Which Caribbean tourism destinations are best at social media?
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
Social media is a big part of our jobs here at Caribbean Journal. As an exclusively digital travel brand, and the largest digital travel publication covering the Caribbean, it’s the fastest way for us to share all the Caribbean news, travel and lifestyle stories you need to know, as soon as you need to know them.
We strive to meet Caribbean lovers wherever you are, taking you to the beach – and beyond – on your desktop or laptop, smartphone or tablet. And we want to recognize the Caribbean destinations that have the same goal, sharing news freely and frequently, and promoting a constant real-time conversation between the Caribbean and the people all over the world who love it. And while having a lot of followers is a good sign, it’s not everything — because it’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about how you engage with them. So here, in alphabetical order, is our list of the most social-media savvy Caribbean destinations.
On trips to this tiny island we’ve noticed (and appreciated!) that almost every hotel and restaurant has Wi-Fi that’s fast, reliable and usually password-free. It’s evidence of an island-wide social media awareness that carries over to Anguilla’s twitter feed (@AnguillaTourism), where they have more than 7,000 followers, and to their Facebook page (Facebook.com/DiscoverAnguilla), to which they post daily.
This country’s well-curated Instagram feed (@ArubaTourism, with 17.5 followers) instantly incites island fantasies. And the Dutch island is clearly bringing it’s “A” game to its 29,000 Twitter followers, broadcasting a continuous stream of island news. And we give it extra credit for actively interacting with travelers on its Facebook page (Facebook.com/OficinaDiTurismo) as well.
Some destinations only post links to their own websites and never share content generated by others. Bonaire, we’re happy to note, isn’t one of them, and freely retweets and reposts on twitter (@BonaireTourism) and Facebook (Facebook.com/BonaireDutchCaribbean). And although a picture says a thousand words, we’re happy to see that they’ve recently started posting their Instagram (@BonaireTourism) captions in English.
British Virgin Islands
Sharing is caring – particularly on social media. Just ask this destination (@BritishVirginIs on twitter; Facebook.com/BritishVirginIs), which regularly entices its 45,000 FB followers with hotel and other island deals; content from around the web; and evocative island imagery on Instagram.
The Cayman Islands
The three-island nation keeps its followers (more than 37,000 on Twitter @Cayman_Islands and 166,00 at Facebook.com/VisitCaymanIslands) in the loop on destination deals and upcoming events with daily updates via these two primary social platforms. And it serves up evocative images and island factoids on Instagram, @VisitCaymanIslands.
This island’s active twitter account (@CuracaoTravel) is proof that they understand the two basic rules of social media success: rebroadcast relevant content, including from sources other than yourself; and acknowledge your audience and engage them in an ongoing conversation.
The DomRep is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean and its social media platforms reflect that with a huge following: 38,000 on twitter @GoDomRep; 228,000 at Facebook/DominicanRepublicTourism; and 5,000 on Instagram. The diverse destination satisfies them all with timely and relevant content that includes the entire country, not just the tourist hub of Punta Cana.
When you’re an under-the-radar destination you have to work harder to reach an audience. Recognizing this, the French-Caribbean island makes efforts to connect with potential visitors by promptly responding to social media queries and consistently engaging its fans (an impressive 45,000-strong on Facebook).
@PRTourismCo has a whopping 567,000 followers at Facebook.com/SeePuertoRico and 107,000 on twitter (@PRTourismCo), but they’re not resting on their social media laurels. They freely offer traveler recommendations and generously share content created by other local tourism-related businesses, too.
Can more than 100,000 Facebook followers be wrong? St. Kitts gets it right, with a very active page to which they frequently repost fans’ photos from other social platforms as well as lush imagery of their own. Their twitter feed, @StKittsTourism, is equally lively.