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Hamilton Island expands social media campaign

by Sophie Baker on 5 May 2013
Hamilton Island Social Media Campaign - Resort pool45 Hamilton Island Photography http://photos.hamiltonisland.com.au
Following the success of Hamilton Island’s inaugural Ultimate Instameet, Australia’s premier island destination has unveiled a short documentary of the global social media initiative, as well as announced a second Instameet in May 2013.

The YouTube documentary features Australian and American Instagrammers, including ambassadors Hayden Quinn and Annabella Barber experiencing the Island for the first time during the weekend Instameet.

They captured their experiences on Instagram, from snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, visiting nearby Whitehaven Beach, and climbing Passage Peak to see the sun rise over the Whitsunday islands, reaching over 815,000 of their Instagram followers alone, and well over eight million people through other social media outlets, including Tourism Australia’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
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Nick Baker, Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager Consumer Marketing said: ‘The internet and social media has completely transformed the way we research, plan and book our travel. The destination marketers that are going to do well in this new digital age are the ones that are enthusiastic and ready to embrace this changing landscape by creatively integrating digital, social media and advocacy into their core marketing and commercial activities.’

Glenn Bourke, Hamilton Island’s CEO, said: ‘Social media has proven to be a cost effective way to reach a broad, yet targeted, socially-savvy audience. Through harnessing this potential imaginatively, we’re seeing significant increases in our global community of fans and advocates.’

The inaugural Ultimate Instameet generated significant content for the Island to utilise through its social media channels, including over 640 photos in one weekend alone.

Over 50 of these images made Instagram’s highly sought after ‘Popular’ page, which appears on all 100 million active users’ feeds. The Instameet photos also received over 850,000 ‘likes’, and 17,500 comments, creating a global conversation.

Nick continued: ‘We know that compelling destination content can play a big part in stimulating people’s desire to explore and travel and, in that respect, I'm pretty sure that Hamilton Island won't be found wanting.’

Since launching the inaugural Ultimate Instameet last October, Hamilton Island’s Instagram followers have increased by over 3,000% from a modest 269 followers to 8,524, and growing steadily. The Island’s Facebook fans have also increased by over 20%, and a new Community Manager role has been created to solely focus on managing the Island’s social media outlets.

Sophie Baker, Hamilton Island’s Senior Communications Manager, said: ‘We are exceedingly happy with the first phase results. This unique below-the-line campaign spoke directly to the ‘Belongingness’ layer of the social media community. The community layer of the individual, which is best served with rich content experiences that share stories and present opportunities to contribute to the experiences of others within the audience. This shift from transactional to contextual content not only increased the quality of individual brought to our audience, but also reinforced the shared sense of ‘buy-in’ required to unify and direct our audience’s attention in a sustainable way over time.’

Determined to continue this success and reach an even wider audience, Hamilton Island is now planning to host its second Ultimate Instameet in May 2013, this time inviting Instagrammers from the United Kingdom to come down under and experience this Australian slice of paradise. Four Australian competition winners along with some new ambassadors will join a competition winner and an ambassador from the UK.

‘We reached over eight million people through social media alone during the first Instameet, and we plan to surpass this through our second. With over one billion users globally on Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and Twitter, social media presents an incredible marketing opportunity if used effectively,’ Sophie concluded.

View the Hamilton Island Ultimate Instameet YouTube documentary here:
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