The West Virginia Tourism Commission launched a social media campaign that asked fans to post photos to #AlmostHeaven in celebration of the state’s 156th anniversary. Within four days they had reached an estimated 11 million fans. Some participants won giveaways donated from tourism attractions around the state, ranging from whitewater rafting trips to scenic train rides and overnight resort stays.
“We’re excited with the enthusiasm shown by all those who love West Virginia in tweeting, posting and sharing what makes the Mountain State almost heaven to them. Together, you helped shine a national spotlight on West Virginia,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “Thanks to this unbelievable response, we are multiplying the effectiveness of our paid advertising and showing the world that West Virginia truly is a world-class tourism destination.”
The posts received more than 237,000 likes, comments and shares across all Facebook, Instagram and Twitter within one week. The campaign led to upticks in web traffic on WVtourism.com. Research showed 86 percent of people become interested in a specific destination after seeing something posted by another user.
“Your participation helped us fill your friends’ social media newsfeeds with thousands and thousands of ideas for their next vacation. Within hours of the campaign, we started seeing more interest in West Virginia and we knew it was working,” Ruby said.