What’s the ROI of Social Media in Tourism?

Tyler Tangalin

Tyler Tangalin

Social Media Manager

ROI of Social Media for Tourism Featured Image

Until now, for the most part, there has been no internationally agreed upon formula for tracking social media ROI, so destination marketers have had to be satisfied with little more than “trust me.” For people like us who like proof with our postings, there is cause for celebration.

What’s the ROI of Social Media?

Top destination marketing organizations from around the world have joined forces with a clear objective: to create a standardized framework to measure the dollar value of a destination marketing organization’s social media activities.

A Global Measurement Standard

The result of this collaboration is the Potential on Investment (POI) 1.0 model. This model provides a starting point for understanding the financial value that social media can provide for a DMO.

The Model’s Objective

The objective of the developers of the POI was twofold: They set out to first find the monetary value of social media activities and then make the framework available to every DMO in the world.

Basis for the Model

  • Use the economic impact value of a visitor, by DMO, by market
  • Calculate the share of influence DMO channels play in the path to purchase
  • Find the most credible impact data that proves real impact

The Model


  • CV: Consumer Value
  • Economic value of a visitor
  • CI: Channel Impact
  • The impact of a specific (DMO) channel
  • MQ: Maximum Qualifier
  • The most credible number measuring an impact


  • The average economic value of a visitor
  • Unique by destination and market
  • DMO reality
    • A DMO’s promotional efforts are focused on demand generation early in the path to purchase
    • Conversion is dependent on factors outside the control of the DMO


Facebook 4.51%
Twitter 1.52%
Instagram 2.21%
YouTube 3.01%


Facebook Unique users who liked, commented or shared Unique users who liked, commented or sharedEither action is an indicator that the consumer was impacted by the shared content, especially since the action is public and can result in Facebook displaying the action to a person’s friend group
Twitter Retweets and clicks Excluded “favorites,” since this action is too passive; it is not a strong indicator
Instagram – DMO channel Comments Excluded “likes” on Instagram, because the action is too passive
Pinterest Click or repin A like is too passive
YouTube Completed view YouTube’s definition of a view is not a strong indicator


Facebook $2,000 (CV) x 4.51% (CI) x 10,000 (MQ) $902,000
Twitter $2,000 (CV) x 2.21% (CI) x 2,000 (MQ) $88,400
Instagram $2,000 (CV) x 1,52% (CI) x 2,200 (MQ) $66,880
Pinterest $2,000 (CV) x 1.35% (CI) x 500 (MQ) $13,500
YouTube $2,000 (CV) x 3.01% (CI) x 1200 (MQ) $72,240
TOTAL $1,143,020




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