Travel Alberta Launches @instahikes
Pushing the boundaries of social media marketing in tourism, Travel Alberta launches Instahikes – an Instagram account that acts like a website and provides immersive, first person experiences of popular hiking trails in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Instahikes will initially feature five hiking trails, allowing users to choose their favourite and digitally hike the trail from the first step to the summit. Featured hikes include:
“Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Alberta and travellers regularly ask us via social media for recommendations,” said Royce Chwin, CEO of Travel Alberta. “With Instahikes, we can now simply share the Instagram handle, and the traveller can scroll through the hike to get an immediate feel for the adventure they’re about to embark on.”
Each hike is a first person photo journey captured by two local Alberta Instagrammers Callum Snape (@Calsnape) and Taylor Burk (@TaylorMichaelBurk). More Instahikes are planned and the content will be added to Travel Alberta’s websites and social channels.
Travel Alberta’s Instahikes account makes use of Instagram’s tagging features and structure in an unconventional way to simulate a website. Tap on a hike and users are directed to a dedicated Instagram account devoted to a specific hiking trail.
Best experienced in list view, each hike begins with a map of the trail showing the hike’s distance, duration and difficulty. As users scroll through the series of photos, they can follow the trail, reading captions of the experience from trailhead to summit. Images found on Instahikes are intended to assist, inspire and inform travellers, while demonstrating the accessible beauty of Alberta.
Chris Gokiert, president of Critical Mass, Travel Alberta’s digital agency partner, said the social media initiative is intended to “provide a utility content experience in an entertaining, brand relevant and socially connected way.” Travel Alberta has made Instagram a key component of the destination’s global social media strategy. To date, the Canadian province has amassed a social audience of over 500,000 across core social platforms.
The below video demonstrates the best way to use @Instahikes.