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Facebook and Pinterest important mediums for communication and marketing

July 4, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Effectively utilizing digital mediums and the latest technology continues to be a priority for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, and two recent initiatives are helping us do just that. First, we have launched a Facebook page strictly designed for you our local tourism partners. Second, we are hosting a Pinterest contest we hope encourages consumers around the globe to share photographs of their dream vacations in Lee County.

If you haven't checked out our industry-oriented Facebook page, I hope you'll take a look and "like" us. This page is independent of our consumer Facebook page, because it's important to us to encourage ongoing and open dialogue between all our Team Tourism partners. On this page, we aim to keep you informed about upcoming events and share photographs afterward. We'll also share news of common interest to the local tourism industry, take polls on how your business is doing and promote co-operative marketing opportunities.

We hope you find this a more efficient means of communication than repeated emails that fill-up your inbox. We also encourage you to use the site as an effective shared-forum for all of us working in the Lee County tourism industry. Please post information on the page about your own events, observations and industry-oriented news.

In addition, we are excited to utilize Pinterest, the newest and fastest-growing social media site ever, to promote The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel worldwide. Unique from Facebook and Twitter, which tend to focus on past activities, Pinterest is exciting because users share aspirational thoughts, including travel planning. On our Pinterest board, we share the beautiful assets of our destination through vivid photographs. We also invite consumers to share their own images as well, which is the goal of the current "Pin and Win" contest.

Now through July 10, we are encouraging consumers to post photos of their dream vacation to our destination via their own images from past vacations here or photos they find on the Internet. Users post at least 12 images in a Pinterest Board titled "My Fort Myers & Sanibel Bucket List" and then submit their board to the contest. The winner will receive a trip to Lee County that will include a two-night, three-day stay at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, gift certificates for Adventures and Paradise excursions and a Tanger Outlets gift certificate.

We are promoting the contest through our Facebook and Twitter consumer sites, and in our consumer newsletter. We look forward to seeing what images travelers use to visualize their best Lee County vacation. We all know that inviting images of our destination are our most effective marketing tool, which is why Pinterest and this contest in particular are a great opportunity to engage consumers.

Tamara Pigott

Executive Director




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