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Promotion of urban tourism: insights into user engagement on social media

Abstract

Interactions between tourism and social networks are among the most notable phenomena of recent times, generating new approaches, in terms of both analyses of and policies for tourism promotion. Public authorities have been forced to become involved in these new realities, adapting their promotion channels to tourists’ new behaviour patterns and carefully cultivating interactions with them. It is becoming ever more important to create and transmit an image capable of stimulating high levels of engagement. This article analyses the role of one of the most booming social networks, Instagram, applied to the case of Berlin, a leading tourist city. All posts generated over the course of a year on the German capital’s official Instagram account were encoded, and the characteristics of those that generated the most interaction with users in the form of likes and comments were analysed. Our study reveals that posts more directly intended as advertising generate more negative results, while there are differences between the elements capable of generating more likes and more comments, respectively: likes are more general in nature, while comments are more specifically linked to the Berlin brand. These findings suggest important conclusions for the more efficient development of strategies to promote interaction with users.

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Bonilla-Quijada, M., Tugores-Ques, J. & Olmo Arriaga, J.L. Promotion of urban tourism: insights into user engagement on social media. Inf Technol Tourism (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40558-021-00213-6

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Keywords

  • Engagement
  • Social media
  • Destination marketing organisations
  • Instagram
  • Berlin
  • Bandwagon effect