Social Media CASE STUDY Truckee’s User Generated Content Campaign #TruckeeMoments
This is a guest post from Milena Regos, Principal of Out & About Marketing and was originally published on her blog.
How to Ignite Your Online Community
A small town of about 16,000 people nestled in the Sierra Nevada, Truckee, California lacked social media presence. Truckee had scattered online presence with little strategy behind it. They have a limited marketing budget and very little photography to showcase the beauty of the destination. They wanted to increase brand awareness and engagement on their social channels and add user generated images to their library.
After conducting a social media audit and developing a social media strategy for the destination, we developed and executed a user-generated social media hashtag campaign using the hashtag of #TruckeeMoments. Our main goals with the #TruckeeMoments user generated campaign were to increase reach and brand awareness as well as engagement on social media channels for Truckee. We aimed to infuse the Truckee brand as a “must-see” destination and a place to be, via beautiful photography from users, increasing awareness among potential travelers to the area and uniting locals proud to live in Truckee. Another marketing hurdle we had was a low photography inventory when we began working with Truckee making it difficult to showcase the destination in any marketing and social media venues. Being able to count on user-generated images for our social channels to show people the variety of activities, dining, and the beauty was a huge element of this campaign.
We launched a 30 days hashtag campaign #truckeemoments on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with weekly giveaways to local businesses to get people’s interest and encourage them to participate. Instead of using marketing images, we focused on using user generated images to showcase the beauty surrounding Truckee. By using the SEEN Campaign Management Platform, we were able to collect all images tagged with #truckeemoments and develop a mini website that lived on the main tourist website as well as on Facebook as an app. This gave people a quick access to the gallery so they can view all images that were submitted with the hashtag. We approved the images daily to make sure only Truckee related and quality images were being uploaded to the gallery. The campaign was well integrated in all other online marketing efforts for Truckee, their public relations efforts, blogger outreach as well as with presence on TripAdvisor. A very limited budget was allocated to Facebook advertising ($400) to increase the reach of the campaign. We reached out to the local community in local business presentations and phone calls to let them know about the campaign and ask for their support. At the end of the 30 day campaign, it had become clear that the effort was paying off nicely. We decided to continue the campaign beyond the 30 days even without any more prizes.
After 30 days
The campaign was designed to leverage the town’s beauty and surrounding nature while increasing engagement on social media. Originally created as a 30-day contest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the campaign inspired locals and visitors to share their favorite Truckee experiences and their passion being a Truckee local. It quickly became apparent that #TruckeeMoments had taken hold and become an endless addiction for locals and visitors to show their love of all things Truckee. At that point, #TruckeeMoments transitioned to an ongoing social media movement. By reaching out to local photographers and acquiring amazing images from Truckee, we positioned the town as one of the most beautiful, must see places in the world. 20 videos of local businesses and visitors were created under the #TruckeeMoments campaign, and user-generated photos appeared throughout the 2014/15 Truckee Visitors Guide. Truckee distributed #truckeemoments stickers at main events and throughout local businesses. The community of Truckee has reacted very positively to the campaign. Mini-campaigns from local businesses have spawned since then using the hashtag #truckeemoments. Local media picked up the contest and announced it in local TV and print media. Photographers have contributed amazing images that are now being used for marketing collateral, website and email marketing. A digital postcard series was created with the images showcasing some of the best #truckeemoments.
A series of video interviews were developed with locals and visitors to Truckee experiencing the magic of the Sierras similar to this one.
#TruckeeMoments integrated in the 4th of July parade where the hashtag campaign became the main theme for the parade.
#TruckeeMoments won ACE in Social Media from the American Marketing Association #TruckeeMoments was selected to present at the eTourism Summit 2014 in San Francisco.
Overall Campaign Results
- Over 8,750 photos / videos submitted
- Total Reach 8,047,835
- Total Likes: 373,398
- Total Comments: 22,570
- Average Engagement Rate 29.25%
“I love how this campaign has harnessed visitor enthusiasm and reinforces Truckee as a true year-round destination,” Says Jon Borden, Owner Operator of The Truckee Donner Lodge and The Inn at Truckee.
“What started as a short campaign has become a “movement” with over 800 amazing photos shared…. and they just keep comin’! This viral and “addictive” movement gives local and visitors and opportunity to share what they love about Truckee. The #TruckeeMoments movement has been integrated into web, media, PR, and will be seen in the soon to be published 2014 Official Truckee Visitors Guide. Awesome stats on growth, engagement, reach and impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.” Lynn Saunders, President/CEO at Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce