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Hilton Head Island Compass App - Hilton Head Island - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

2016 ACE: Grand Award

Today's visitors have the world at their fingertips. Whether looking for where to go during their stay or the most family friendly restaurant in town, it's just a quick digital search away. So when the chamber's new Hilton Head Island Compass App launched last July, the response was immediate, from visitors as well as local business owners. It's different from a mobile version of our website, it's designed for visitors once they arrive. Created to help visitors find different places, deals and experiences, our in-market tool uses GPS on users' smart phones to navigate their way around the island. Unique to our island - drive, bicycle and walking directions are provided!


Date: August 28, 2016
Organization: Hilton Head Island - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.hiltonheadisland.org
City: Hilton Head Island, SC
Community Peer Group: Major Cities
Revenue Category: $2,000,001 and up

Hilton Head Island Compass App - Hilton Head Island - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Our Virtual Welcome Center: Hilton Head Island Compass App

The New Way To Explore: Today’s visitors have the world at their fingertips. Whether looking for where to go during their stay or the most family friendly restaurant in town, it’s just a quick digital search away. So when the chamber’s new Hilton Head Island Compass App launched last July, the response was immediate, from visitors as well as local business owners.

It’s different from a mobile version of our website, it’s designed for visitors once they arrive. Created to help visitors find different places, deals and experiences, our in-market tool uses GPS on users’ smart phones to navigate their way around the island. Unique to our island - drive, bicycle and walking directions are provided!

It’s an economic driver for our business community, and for visitors, the app makes planning itineraries a breeze. It includes recommendations on activities and attractions, and allows users to build specialized itineraries. Once their toes hit the sand, our Compass app does the rest, all you have to do is tap! Simply by shaking their phone, visitors are given spontaneous tips such as nearby restaurants, lets them view menus, make reservations, even complete restaurant reviews.

Creating a virtual handshake to visitors from members, in place of yesterday’s brick and mortar welcome centers: With so many member businesses dedicated to the island experience, from world-renowned resorts to bike rental shops, the chamber app showcases not only the island’s amenities, but its wide-reaching scope of area businesses that keep our economy thriving.

The strategy to promote downloads of the Hilton Head Island Compass App during peak season focused on developing campaigns within the Google Search/ Display Networks and Facebook. Facebook ads ran on mobile devices and mobile app ads ran nationwide, to targeted interests ranging from family vacations and leisure travelers to beaches, boating, golf and more, driving traffic to Google Play and iTunes App Stores.

Recognizing the need for a communitywide approach, businesses were invited to take part via communication platforms: our Chamber Business Monthly magazine, weekly e-communications, a special “Island Compass App 101” workshop and the chamber’s website. Ads were placed in local newspapers and broadcast features ran on regional TV, announcing the app’s launch.

BY THE NUMBERS

Dashboard numbers tell us our in-market tool is performing well. From the initial launch through December, the app received 5,773 downloads and delivered 6,397 links to member businesses along with 920 calls and open table reservations, with mobile access up 49% to our website.

Building on the success of a summer launch, we continued geo-targeting promotion, so area visitors are served up the option to download the app.

What do chamber businesses appreciate most? “We got great exposure right away,” said Mike Overton of Outside Hilton Head. “From kayaking to tours, it’s a great way to keep our offerings front and center to our local adventurers and visitors!”

TRENDING SUCCESS

As a chamber of commerce with a mission to grow our local economy, we’re happy to see the app, encouraging users to take advantage of all the Lowcountry has to offer. When we see a real connection between local business and our best efforts via today’s technology marketplace to drive them there, we know we’re on the right path.

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