The development of information and communication technologies, especially Internet, has a strong influence on the changes in the use of marketing tools. The existence and availability of the Internet have fundamentally changed the way how tourists access information, how do they plan and book their travel, and in which way they share the travel experience with others. An important step forward in the development of the Internet has been made by a significant growth in the prevalence of social media platforms that allow Internet users to collaborate, communicate and publish original content. Web 2.0 has marked a shift towards taking responsibility by users on the Internet, which resulted in the increasing importance of customers and the decreasing authority of marketers.
Social media are especially important for tourism, which is information-intensive activity. Tourism consumers need information that can help them in the process of travel planning and decision making related to the selection of tourist destinations as well as of different types of tourism products. Personal recommendations are particularly important in this context, because of the intangibility of tourism products. Social media provide this with the content created by the consumers (consumer-generated content - CGC), and with the comments that can be trusted.
Social media has a special significance for the activities of destination marketing organisations (DMaOs). The basic prerequisite for this is an adaptation to technological changes that range from the use of the Internet to publish Web sites and advertisements towards the use of social media. Destinations marketers can use social media before the travel (inspire, inform, engage), during the travel (facilitate at destination) and after the holiday (remember, share and engage).
Non-acceptance of the use of social media by DMaO will cause a decrease in their competitive advantage. The risk associated with using social media that is particularly highlighted is the lack of relevant researches. The basic prerequisite for the proper use of social media as destination marketing tool is the adoption of the strategies for their use.
Recognising the importance of the use of social media by tourist destinations, especially by DMaO, this paper analyses the essential characteristics of the social media usage by destination marketing organisations in Serbia at local, regional and national level.
J. Popesku, “SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL OF DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANISATIONS,” in Sinteza 2014 - Impact of the Internet on Business Activities in Serbia and Worldwide, Belgrade, Singidunum University, Serbia, 2014, pp. 715-721. doi:10.15308/sinteza-2014-715-721
Popesku, J. (2014). SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL OF DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANISATIONS. Paper presented at Sinteza 2014 - Impact of the Internet on Business Activities in Serbia and Worldwide. doi:10.15308/sinteza-2014-715-721