Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Summer 6-27-2017


Twitter, Destination Marketing, Social Media, Account Type, Retweets, User Engagement, eWOM, Python, Stevenson Center


Much of the evolving research on the use of social media in destination marketing emphasizes how information diffusion influences the reputational image of place. The present study uses Twitter data to focus on the relative differences in user engagement across discrete account types. Specifically, this is done to examine how the official destination marketing organization of Montana—the Montana Office of Tourism (MTOT)—performs relative to other account types. Several regression analyses conducted on Twitter data associated with an ongoing MTOT place branding campaign reveal that tweets sent from ‘official’ accounts are more likely to be retweeted, and are estimated to receive more total retweets. The inclusion of a URL or mention, and the number of followers an account has, are also predicted to positively impact retweets. These results will be useful for economic development professionals working in state and local governments, tourism and marketing companies and nonprofits, university researchers, and community members who seek to understand how destination marketing is being conducted. Those interested in methodology and data collection techniques for Twitter-based research, and data manipulation in Python may also benefit from the study.


Kirk Douglas Richardson