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Ever heard of Estonia?  You may know that it’s a country, but do you know exactly where it is and what it has to offer?  If you’re like me, then probably not.

That’s where one of the most influential tourism social media marketing campaign comes into play—#EpicEstonia.

In 2015, Estonia’s travel ministry sought to increase tourism and interest in all the attractions the country has to offer.  In order to achieve this, they set out to establish a campaign that would take social media by storm and let millennials do the marketing for them via SnapChat, blogs, Instagram, Facebook and more.  This was a perfect combination for Estonia who was looking to showcase the adventurous activities it has to offer—activities millennials love to take part in.  Moreover, the Estonia tourism board knew that when it comes to travel recommendations, millennials tends to only believe fellow millennials.

To start the campaign, the tourism ministry decided to select 97 millennials to be their social media ambassadors.  They saw tremendous demand with over 6,500 applications.  These social media ambassadors then become the voice of tourism in Estonia by sharing their own personal experiences of epic adventures that would be too cool not to share.

Examples of the #EpicEstonia hashtag used to share all these activities included scuba diving to an underwater prison, sweeping chimneys in the medieval downtown, swinging across the arch above a world renown music festival, and running a marathon with Estonia’s prime minister.

While all this is certainly an intriguing approach to a social media marketing campaign, the only part that matters is whether it was effective or not.  For that, I’ll let the metrics do the talking.  Keep in mind, the 2016 population of Estonia is only 1.3M people:

  • 3.1M reach in all social media platforms
  • 2.1M reach in blogs specifically
  • 810K Instagram followers
  • 178K facebook likes
  • 2K #EpicEstonia unique Instagram photos
  • +231% increase in tourism

Bottom line, it was phenomenally successful and represents a perfect example of how even governments can take advantage of social media marketing.

So are you interested in Estonia after looking at this campaign?  If not…

  • What could have the tourism board done more effectively?
  • What do you look for in social media marketing campaigns?
  • What draws you in without even thinking about it?


#EpicEstonia Official Website

“Epic Estonia” Case Study