Visit Lincoln has been ranked number one in the 2017 English Tourism Social Media Index, an annual league table which grades 133 regional tourism bodies in England according to social media performance by their official channels.
Visit Lincoln scooped top place against more established organisations including Visit Manchester, Visit Cornwall, Visit London and Welcome to Yorkshire. Visit Blackpool was awarded second place and Visit Thanet was ranked third.
Talking about the award, Lydia Rusling Head of Visit Lincoln, said: “The team are incredibly proud and delighted to be ranked number one – this is our fourth industry award this year and a great way to round off 2017.
“Social media is a core part of our marketing. We’re always pushing the boundaries to make sure we’re doing the very best for Lincoln, Lincolnshire and the businesses who support our work by joining as partners.
“Our follower count has increased by 9.5k in 2017, that’s 31% up since the start of the year. Through our channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram we’ve made over 14m impressions.
“We’ve actively focused our attention on raising local pride to showcase Lincoln as a great place to visit, live, work and learn in. Residents and local businesses have joined these conversations and helped us spread the message worldwide.
“Top posts this year have included our award-winning videos, cheering on Lincoln City FC in the FA Cup, and the filming of Mike Leigh’s Peterloo in the Cathedral Quarter. These reached so many through a mix of careful planning and taking opportunities as they arise.”
The Index, produced by social media agency Umpf in association with TripAdvisor Rentals, was assembled by measuring the social media performance of each tourism body based on an algorithm, calculated by a team of people who considered use of eight social networks.
The data was then analysed by a panel of three industry judges who presided over the final results, creating a league table which benchmarks social media success among England’s tourism bodies.
Visit Lincoln climbed an impressive 56 places from 2016, attaining the highest score this year to finish in first place by showing great consistency in its data score. This included top marks for Facebook follower growth and Twitter engagements in relation to its audience size.
The judges’ scores were also unanimously high. Impressed by the range and quality of the Visit Lincoln content, as well as the breadth of media used, the judges felt that Visit Lincoln showed great attention to detail across the board.
Rachel Clayton, Analyst at Umpf, said: “After finishing 57th in last year’s Index, Visit Lincoln has shown a greatly improved approach to social media management with a very consistent performance to claim this year’s top spot.
“Alongside its data score, Visit Lincoln was amongst only a handful of bodies to receive no red flag penalties for replication of content, spelling or grammar mistakes, misuse of hashtags or periods of inactivity. This, plus high appraisal from the judges, further improved the overall score of this year’s winner.”
Saskia Welman, a TripAdvisor spokesperson, said: “Tourism and travel brands are making great strides with social media, leveraging the right platforms and tools to reach and engage with different audiences.
“As industry use of social media matures, brands and boards will have to find new ways to reach and engage with audiences. It’s great to see many of the UK’s tourism organisations are up to the challenge and leading the way with both creative and innovative activities across their social channels.”
In the table of English counties, Visit Isle of Wight claimed top spot among the 33 regions, just ahead of last year’s winner, Visit Cornwall, and last year’s runner-up Visit Peak District & Derbyshire who finished second and third respectively.
Case studies on Visit Lincoln, Visit Southend-on-Sea and Visit Thanet, as well as full league tables, methodology and judges’ bios, are available at on the English Tourism Social Media Index website.