19 Highlights from the State of Tennessee’s August Social Networking Survey

September 14, 2009

Brands that succeed in social networking are brands that initiate dialogues and allow their consumers to initiate dialogues with their brand, not monologues.

Brands that succeed in social networking are those that initiate and encourage a dialogue between their customers and their brand.  These are the companies who are brave enough to step away from the monologue that puts them in complete control and allow the consumer express themselves.

Social networking is a conversation, not a campaign.

The State of Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development soft launched their social networking presence in January 2009 with an aggressive communication strategy starting in March.

Since then, the campaign has slowly been climbing the Gammet Research social rankings. In July, Tennessee Tourism was tied for 5th with Nevada. In August, Nevada dropped to 10th, and Tennessee Tourism climbed to the 4th spot.

So, we’re doing a good job?  Maybe.  But how do we know?  Are we tweeting too much?  Not enough?  HubSpot says 22 is the golden number, but is that true for every client?

The best way to find out what's right for your audience is to ask them. Below are the results from a 2-week survey Tennessee Tourism implemented in July. A small sampling of the 20,000+ friends, fans and followers responded but the insight has proven to be useful nonetheless.

What are your fans saying?

If your mother called you and said, "Stop calling me so much," you would. If she asked you to call her more, you would (well-probably). Apply that same philosophy to social media. We asked our subscribers if we're giving them too much information: should we update our Facebook status more? Less? They said more, among other things, and now like a good daughter or son, we'll be calling home a little more often.

Highlights include:

  1. 98% of those surveyed were from facebook
  2. 88% had visited a Tennessee destination or attraction
  3. 85% live in Tennessee
  4. 36% have downloaded a Tennessee vacation guide
  5. 45% have visited tnvacation.com before
  6. 29% have seen promotional material for Tennessee
  7. 66% of those surveyed would like more info about Tennessee attractions
  8. 64% of those surveyed would like more info about nature and outdoors
  9. 61% of those surveyed would like more info on history and heritage
  10. 53% would like us (Tennessee Tourism) to have more photos
  11. 41% would like more info about Tennessee recreation and sports
  12. 29% would like us to have more sweepstakes
  13. 25% would like us to tell more about Tennessee shopping
  14. 21% would like us to tell more about Tennessee agritourism
  15. 19% would like us to have more videos
  16. 15% would like us to promote the social networks more
  17. Individual subscribers noted they would like more small-town attraction information and to be advised of more handicap friendly activities.
  18. The majority of those surveyed (19%) said we (Tennessee Tourism) could update our social networks a little more often
  19. Most of those surveyed (38%) do not follow any other destinations on the social networks


  • 58 people requested a vacation guide after the survey
  • The sample included 158 people

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