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For millions of people, sneaking a quick few minutes of social media browsing during the day is a guilty pleasure. While many use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the people and news stories that they care about, many others use them as a chance to follow other Instagrammers. Because of this, influencer marketing has become a  big business in the past few years, with some influencers commanding thousands of dollars for mentions on a post.

Instagrammers looking to turn their followers into a business have monetized everything from baking to parenting, but one area that has seen some of the most massive growth is tourism marketing. There, those with large social media followings have been able to introduce brands and travel trends to tens of thousands.

How Does It Work?

If you’re familiar with Instagram, chances are that you follow a few Instagrammers. Travel influencers are simply those who focus mainly on travel. For companies interested in increasing their brand awareness, working with the right person on Instagram can be a great idea and a useful marketing platform.

Typically, those seeking to partner with brands for influencer marketing will have contact information on their page. Send the person you want to work with an email to learn about their terms. Every person will have different requirements to work with them. Some will want an affiliate rate, others will instead want a payment up front; each person’s business strategy differs. Remember that an affiliate rate may require more setup, such as offering a specific code for a person’s followers to use if they decide to take you up on your offer. Find one with terms that make you comfortable and work together to build a strategy.

Working With Influencers

However, not every person on Instagram with a large following is created equal. One metric that you will want to be especially concerned with while building your campaign is engagement, or how often a person’s followers respond back. In the past, this was easy enough to do by tracking likes. However, Instagram is in the process of removing that ability.

Instead, a great idea is to see how many people are commenting on a given post. In fact, this is in many ways better than simply counting likes. Likes can be automated easily, while relevant comments are harder to add through a bot. Additionally, you can easily see just how thoughtful your potential partner is through how he/she handles commenters; responses to comments show that the person in question will be more likely to help sell your campaign.

Also, while researching people to work with, be wary of those who call themselves influential, but are in fact not. A large following is not the most important metric. Instead, also consider those who have accounts across social media; while a LinkedIn account may not be the best thing for a tourism campaign, a YouTube or Facebook presence is definitely a value-added for your company.


For the right organization, building a business strategy that incorporates tourism marketing via Instagram can be a great idea. The platform is already used by tens of millions of potential customers to help keep track of travel trends that they are interested in learning more about. However, as with any marketing platform, there are important pitfalls to avoid. Make sure that your partner is focused on tourism and keeps engagement numbers high. Additionally, work with them to find a payment policy that both parties are comfortable with, whether it is an affiliate fee or a one-off payment. That way, you both will get what you’re looking for out of this versatile platform.