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Social media influencers share NZ with 850,000 followers

Four Australian social media influencers have been exploring New Zealand and sharing their experiences with their 830,000 followers, thanks to Tourism New Zealand and Flight Centre.

The group spent five days travelling the North Island - experiencing everything from Hobbiton to a bungy jump from the harbour bridge - posting regularly on their social media channels throughout the trip.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia, Tony Saunders says, "These four bloggers are incredibly influential with a combined social media following of 830,000, which has grown to 942,000 since the trip.

"The influencers selected are popular lifestyle, fashion, photography, art and travel bloggers in Australia and their content and images align well with our work to target the youth segment in Australia."

Over the five days the four influencers posted a combined 160 times on Instagram, generating an equivalent advertising value of NZD$602,520.

"We know that word of mouth remains one of the most influential factors in helping people make travel decisions and when endorsement comes from popular and appealing influencers the impact is even stronger."

Of the 160 posts, 12 made it to the 'Popular' page of Instagram (a section of Instagram which serves up content based on a combination of overall popularity and user's own activity) ensuring the images had premium exposure.

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 "We know that social media is an important way of sharing information these days and we saw a great opportunity to tap into the bloggers influence and share the New Zealand messages even wider," says Tony.

Similar to print or broadcast coverage, TNZ measures the value of bloggers' social media content by calculating the equivalent value of advertising in social media channels. Paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter and blogs is now common practice.

It's the first time TNZ have hosted social media influencers as part of TNZ's International Media Programme, which is evolving to generate coverage in the social channels used and trusted by active considerers.

"We have seen a great return on investment with this activity with the bloggers sharing their experience to a significant number of potential visitors and bringing authenticity to the message," says Tony.

The groups spent five days in the country and visiting Auckland, Waiheke Island, Mt Tarawera and Hobbiton Movie Set as part of TNZ's IMP.