Crunchy, colorful leaves. A crispness in the air. The smell of apples and cinnamon. Ahh, there’s just nothing quite like autumn to give you those warm and fuzzy feelings!
When it comes to tourism, the best social media marketing captures something warm and fuzzy, too. Great tourism marketing shows viewers what’s emotionally compelling about a destination, a glimpse of how they might just feel if they were there. It fuels that “fear of missing out” we all strive so hard to spark in our audiences.
So how can we use fall’s innate charm to tap into FOMO for our tourism audiences? Piece of cake. Pumpkin spice cake, in fact. Autumn in nearly any destination in the U.S. tends to be so chock-full of charm that it’s just begging for a social media campaign.
Here are 1o of our best ideas.
- Fall coffee roundup: Create a carousel post, photo gallery or possibly even a fun map graphic highlighting four or five coffee shops in your destination and their most popular seasonal bevs. They don’t call it pumpkin spice season for nothing, after all!
- Highlighting harvest: Fall is all about harvesting what you grow, and for most U.S. destinations, there’s something unique to a given area. Here at Verdin headquarters on the Central Coast of California, fall means wine grapes galore, so we’ll be sharing lots of scenic vineyard shots for social media posts in the weeks ahead. Beautiful images of fall produce — whether it’s corn or pumpkins or apples — show what’s unique to your region and also show potential travelers that you’re tuned into local food and environmentalism, two popular tourism motivators.
- Autumn leaves: Yes, this one is a little expected, but there’s no denying that fall foliage is a major driver of tourism, especially in some parts of the country. Make your social posts a little more interesting by encouraging folks to send in their best shots with a certain hashtag and sharing the best ones. You can never get too much user-generated content!
- Window decorations: Highlight local businesses by posting a series of images of the best window decorations that are up for the fall season in your destination. Stores and restaurants often add a warm glow, leafy garlands and other autumnal decor to their displays, so use that beautiful work to your account’s advantage! Be sure to tag the businesses in your posts. Many will also be willing to send in photos for you as long as you give them credit.
- Promote offseason promos: After the busy summer travel months, it’s not at all uncommon for hotels to drop their rates down a bit. Reach out to the hotels in your destination and see which ones might be offering any deals. They might even offer special packages if they know you’ll be promoting it from your popular tourism district social media accounts.
- Festival season: In so many small towns and big cities across the country, it seems like fall is the time for festivals. Whether it’s South Carolina’s Chitlin’ Strut, the Delaware Sea Witch Festival or just a classic like harvest days, special events and occasions can be a big draw for new and returning visitors. Start promoting them well in advance by posting images from past years, giving folks plenty of time to book a weekend stay.
- Fashion tips: Is shopping a big draw for your destination? Reach out to a local boutique that’s active on social media, and see whether they would collaborate with you on a post or series of posts about fall fashions that are appropriate for your area. Share cool outfit ideas for a range of prices. Ask what items the shop would recommend for travelers, too!
- The great outdoors: Not into the fashion scene? Fall is also known for being an ideal time of year for camping, hiking and fishing. Post an Instagram Reel or TikTok of your destination’s five best hiking trails, top campsites or most scenic lakes.
- Restaurant roundup: We all know people love to eat well while traveling, and thanks to changing weather and harvest season, fall often brings a wave of new specials and dishes to eateries. Reach out to your area’s most popular restaurants and ask whether they have anything interesting planned for their fall menus. Ask them to send in photos with the promise that you’ll credit them in posts.
- Happy Halloween: What does your destination do to get in the spooky spirit? Whether it’s a professional-grade haunted house delighting visitors, a family-friendly pumpkin carving contest or a Dia de los Muertos parade, be sure to promote any holiday-related activities or events. Even consider a series like “13 days of Halloween” to pack in lots of posts.
As always, keep your social media posts lighthearted, inviting and informative, and try to show off what’s really special about the vibe of your destination at this time of year. Happy autumn!
For further advice on social media strategy, email Mary at [email protected].