Dreamlike sunsets, succulent food, spectacular attractions, unforgettable destination experiences… This is the content that cruise passengers usually upload to their social networks during or after their cruise itinerary and that offers the best publicity a shipping company, port, or destination could wish for.
But port authorities, agents, tour operators, tourism promoters, service providers, in short, each and every one of the stakeholders of our beloved industry, can also play an important role in our advocacy work. Promoting a cruise port on social media can be a great way to rouse interest, raise awareness and attract new visitors.
As with any marketing campaign, it is necessary to prepare the content, the timing, the channels and to have a well-defined plan of action.
Of course, each entity, whether public or private, will have to define its audience well: ports, for example, will have an interest in drawing the attention of itinerary planners to the shipping lines, for example, but also in communicating the wealth and employment generated by cruises in the port and in the destination. A tourist service provider will address both the shorex manager of the shipping company and the cruise passenger.
Therefore, before launching into the uploading of posts, it's important to understand who we're trying to reach. Are we targeting families with children, seniors, adventure seekers, or luxury travellers? This will help us tailor our messaging and content to resonate with our desired audience.
The creation of high-quality content is the next step that is not always considered, either due to lack of time or lack of resources. Social media is a visual platform, so it's important to add audio-visual and engaging content. This can include photos and videos of our cruise port, attractions, and activities but it will always have a lot of impact helping us with user-generated content from happy visitors, under the motto: let others speak well of us!
Apart from using relevant hashtags that refer to our port, city, destination, service, or clients to help us reach a wider audience, collaborating with well-known people and influencers can also be a great way to highlight our cruise port.
Social media is a two-way conversation; therefore, it is important to engage with our followers and respond to comments and questions. Creating a positive community and responding to inputs that are not always favourable is not an easy task. This is why MedCruise has planned several professional development actions for its members to get fit for this exciting challenge. Stay tuned!