Influencer marketing uses power of social media to sell cities

- What if you could make a lot of money and get free trips just for having a lot of followers on social media?

St. Petersburg hopes to use this concept – known as influencer marketing - as a way to promote tourism in the beach town.

But you don’t have to be a Kardashian to be considered an influencer. Daniel Sinasohn has nearly 26,000 followers on Instagram. With that number, the law school student has landed deals and opened doors for his modeling career.  

“For law school, for example, t’s been really, really helpful. It’s actually gotten me jobs and internships and judges, all because you put enough photos of you in a nice suit working in a nice place,” Sinasohn explained.

And the city of St. Pete is looking to work with similar influencers, tapping into several mass audiences on social media.

 “If they’ve got five million Instagram followers [and they post on social media], ’I just had a great meal on Central Avenue, here’s a picture of it,’ that kind of thing,” the mayor’s spokesman, Ben Kirby said.

The city of St. Pete has set aside more than $92,000 to spend on bringing influencers to the city.

“Certainly not a waste, it’s one of the most effective ways, cost-effective, and successful,” said Nina Mahmoudi with the city’s creative services department.

The city projects it will see 12-times what it spends in economic impact. 

Sinasohn says he’s had other cities and businesses reach out to him for similar marketing campaigns.

“In exchange for you taking a picture somewhere, they will comp your drinks or get you a nice fancy dinner. They do it in nightclubs a lot,” he said.

St. Pete has signed a deal with an ad agency, so you could see more of St. Pete in your Insta feed soon. 

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