Social media have become an indispensable tool for promoting events and tourist destinations, but some tourism organizations are still unable to exploit their full potential. The present research addresses this issue and proposes a methodological framework that could help managers increase users’ online engagement with tourist events and destinations’ social media sites. In two distinct studies, this research identifies content- and format-related characteristics that trigger users’ engagement, here assessed in the form of message liking, commenting, and sharing. Study 1 examines the messages posted on the official Facebook page of a religious event celebrated in a Southern Italian region. Study 2 examines a sample of tweets posted on the official Twitter pages of the same region’s main tourism promotion agency. The results identify features that may increase the effectiveness of social media managers’ promotional efforts, and also highlight differences across the two platforms.
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