Photo via Song of Style
A little-known resort in a remote part of the Philippines is suddenly a destination for thousands of new potential travelers thanks to a few social media posts from some very influential bloggers.
Aimee Song's post on her blog and social media outlets about her two-day stay at the El Nido resort in Palawan generated results similar to what would be achieved with an ad in a top global fashion magazine, the resort's operations manager, Marc Cerqueda told Inquirer.net. Song called the Philippines “one of my favorite places I’ve ever travelled to so far,” and encouraged her blog readers, 2.2 million Instagram followers and close to 656,000 Facebook followers to visit the Bacuit Bay resort “if you’re looking to go on vacation with a limited budget.”
Other bloggers including Bianca Malata, based in London, picked up on Song's enthusiasm with comments on Instagram: “Absolutely stunning pictures. This has me wanderlusting about heading to the Philippines.” Danika Maia echoed her thoughts: “Wow it looks gorgeous there! Never really thought about going to the Philippines but it is very tempting now.”
The ripple effect has led to significant buzz around the eco-resort and boosted its Facebook page to 90,000 followers. Cerqueda expects that number to reach 100,000 by the end of the year—all without traditional advertising. In fact, Song's post doesn't even appear to be sponsored (her original post about the trip was sponsored by Nippon Airways)—lucky for El Nido!
Don't have a couple million followers like Ms. Song? Not to worry. What many brands are looking for, as Cerqueda points out, is a strong engagement rate, i.e. the percentage of people who saw a post and also liked, shared, clicked or commented on it. Remember that next time you're pitching your blog to a hotel or airline. A mid-winter getaway sounds pretty good right about now, no?