Title of Paper

The Power of Instagram for Destination Marketing: Understanding the Followers and their Perceptions of Travel-Accounts on Instagram

Author Bios (50 Words)

Danielle Barbe is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Florida focusing on communications as a tool for the marketing, management, and development of tourism. Within this framework, Danielle's research interests include crisis communication, social media, and digital marketing.

Larissa Neuburger is a PhD student and Teaching Assistant at the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management at the University of Florida. Her research interests are in the area of Technology in Tourism and in particular immersive technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Technology as well as tourist experience.

Abstract (150 Words)

Due to the visual nature of tourism, Instagram has become a popular platform for destination marketing. On Instagram, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) can share photos, videos, and interactive stories of the destination while visitors simultaneously share their own experiences. Instagram is also one of the most popular platforms for influencer marketing. This research presents preliminary findings of a larger study, which seeks to examine the outcomes of destination marketing on Instagram. The purpose of this study in particular is to understand the antecedents of Instagram marketing, including who follows travel-related accounts, why they follow travel accounts, and the perceptions of travel-related accounts on Instagram. Using an online questionnaire, this study found significant differences between the followers of DMO accounts and influencer accounts as well as differences between followers’ perceptions of each account type and their motivations to follow them. Further results and implications are discussed.

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The Power of Instagram for Destination Marketing: Understanding the Followers and their Perceptions of Travel-Accounts on Instagram

Due to the visual nature of tourism, Instagram has become a popular platform for destination marketing. On Instagram, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) can share photos, videos, and interactive stories of the destination while visitors simultaneously share their own experiences. Instagram is also one of the most popular platforms for influencer marketing. This research presents preliminary findings of a larger study, which seeks to examine the outcomes of destination marketing on Instagram. The purpose of this study in particular is to understand the antecedents of Instagram marketing, including who follows travel-related accounts, why they follow travel accounts, and the perceptions of travel-related accounts on Instagram. Using an online questionnaire, this study found significant differences between the followers of DMO accounts and influencer accounts as well as differences between followers’ perceptions of each account type and their motivations to follow them. Further results and implications are discussed.