Can twitter encourage more people to #VisitNorfolk and #VisitNorwich?

Here’s a quick idea…and you can help

I don’t know how many people in Norfolk use twitter – but let’s be scientific and say ‘quite a lot’ (nice round number). Now I suspect most – say ‘a fair percentage’ (with figures like this I could be Chancellor) have a pretty favourable view of Norfolk and Norwich – as they should (fine city, blue sky county and all that). So here’s my thinking…

If all those happy Norfolk tweeple made a point of tweeting their followers two to three good reasons to #VisitNorfolk and #VisitNorwich every day – promoting local events, independent shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, pubs, hotels, great visitor attractions, quirky facts, fun things to do, places to visit…with links to blogs, videos, websites etc…oh you get the picture! If we all did that (I know many of you do already) – if they made a point of using the hashtags #VisitNorfolk or #VisitNorwichAND encouraged their army of followers around the world to RT such things – do you think it would make a difference?

Although we might not get #VisitNorfolk and #VisitNorwich trending, we could at least help raise awareness of all the wonderful things going on in our beautiful county. If we all acted as a collective marketing agency for Norfolk and Norwich, which is arguably the finest fine city in the UK (if you’ll excuse the hyperbole) do you think we could make a real difference? I do.

Be the change

I know we have various agencies who are doing their bit to promote tourism – Visit Norfolk, Visit Norwich, HEART, World Class Norfolk, The Broads Authority, to name a few. But let’s be honest – they can’t do it alone. They work for us and deserve our support.

So how about it? I think it’s worth a try (obviously – I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t) – but it will take time to get going – and it will need everyone to persevere. Don’t just leave it to the passionate few – get passionate too.

I know we can get the momentum, because on 1 March 2010 I launched a facebook page (now closed) to back Norwich’s bid to be the first UK city of culture in 2013. By the time the winner (sadly not Norwich) was announced in July 2011 we had nearly 7000 followers – yes 7000 in just over 4 months!  So, think what we could achieve in a year on twitter.

Here’s the incentive

If you live and work in Norfolk you probably depend on the health of the local economy for your livelihood or, at the very least, your quality of life. More visitors means a healthier local economy and that benefits us all. So, if you like the idea of this post, please give it some stars, add your name in the comments at the bottom and share the message with your friends today.

Thank you.

Huw

PS: Edited slightly a year later (22 March 2012) for accuracy of web-links – otherwise this is substantially the same post.

PPS: See also my later post about #NaNTwiNk – thank you.

Charity Fundraising

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About this post

This is one in a series of posts in support of our community in Norfolk – I hope you enjoy them.

If you have any questions or comments, or ideas for future posts, please post them under this blog or tweet them to me. I will do my best to reply.

Thank you for reading,

Huw.

@HuwSayer / @Business_Write

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17 thoughts on “Can twitter encourage more people to #VisitNorfolk and #VisitNorwich?

  1. PS: Just in case you are wondering: I have no connection with the tourist industry in Norfolk or Norwich (or anywhere else for that matter). I don’t work for any agency involved in the business and I don’t own a B&B or provide any services for tourists. My only interest is as a resident who wants to lives in a community with a thriving economy.

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  2. Quick update – following suggestions from @TheNewsBoy on the New Anglia LEP LinkedIn group – we have turned this into a friendly competition between the #VisitNorfolk facebook group and their sister agency in Suffolk. Currently both groups have around 100 followers – we are aiming to boost the number of followers on http://www.facebook.com/VisitNorfolk . Will you help? Can we can get them to 200 followers by the end of this week?

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  3. Quick update. We started running this idea on 23 March – then on 3 April we decided to focus on boosting support for the #VisitNorfolk facebook group. At that time they had just 87 followers – now they have 154 – that’s a 77% increase in less than two weeks – thanks mainly to friends on twitter using the hashtag when commenting on news and events in the county – as well as re-tweeting others who do the same. I think we can do more – I think we can build a powerful community of people who actively promote the county and the city with #VisitNorfolk and #VisitNorwich as our call signs. Will you join us?

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    • A year on from the original post, I see VisitNorfolk has 400 followers on facebook http://www.facebook.com/VisitNorfolk and over 2,400 on twitter. There are also at least two dozen regular users of the #VisitNorfolk #VisitNorwich hashtags and many, many more occasional users. People seem to caught on to the idea that using those hashtags to promote events round the county can increase the visibility of the tweet.

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  5. HI Huw,
    Great idea … suggest that the # tag needs to be used somewhere in the 1,000-10,000 per hour range to trend (just rough calc based on the Michael Jackson twitter server crash which had 100,000 tweets per hour at it’s peek).
    Looking at the current UK trending # tag #anyonewhoreplieswithk just counted 173 re tweets in the last five mins so something around the region of 2,000 an hour (this could just be the peek level and subsequent / preceeding hours could be lower.)
    Suggestion is you coordinate the #visitnorwich info through your blog and recruit 1,000 users who via software like Hootsuite then retweet your rss feed twice every hour. This would be regular retweets of fresh content from a 1,000 users every hour.
    Hope this helps.
    Keir @ Yodelay.com

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    • Thank you Keir for your feedback – meant to reply a while ago (might have done by other means – can’t remember now) – really appreciate your support – although I am aware that getting these tags trending is highly unlikely. As for the recruiting followers and hootsuite stuff – all very good if you have a budget – but this is purely a voluntary thing (my simple idea about how I might use twitter to make a difference – it’s not based on some strategic plan). Nevertheless I am very pleased with the number of people who do use the tags and will continue to encourage others. Best wishes – Huw

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  6. It’s a great idea Huw and interestingly a similar thing is happening in Folkestone – a town I just left after three years which needs championing. Someone set up a @RTFolkestone Twitter account and all mentions of Folkestone get re-tweeted. This has created a buzz about the town and a sense of community.
    So good luck with your idea. I’m Norfolk born and bred – Blakeney, West Runton, Sheringham and then Norwich so you have my support.
    http://chroniclesofchloegreene.blogspot.com/

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    • Thank you Chloe for your support – and pleased to hear of Folkestone’s success – although I want this to be more than an auto-RT service. If everyone who tweets about an event in Norwich or Norfolk uses these hashtags, they will make it much easier for other to find and share the tweets. I would also urge people not to use it simply to promote their business (those “VisitNorwich buy my stuff” type messages) – instead I hope they will search out interesting cultural events (particularly community ones) and promote those.

      Thank you for the blog link too – will look at this later. Cheers – Huw

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