Loch Ken tops online attractions

A picturesque image of the sun setting over Loch Ken, the stars over Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and the colourful houses of Kirkcudbright have topped the list of attractions in Dumfries & Galloway to receive the most engagement on VisitScotland's popular social media channels.

Images of the three locations captivated the social media world with more than 24,500 likes, shares, retweets and comments between them across the national tourism organisation’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts during summer 2016.

Overall, posts about Dumfries & Galloway across all VisitScotland media channels led to more than 164,880 likes, shares, retweets and comments from April – September 2016.

The image which caught the world’s attention the most was a serene view of Loch Ken. It drew 11,700 likes and hundreds of comments including ‘I’m giving serious thought to the idea that Scotland is the most beautiful country on Earth’ and ‘This photo took my breath away’.

VisitScotland’s social media channels have some of the largest followings and engagement of any other destination marketing organisation globally. The channels provide inspirational images and information about Scotland to inspire people worldwide to visit the country every year.

With more than 2.3 billion people around the world (30% of the total population) using social networking sites, VisitScotland has a dedicated social media team to ensure destination information about every region of Scotland is represented across different channels to different audiences.

The majority of images posted on VisitScotland channels are provided by visitors to and lovers of Scotland, with user-generated content of great importance to the national tourism organisation.

The top post overall for the summer was a group of images posted on Facebook of the beaches on the Isle of Harris basking in the sunshine, inspiring more than 310,000 shares, likes and comments.

VisitScotland launched its first ever global campaign – the Spirit of Scotland – in February 2016, with a large emphasis on creating a social movement to help promote the country to the world. The #ScotSpirit social campaign has been VisitScotland’s most successful social media campaign to date with nearly 200,000 uses of the hashtag across all platforms (average 1000 per day) and more than 63 million views of the Spirit of Scotland advert and mini documentaries.

Doug Wilson, Regional Director of VisitScotland said: “The way that visitors access information about Scotland has changed dramatically over the past five years and our ambition is to reach more people than ever before with inspirational and exciting information about Scotland. We regard our social network followers very much as a community and we enjoy engaging with both our regular contributors as much as those who communicate with us for the first time.

“We’re delighted that these stunning images have topped the list of social media engagement for the region and we hope that many more people will share their own treasured stories and images of Dumfries & Galloway with us, so we can continue inspiring visitors for many years to come.”

The statistics outlined above were counted between 1 April – 14 September 2016. Figures refer to VisitScotland Facebook, Twitter and Instagram only.