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What content to post? Evaluating the effectiveness of Facebook communications in destinations.This study analyzes the marketing effectiveness of the social media posts of destination management organizations (DMOs) based on message format and content and the moderator effect of its message appeal in order to understand the users’ responses to destinations’ social media posts. The paper also discusses the most appropriate social media message strategy for Facebook campaigns for DMOs. The methodology is based on the content analysis of a sample of 3303 Facebook posts from 12 English and Spanish heritage city destinations. A Poisson regression was used to test the marketing effectiveness of the posts based on the number of Facebook reactions and message characteristics. Considering the particularities of each country, the results provide insights for DMOs for their social media message strategies. The results show that emotional messages tend to be more effective than informational messages in many cases, and several recommendations for Facebook usage are developed for the management of destinations through social media.