In 2011 the Catalan Tourist Board (ACT) commissioned us to define its social media strategy under the ‘Catalunya Experience’ umbrella, a project to unify and reinforce the ACT’s social media presence. Subsequently, the ACT put the development of the 2013–2015 Social Media Plan for the agency and its 11 foreign centres out to tender.

LaMagnética’s bid was successful thanks to an innovative proposal that responded to the need to generate local impact in the tourists’ home countries with the centralised management of all profiles. Our proposal included a Global Fan Page on Facebook, which now has more than a million followers, and the creation of one of Spain’s first virtual offices on this social media platform. We also launched a pioneering tourism promotion campaign on Instagram, #catalunyaexperience, which has become an Instagram success story.

Global social media strategy with promotion at a local level

In 2011, we started to work with the Catalan Tourist Board under the Catalunya Experience umbrella. We analysed its presence on social media, prepared a style guide and launched actions and campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Google AdWords.

When we won the tender to develop the 2013–2015 Social Media Plan we designed a social media strategy that was in line with the 2013–2015 Tourism Marketing Plan and started to construct a strategic planning, design and monitoring instrument for promotional activity on social media.

The major challenge of the project was the development of guidelines for the agency and its 11 Tourism Promotion Centres abroad, some of which are in places whose social media are very different to our own: China, Russia and south-east Asia.

For this we designed a global strategy with promotion at a local level:

  • A central management, coordination and analysis hub for the Catalunya Experience management team.
  • Local actors (Tourism Promotion Centres) with the autonomy required to promote their own pages (integrated into a Global Brand Page on Facebook) and develop local campaigns.

The Social Media Plan

The social media plan incorporated:

  • Analysis and assessment of the online B2C promotional actions implemented from 2009 to 2013: dashboards and analysis variables broken down by objective and target public.
  • Analysis, assessment and proposals for platforms and social media with specific solutions for Russia, China and south-east Asia.
  • Identification of market opportunities using benchmarking and studying the B2C and B2B success stories of other destinations. Social media trend analysis.
  • Formulation of the strategy and definition of the objectives, tactics and indicators for social media aimed at professionals (including the MICE segment), companies, and the target public.
  • Correct implementation at the ACT’s headquarters in Barcelona and at its Tourism Promotion Centres abroad.

We pioneered the use of Instagram for tourism promotion with a proposal that invited Instagrammers from all over the world to visit Catalonia and share their experience on Instagram with the hashtag #catalunyaexperience. During the promotion period some 3,700 photos were uploaded with the hashtag and the account attracted more than 200,000 followers.

Mashup website for the monitoring of blogtrips

To monitor the blogtrips generated by the influencers invited to visit Catalonia and upload their photos with the hashtag #catalunyaexperience we designed a flexible mashup website, bloctrip.catalunya.com, which was active from 2011 to 2014 and updated with each change of blogtrip. We also expanded the mashup to include the Instagram trip, the competition and the Catalonia Instagram photography exhibition organised by the Catalan Tourist Board at Barcelona’s Palau Robert.

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