Using a Character to Sell Your Destination

Last Friday, something awesome happened.  Ferris Bueller took his day off using Twitter and foursquare.  It spoke to my generation and we got a little giddy.  I was at an event, but I immediately became glued to my phone as I watched for all of my favorite lines and where he was going to show up next.  I wasn’t alone.  After I tweeted what was going on, others retweeted and tuned in as well.  It was glorious, as we all became gushing school girls because we were friends with Ferris on foursquare.

Less than a week later, the stunt left me thinking of how it could have been better.  What if Chicago’s CVB had gotten involved?  Yes, it would have then been a marketing ploy, but I think I still would have tuned in.  And then, the person behind the account could have had the ability to actually visit the places he was checking into.  It would have highlighted their foursquare badges beautifully, and I would have been even more anxious to earn them.

For those of you CVBers out there, have you considered connecting with your local “characters” and giving them a voice in social media?  I can honestly say I was more glued to Ferris’s tweeting than any account I have seen in a long time.  Imagine if he had left tips at these locations he was checking into on foursquare.  I am not ashamed to say that when I go to Chicago tomorrow, I would be far more likely to do something if Ferris had left a tip to do it.

I would love to hear about accounts that are already doing this or if you have any ideas of characters you would like to see get a voice on Twitter.

3 Responses to “Using a Character to Sell Your Destination”

  1. Sarah Page Says:

    This is one of my favorite marketing ideas for Twitter. I think it can work especially well for heritage tourism destinations. Here are a couple I like and why:

    @SCSMBubbaGhost – South Carolina State Museum uses a ghost named Bubba who haunts the place. He talks about things he overhears while hovering over tourists or inhabiting a coat of arms. He’s really, really funny and does a great job promoting the museum’s exhibits in a fun and different way. He’s also great at crossing other events/places in South Carolina.

    @JFK__1960 – This account tweets President Kennedy’s election race as though it were happening right now. There’s little (if any) interaction, but it’s cool to see what he was doing on this day so many years ago.

    @GeoWashington – The Twitter account for Mount Vernon. Good ole George tweets about deals and all the events going on at Mount Vernon … in the first person. He talks about his friend Thomas (you know, Jefferson?) and interesting observations about the estate and/or his presidency.

    I’m sure there are lots more, but those are some that I like. Can’t wait to see what others add! Thanks for another great post, Betsy.
    — Sarah

    • decillis Says:

      Having a severe love of history, @JFK_1960 is definitely one of my favorites. It always leaves me wanting more. I’d love to see them take it just a step further. Do a foursquare integration, maybe blog posts. There is just so much potential with any character!

  2. robchristianson Says:

    Darth Vader is a great Twitter character to follow too… “I’m in such a good mood I may only kill 6 Sand People instead of my customary dozen. #HappyMothersDay”

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