Beautiful Destinations: a successful Instagram story

(All photos in this blog are from Beautiful Destinations)Screen-Shot-2016-01-07-at-1.53.00-AM

I found an interesting article from Bloomberg titled: “How much is an Instagram Story Worth?” The article basically explains how a social media platform – Instagram – shaped the travel industry worldwide. The most interesting point in the article is that social media and human talent were the main factor for this successful story.

Basically, it relates to Jeremy and Tom Jauncey the founders of Beautiful Destinations Instagram page. It all started in 2012 and by the end of the year they would have reached 1 million followers! An amazing accomplishment. Today they have over 8 million followers.

  • “Jeremy and Tom Jauncey were among the first to turn being good at Instagram into a travel advertising and marketing business. Jeremy launched the travel-themed Instagram page Beautiful Destinations in 2012 and was soon joined by his brother. …The brothers have built a portfolio of customers in the travel industry, mostly hotel chains and tourism bureaus, who pay to be touted to Beautiful Destinations’ enormous number of followers”.

What surprised me the most in this case, is how places that were already famous – like NYC post card destinations – received an even huge boost and tourism influx, when  Beautiful Destinations mentioned them. The Travel Industry capture that momentum and realized the benefit of working with Jeremy and Tom.

  • “…In the fall, Beautiful Destinations posted a series of Instagram posts and a Story from the Empire State Building for New York City’s tourism board, NYC & Company, that registered 3 million likes, comments and views for the client’s @nycgo handle in less than a week. Beautiful Destinations has been garnering 30 million weekly views since Stories was unveiled; individual story posts have been averaging 5 million views. Before that, videos were a smaller part of the business“.

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The combination of brand awareness and marketing costs were a new factor in the social media era. Beautiful Destinations became the “page” to be or to follow. But when you hear about low costs you will be surprised that Beautiful Destinations charges for annual contracts: $50,000 to $1 million for their marketing campaigns. Many companies are willing to pay that price because they see the return.

  • “Clients are drawn to the brothers’ ability to cultivate brand awareness. Marketing costs are lower, too, compared with those of traditional television and print advertising. “The traditional hotel photo shoot is a thing of the past,” says Hoyt Harper II, a former senior vice president for Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury Collection. “Sending professional photographers to destinations is very expensive.

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Today Beautiful Destinations has travelled the world and Jeremy and Tom’s  dedication and talent can be seen in each picture by 8 million followers since they started 5 years ago!

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The business term:”open door policy” is that real or just a term?

I recalled hearing this phrase “my door is always open for you”; a term that resounded from every single environment I have worked. Talking to other co-workers as well as friends, all had the same experience in their previous workplace. It seems that all managers or business leaders have this “open door policy” as a concrete statement.

The “open door policy” is a statement that should reflect a position of respect in sharing opinions in the workplace. But we all know that sometimes this is not the necessary case.

According to an article from Harvard Business Review  Leaders often have an inflated idea of how easy it is for others to speak honestly to them. Our two-year research study, including interviews with over 60 senior executives, as well as workshops and case studies, illuminates a glaring blind spot: We simply don’t appreciate how risky it can feel for others to speak up. This is because, if we are in a powerful position, we often take power for granted. As a member of a privileged in-group, we forget what it is like to be in the less privileged out-group.Consider the phrase “My door is always open.” It contains a number of assumptions. First, people should meet you on your territory, rather than the other way around. Second, you have the luxury of a door. Third, you can choose when to close or open it.”

Funny enough the term “open door policy” was created by United States Secretary of State John Hay at the end of the 19th Century, dealing with several countries. It stated the principles for protection of equal privileges trading with China. (Britannica.com)

Yes, a long time ago… and even at that time the “open door policy” had its bumps in the road. Today the term is almost misused by managers. As a matter of fact it became just a term. Not a reality.

'Come in, come in. My door is always open for you!'

Although it is a fact that most companies, especially successful ones, encourage directors and managers to create an environment that is receptive to receiving opinions; however like the HVR article mentioned “If you are wondering why others aren’t speaking up more, first ask yourself how you are inadvertently silencing them.”

At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the leaders to have that sincere “open door policy” that will help the company and its employees to achieve success.

(below photo: taigacompany.com)

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