Influencers come to ‘The Sweetest Spot’

The idea of “influencers” – people whose endorsement can influence others – is far from new.

Fun fact – gladiators endorsed products back in ancient Rome. No idea about how the lions endorsements fared.

Today, influencers are the hottest item in the marketing tool box, mixing old school product placement – think of Marty McFly lacing up Nikes in “Back to the Future” or all the way back to Steve McQueen driving a Ford Mustang in Bullitt – with the newfound power of social media. Today, the power of influencers sells everything from Airbnb locations to lip gloss.

And now, Polk County.

Four different influencer groups – three families and one couple – recently added The Sweetest Spot to their resume. Thoroughly vetted and recommended through the Zimmerman Agency, the groups visited over various three day periods. All the groups used Instagram as there preferred method, since the mostly visual platform better lends itself to destination marketing.

Over the span of three days, each group posted six to eight Instagram stories as well as blog posts. They also posted one or two recap Instagram posts on their feeds promoting Polk County. Everything was linked not only to Visit Central Florida’s social media accounts but also to the website.

Looking for expansive exposure, two groups stayed at the Cabana Club Resort in Auburndale while another stayed at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The couple stayed at the Terrace Hotel Lakeland. Among the sites visited included Safari Wilderness, the Elite Cable Park, downtown Lakeland and various local restaurants and eateries. The couple enjoyed time at Bok Tower Gardens.

Analytics and metrics from the social media campaign were not available when this was written. Given the nature of social media, the initial impact of a post is only a fraction of the overall effectiveness.