This provides a tremendous opportunity in promoting the best of Zimbabwe. New media outlets allow for user interaction, creative participation and community formation around the content.
Social media falls under new media and it is one means that can be used to boost an industry in need of a jolt in the arm.
The power and popularity of social media on the internet for commerce and communication allows industry players to connect with hundreds of millions of users around the world.
The tourism industry is heavily dependent on perceptions and in the African context they can be extremely detrimental, especially when the continent’s problems are collectively looked at, out of context.
In order to play a part in how they are perceived abroad countries need to take an active role in promoting their unique identities in order to attract more visitors. This requires a thoughtful strategy in shaping individual nations’ brands.
Branding principals used in commerce for products and services can be applied to countries, especially in tourism. A country’s brand is complicated, representing a multitude of ideas, beliefs, religions and interests. Some people pay attention to the status of a given country in the right context, while most rely on what they hear on the news or current stereotypes and associations that form over time.
The beauty of social media is that it can be maximized across the board, from a private owner of a Bed and Breakfast all the way to a the national tourism board.
It is important to note that while there are hundreds of millions people actively using social media, there are no guarantees that they will immediately gravitate towards anyone’s social media page simply because it exists. A great deal of work will need to be done.
Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Linked in and YouTube represent popular sharing sites whose creative use can generate popular interest.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Users are connected through profiles, sharing and exchanging messages and interests. There are more than 700 million active users on this ever growing network.
YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. It is the world’s second largest search engine. Having a dedicated YouTube channel, featuring video content will give visitors a better idea of what to expect when they visit.
Flickr is a top online photo management and sharing application. Flickr pages rank high on search engines, and great photos are an excellent marketing tool for any tourist attraction.
Twitter is the world’s most popular micro-blogging web platform. At 140 characters, Twitter updates are typically short and done in real time. The site is handy for promotion and real time updates.Tech