Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 15.22.10Visit County Durham has been ranked number one in the North East in the English Tourism Social Media Index, an annual league table which grades tourism bodies in England according to social media performance by their official channels.

Produced by social media agency Umpf, in association with HolidayLettings.co.uk, this year Visit County Durham came top of the North East list and sixth out of 129 English tourism bodies in the national rankings.

Visit County Durham leapt up from 57th position in the rankings in 2015 and from third to first in the region on last year.

The index is compiled by measuring the social media performance of each tourism body.  The ranking is worked out via an algorithm tracking content, engagement rates with communities, variation of content, reply rates and breadth of social channels used. The data was then analysed by a panel of four industry judges who presided over the final results, creating a league table which benchmarks social media success among England’s tourism bodies.

Visit Cornwall came top overall with VisitLondon second and Visit Peak District & Derbyshire ranked third.

The news comes in the wake of Visit County Durham’s successful social media campaign which helped propel Durham Cathedral tour guide, Lilian Groves, to victory in VisitEngland’s national Tourism Superstar 2016 award.

Matthew Balmforth, senior social media account manager at Umpf, said: “Collating a fantastic data score in our index, Visit County Durham achieved top marks for its breadth of accounts used and community engagement across consumer-facing brand, ThisisDurham.

“Judges were impressed with the tourist body’s dedicated strategy to utilise and maximise social reach through industry-relevant hashtags, including the promotion of its own, #LoveDurham, to curate and share user-generated content.

“In addition, the panel were bowled over by its recent Tourism Superstar campaign #VoteforLilian, which incorporated brilliant video content that engaged with their communities. Visit County Durham is very much a worthy winner of the North East region in this year’s English Tourism Social Media Index.”

Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “We are thrilled with the result and delighted that our hard work in this area has been recognised. Creative and effective use of social media is a key element of our destination marketing activity and helps us to interact and engage with potential visitors.”

For full league tables see www.englishtourism.socialmediaindex.co.uk