The difficult travel situation in 2020 as a consequence of Covid-19 highlighted the high relevance of social media, particularly as the global pandemic led to so many being forced to stay at home.

Thanks to more than 30 profiles on the most popular social media platforms, Switzerland Tourism ST was able to remain in contact with fans of Switzerland – with emotive campaigns that invite them to dream. This tied in with the three-stage recovery campaign, the first stage of which was based on empathy.

2.7 million Facebook followers

In all, ST’s social media accounts have more than 4.5 million fans and followers. Facebook is once again ST’s strongest social media channel, with a total of 2.7 million followers (an increase of 6.9% over 2019). Instagram takes second place with 828,588 followers (up 22.8% versus 2019).

ST’s content on both platforms is well-received by the community, translating into engagement rates of 1.6% for Facebook and 2.1% for Instagram.

Follower interaction is an important measure of success. ST calculates the engagement rate by dividing the average number of likes, comments and shares per day by the reach of the posts. The greatest engagement was in Japan, with 5.0% for its Facebook page.

Winter addition to Influencer Summit series

Although ST’s Instagram accounts lag Facebook in follower numbers, the significance of this platform for tourism is undisputed. That is why ST’s Influencer Summits focus mainly on Instagram posts. This was equally true of the most recent summit, the first to be dedicated to winter tourism.

The Winter Influencer Summit took place in Andermatt between 1 and 6 February 2020, i.e. before the global pandemic had made travel almost impossible. The 28 invited influencers relied largely on Instagram to share their experiences with their combined total of more than five million followers and generated around 553,000 likes and 13,600 comments with their 210 Instagram posts. These results helped to further strengthen ST’s presence on Instagram.

TikTok and Pinterest for tourism

Following an early adopter strategy, Dominic Stöcklin, Head of Social Media, drove forward ST’s presence on social media platforms. In January 2020, ST became one of the first Swiss companies to operate its own TikTok account, successfully forging links with the visitors of tomorrow and beyond. ST achieved a total of 14 million views and 639,241 likes. ST also used a pin extension developed by Pinterest in an innovative campaign. It produced more than 46 million impressions.

In an interview, Dominic Stöcklin explains why ST has some of the strongest Facebook accounts and where the trend in social media is heading.

Dominic Stöcklin

Head of Social Media

Dominic Stöcklin, is tourism content a sure-fire success on social media, or does it pose a challenge compared with other themes and industries?

In tourism, particularly here in Switzerland, we have wonderful visual images that we can use. That certainly makes our task rather easier than in some other sectors. Nevertheless, the battle for attention is so fierce these days that only the best content wins out. That is a daily challenge for ST too.

Although many newer platforms are catching up with Facebook, Switzerland Tourism’s Facebook accounts remain some of the strongest. Why is that?

Because despite everything, there are still very high numbers of people using Facebook. The platform also offers companies a lot of exciting possibilities. However, we also see that Instagram is becoming increasingly important, so we have now created three further accounts on that platform too: one each in German, Italian and Portuguese.

Where is the trend heading in social media? Which new platform will join TikTok in attracting large numbers of users on a global scale?

TikTok is a very exciting place to be right now. We can see this from the fact that platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are copying functionalities from TikTok. That is a general trend, by the way: the platforms are becoming increasingly alike. For instance, it became possible at the end of the year to publish stories on Twitter and LinkedIn. Looking to the future, I can well imagine that Twitch will become more and more relevant and might supplant TikTok as the “trendy” platform in 2021.