,686 596 5,105 116,780
Visit Pennsylvania 85,615 30,055 395 116,065
Visit Missouri 102,331 5,328 na 107,659
Texas Tourism 76,873 23,505 563 1,275 102,216
Visit North Carolina 67,674 29,581 625 3,129 101,009
Discover Ohio 59,453 26,125 426 11,156 97,160
Visit Maine 71,984 20,464 921 586 93,955
Visit New Mexico 75,677 16,190 1 1,969 93,837
Arkansas Tourism 67,663 11,652 690 2,651 82,656
Enjoy Illinois 50,356 21,408 1,625 3,800 77,189
Visit Mississippi 57,090 12,278 183 646 70,197
Visit Kentucky 50,087 13,416 226 63,729
Alabama Tourism 45,325 10,944 468 56,737
North Dakota Tourism 32,633 18,829 220 2,837 54,519
Travel Iowa 34,014 14,500 69 48,583
Travel Oklahoma 31,224 13,228 439 2,526 47,417
Visit Maryland 20,671 23,140 244 3,266 47,321
Visit Idaho 34,388 11,617 407 46,412
Vermont Tourism 28,404 15,553 647 44,604
Visit Indiana 14,357 27,816 299 1,969 44,441
Visit New Jersey 26,264 9,452 231 35,947
Delaware Tourism 23,459 10,552 161 792 34,964
Experience Washington 8,107 15,548 23,655
Visit Utah 6,649 11,494 1,061 19,204
Visit Nebraska 8,169 7,386 230 15,785
Kansas Tourism 9,994 5,277 283 15,554
West Virginia Division of Tourism 15,206 87 136 40 15,469
Visit Rhode Island 11,350 965 2,722 15,037

Data from SkiftIQ

Corrections: Visit Vermont replaced by Vermont Tourism, West Virginia Division of Tourism Facebook and Twitter Followers.
Although 100 percent (from 98 percent) of the states — along with Washington, D.C. — are on Facebook and Twitter, only 59 percent (from (57 percent) are present in all four platforms. 96 percent (from 95 percent) have YouTube channels and 65 percent are present on Instagram.

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