Instagram Marketing

And just like that… it’s awards season! For those of you whose guilty pleasure is watching the glamour gals and guys strutting their stuff along the red carpet, this week’s Golden Globes would have been manna from Instagram heaven.

Jamie Lee Curtis, head to toe in white. Nicole Kidman in merlot-coloured sequins.  And Rami Malek winning “Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture”. Oh, to be a fly on the snazzy black, white and gold backdrop.

Ironically, despite the talent in the room, it was the deft photobombing of the unknown #FIJIwatergirl that has everyone talking. Wearing a frilly blue dress, the human water dispenser is in almost every red-carpet photo – sometimes posing directly for the camera.

The Memes have been gaining momentum on Instagram. #FIJIWaterGirl as Mona Lisa. #FIJIWaterGirl as Venus in Botticelli’s masterpiece. #FIJIWaterGirl Barbie. Check out the Instagram #FIJIWaterGirl hashtag if you don’t believe me!

The Canadian model has become an overnight celebrity in her own right, not only going viral on Instagram, but also featuring (along with the FIJI water brand) in articles on CNN, CNBC, Fortune, The Guardian and media platforms across the globe.

Whether you believe it was unintentional or a ploy by FIJI to get some ‘free’ advertising, the model and her water-laden tray have gone viral – the holy grail of social media marketing. That’s normally something that happens completely incidentally, so whoever thought up this little stunt is a genius and probably needs to get a bonus.

To increase their chances of social media posts gaining more than average organic engagement, tourism businesses could learn a few lessons from our girl in blue:

  1. Be on trend: ‘Newsjack’ or piggy-back off what’s trending at the moment, but in a subtle, entertaining or informative way. Nando’s is a master at this. In the case of a tourism business, it doesn’t have to be something that impacts the tourism industry. As long as you can draw a strong link between the ‘news’ and your idea, that’s fine. It’s easy to overdo this or offend, so be selective about what ‘news’ you’re using.
  2. Be original: Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not. If your tourism brand is fun, feel free to inject a little fun. If it’s inspirational, go that route.
  3. Be collaborative: Encourage your staff, your guests, your travel partners to share their first-hand experiences of your experience. It’s usually more authentic if it comes from a ‘person’ instead of a brand.
  4. Be influential: FIJI’s success here is in part due to the fact that it has associated its brand with well-known or influential people who themselves have a following and were being avidly watched. Tourism is a segment filled with influencers. Can you associate your brand with someone who influences the right target community?
  5. Be in the right place, at the right time: There’s no point trying to go viral in a place where you’re reaching the wrong target market. Make sure you know who you’re trying to reach – age, interests, source markets – and find out where they are.
  6. Be patient: It’s unlikely you’re going to get it right first time, or every time for that matter. Be patient, be considered and approach it more from the perspective of truly entertaining your audience instead of simply trying to get your tourism brand out there. Good, successful marketing is generous and customer focused.
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