Lauren Cleland

Social Media Strategist
Visit Savannah

With the rise of travel websites like TripAdvisor, Orbitz and Expedia, destination-marketing organizations (DMO) like Visit Savannah are constantly fighting to prove their relevance. When Lauren Cleland joined the Visit Savannah team in May 2015, its existing social media strategy was focused solely on community management through an outsourced agency.

Cleland proved that, to remain relevant, Visit Savannah must shift its focus to creating and publishing high-quality, inspirational content that would lead to conversions in the form of hotel room nights. She leveraged its existing blog platform,, by building out a robust digital content strategy that relies on the creation of compelling content of all types—editorial, photo, video—and distributing said content across social media through organic means and tailored media buys.

In April 2016, Cleland was asked to take over the digital content and social media strategy for Visit Savannah’s sister organization, Visit Tybee. With the increased responsibilities, she was granted the opportunity to hire two social media coordinators to round out her social media and digital content team.

After less than two years, Cleland has turned one contracted position into a three-person, full-time team. The implementation of this content and social media strategy has led to the following YOY increases: a 237% increase in Visit Savannah Facebook impressions, a 524% increase in Visit Savannah Facebook link clicks, a 168% increase in Visit Savannah Twitter impressions, a 585% increase in sessions, a 1,178% increase in social referrals to, and a 347% increase in social referrals to