Emotional brand values can increase online engagement for travel destinations
January 18, 2019
FRIDAY 18th JANUARY 2019 | READING TIME: 2 MINUTES
By Dr. Lidija Lalicic
Assistant Professor: Department of Tourism and Service Management
Which emotional brand values do social media followers of Destination Management Organizations want to hear about? An investigation of popular European tourist destinations.
Is Twitter a 'happy' place for Destination Management Organizations? Is 'honesty' the best policy on Facebook? A new study by Lidija Lalicic at MODUL University Vienna demonstrates that DMOs can improve user reaction rates on social media and facilitate a positive destination brand image through the use of specific emotional brand values.
"Building a brand as a destination can be challenging" says Dr. Lalicic, "however with the brand personality approach, experiences can be communicated more effectively and designed to target different audience segments. The brand personality approach implies that brands can communicate the traits that consumers are likely to find themselves in, such as feeling cool or excited.
This new study critically analyzes how destination management organizations are communicating their brands on Facebook and Twitter. By analyzing more than 10,000 messages from 25 popular European travel destinations, and using a semantic automated analysis we uncovered some interesting results. Furthermore, the study also looked at which posts and tweets received the most engagement from their followers by collecting the likes, retweets and re-shares. This paper shows that messages that address values such as 'glamour' and 'happiness' generate much higher engagement than words related to 'ambitious' or 'rigorous' on Twitter. On Facebook, values such as 'honesty' and 'trendy' generated better reactions with followers than values related to 'charming' for example. The study demonstrates that destinations can improve user reaction rates on social media and facilitate a positive destination brand image through the use of specific emotional brand values."