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Twitter Use by Canadian Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)

East Coast

About the Project

If Twitter was a country, it would be the 14th largest in the world. With over 500 million users, Twitter is used by most Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) in Canada.

Professor Chris Gibbs has always been passionate about the impact of social media in business and has made it the topic of his doctoral dissertation. Recently, Chris has been researching how Canadian DMOs use Twitter to interact with their followers.

The 2013 Canadian Destination Benchmarking report was done in collaboration with Alicia Whalen, co-founder of A Couple of Chicks™ Digital Tourism Marketing, and Chris Adams, Director of Online Research and Marketing at Miles Marketing Destinations. Some of the participating 23 Canadian DMOs were The Canadian Tourism Commission, New Brunswick Tourism, Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Calgary, Ottawa Tourism and Tourism Hamilton.

The research for compiling the report was a two-phase process. The first phase focused on the DMOs’ style and frequency of communication. It consisted of using Followerwonk, a Twitter analytics metric that revealed statistics about each DMO’s official Twitter account. Using Followerwonk, Chris was able to find out the exact number of Followers, Following, and the Social Authority of each account. Social Authority is an engagement measure, made up of the re-tweet percentage and the frequency of tweets. Tweets per day were also considered, as well as the time of the day when followers tweeted the most.

Why do Canadian DMOs use Twitter? The main purpose of using Twitter was information sharing. One of the study findings was that DMOs were using Twitter to push out content rather than seek information from visitors. Throughout the report, best practices were mentioned to help DMOs better manage their Twitter accounts.

During the second phase, two months of Twitter activity from participating Canadian DMOs will be analyzed to discover how Twitter is used to reach potential visitors. The detailed tweets will be categorized in groups. Research findings will be presented at the 2013 Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference in Ottawa.

The 2013 Canadian Destination Benchmarking report brings a valuable contribution to the world of tourism research. It benefits all participating Canadian DMOs, as well as those who did not take part in the research. By providing insights to Twitter analytical metrics, the study will improve the way DMOs interact with potential visitors. The research ultimately benefits the Canadian tourism industry, by better marketing destinations and increasing visitor arrivals.

About the Researcher

Dr. Chris Gibbs specializes on researching digital shifts related to the marketing of leisure industries. His research is focused on proving marketing leaders with the insight to plan and predict future shifts in digital marketing.

About the Institute

Established to connect with industry and enhance our reputation beyond education and skill focused training, our focus has been to work with industry partners to conduct applied research projects that provide our students with opportunities to learn and grow