Social Media / App | County of Elgin
Purpose of Project
During the Summer of 2017 the County of Elgin launched a summer contest called the Elgin County Bucketlist. To help visitors make the most of their summers and to encourage them to share photos of these experiences on Instagram, Elgin County created a map with a list of nine Elgin County experiences that visitors shouldn’t miss during the summer of 2017. These experiences ranged from soaking up the sun at one of Elgin’s beaches to visiting local wineries. In order to be entered into the contest, participants were required to first follow Elgin’s Instagram
account, then post a photo of themselves completing one of the nine bucketlist activities on Instagram, and finally use the hashtag #ElginBucketList. Each user who posted a photo and met the above criteria was entered into a weekly draw to win a gift certificate to a local tourism attraction or restaurant. The purpose of the contest was to increase followers and engagement on Elgin’s Instagram account (www.instagram.com/elgincounty) and increase visitors to the tourism attractions listed on the Bucketlist map.
The contest ran for 13 weeks from May 24th to Labour Day weekend in September. Over the course of these 13 weeks Elgin’s promotion of the Elgin County Bucketlist reached 62,160 Instagram users who clicked through to the Elgin County Tourism website over 400 times. As a result of this contest, Elgin increased followers on its Instagram account from 870 to 1227 people. This increase of 357 followers amounted to a 41% increase in followers in only 13
weeks. Elgin received 281 photo contest entries which were further proof that followers were not only passively consuming Elgin’s content but were participating and contributing to this content themselves. These can be found by searching #ElginBucketList on Instagram. Additionally these 281 contest entries translated to at least 281 more visits to tourist attractions over this 13 weeks span.
Challenges & Changes Made
Traditionally businesses and organizations have used social media to push out their own content, hoping that they will generate feedback and engagement this is not always successful. The trends in social media are now leaning towards user generated content. In other words, convincing followers and social media users to create and share their own content related to an organization’s programs or products. They then share this content on their own social media platforms and link it to that of the organization. This content is generated for free from users and has more credibility coming directly from users than from the official organization.
The campaign targeted Instagram users between the ages of 14 and 35 who live within a 2 hour radius of Elgin County (St. Thomas, London, Chatham, Kitchener/Waterloo, Guelph, Windsor and surrounding areas). These users are tech-savvy, connected, and eager to share their experiences on social media. This group was geo-targeted through paid advertising on the Instagram platform. Ads ran for 13 weeks and were seen within Instagram users’ feeds.