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The Power of Social Influencers

Social media has changed the way the world communicates and a powerful player on the scene – the social influencer – is transforming how Travel Alberta markets Alberta’s tourism experiences.

Travel Alberta is leveraging these consumer conversations with a strategy to work with social media influencers to share Alberta tourism stories with their communities. These authentic voices are helping to make Alberta one of the most talked-about travel destinations in the world.

What Is A Social Influencer?

A social influencer is someone who is highly engaged and uses social media to tell meaningful stories, share photos and video, and engage in conversations with fans and followers. They have amassed significant personal followings – often in the tens of thousands – and their opinions are valued by their audiences. Popular social media channels that influencers use include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to name a few.

“We’re looking for influencers with reach – followers, fans and subscribers – and strong engagement,” says Nancy Smith, Travel Alberta’s Manager of Social Media. “But first and foremost, it’s about the content they create and if they have engagement with their community.”

Are their photos dazzling? Is their story compelling? Does the influencer respond to questions and reply to posts? Do their stories get a lot of views, likes, comments and shares?

Working With Influencers

Over the past year, Travel Alberta – with our tourism industry partners – has worked with and helped host some of the world’s best social media influencers.

“We have worked with social media influencers from around the world, but there is exceptional talent right here in Alberta,” says Smith. “We are lucky to have passionate Alberta advocates here at home, and we share their content all the time. We watch their channels and when they give us permission to share by using our #explorealberta hashtag, we then share their content with our followers.”

Globally, Travel Alberta has about one million followers in its social media network and regularly shares photos, stories and video via these channels.

What You Can Do

“It’s very likely that your existing customers are already sharing their experiences on social media,” says Smith. “Today, anyone with a smart phone has the potential to be an advocate for your business.”

But for many businesses, the thought of implementing a full social media strategy is daunting. The good news is that something you can do easily is encourage your customers to include #explorealberta in their social media posts.

Travel Alberta monitors the #explorealberta hashtag all the time – this is where we get most of our great photos and stories. We also help travellers who are planning vacations by listening and referring them to our tourism industry partners.

Social influencers can help you stand out from the crowd by telling your story to an audience bigger than your own with authenticity and authority.
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