The city’s #HowToSantaFe social media campaign didn’t #BreakTheInternet.
But city officials say it exceeded their expectations, reaching 4.9 million people worldwide and generating 52.3 million views, according to a report released Tuesday.
The campaign — rooted in the online photo- and video-sharing service Instagram and expanded through Facebook and Twitter, all of which have hundreds of millions of users — was more just than a hashtag, which is a word or phrase preceded with the “#” symbol.
It was an effort to market the city to a global audience, especially young professionals, whom Mayor Javier Gonzales and other city officials want to attract as Santa Fe’s population continues to grow older.
“Santa Fe strikes an incredibly unique balance between tradition and opportunity, and this campaign was about updating our image with a younger audience on a national and international scale and promoting Santa Fe in a way that complements our arts culture,” Gonzales said Tuesday in a statement. “This campaign did it in a way that had never been tried before, by giving real Santa Feans a voice in defining their city, all while giving local businesses and professionals exposure, knowledge and job opportunities.”
More than 10,700 photos with the #HowToSantaFe hashtag were posted on Instagram alone. Photos ranged from views atop Picacho Peak, a plate brimming with green chile cheese fries at the Cowgirl BBQ, aspens changing color, sunsets, a leopard print limousine, friends hanging out at Zozobra and dogs napping.
The city’s Economic Development Division paid 12FPS, a creative agency with offices in San Francisco and Santa Fe, $47,000 for the campaign.
“It was a win all around for economic development and tourism,” Kate Noble, interim director of the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, which includes economic development, said in a statement.
The report states that the city received a $261,000 return on investment, but it doesn’t explain how the city came up with that figure.
“In a study conducted by SumAll, a social media and data analytics firm, they found that the value of a single impression on Twitter is worth $0.005,” city spokesman Matt Ross said in an email. “That same study found that an Instagram follower is worth 10 times that of a Twitter follower, and that engagement and growth on Instagram is much greater than Twitter, so using the Twitter number as a conservative estimate, we multiplied that by the total impressions captured during the 4 months of hashtag tracking to get to the value. In other words: 52.3M x $0.005 = $261,500.”
As part of the campaign, 12FPS brought eight “social media influencers,” each with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, to Santa Fe and attracted 12 more who promoted the city through the #HowToSantaFe hashtag.
“Many of them are significantly engaged in returning to Santa Fe and have established growing professional relationships and a personal connection with the city, characteristic of long-term repeat visitors,” the report states. “Young repeat visitors who will return throughout their lives for unpaid pleasure trips to Santa Fe and who are established as cultural and social media influencers are amongst the most important destination marketing relationships a city can cultivate.”
The campaign included contests with prizes donated by more than 20 local businesses. Categories included art and design, pets and animals, and outdoors and adventure.
The campaign generated more than $50,000 in new work opportunities, including part-time contractors and photographic workshops, according to the report.
Contact Daniel J. Chacón at 986-3089 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danieljchacon.