How a Swiss village wanted tourists but ended up performing better than Lady GaGa on Facebook
Obermutten is situated in the east of the country, miles away from the popular cities of Lausanne, Zurich and Geneva, and the tourists hotspots around the lakes and Alpine skiing regions.
Last year the village (population at the time: 78 residents) decided to raise its profile via Facebook and promised every person who liked its page would have their photograph pinned to its official notice board in the centre of the village.
What happened next took everyone by surprise.
The idea captured the attention of many on Facebook and soon enough the page and thousands of people decided to “like” the page, meaning the village had make good on its promise (it now has close to 18,000).
Soon enough the notice board was full, so the pictures started appearing on the sides of other buildings around the village.
The Obermutten page now has more fans than some of the most popular tourist traps in Europe and the regional Grabunden tourist board site has since its web traffic soar by 250%.
But more importantly, at the height of the “campaign” four out of five fans regularly interacted with page and each other – a figure its creators reckon is higher than pages belonging to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Coca-Cola.
Once again, a bit of imagination with social media can lead many a destination or service to punch far above its weight.
The downside? With popularity comes visitors. Wonder if the village’s solitary hotel can cope…
Here is a clip:
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.