#HelsinkiSecret Residence is no longer a secret – our blogger residence has already reached an estimated 50 million people
The #HelsinkiSecret Residence, our base for international social media influencers reporting from Helsinki, opened its doors at the Aallonkoti apartment hotel in Töölönlahti at the beginning of 2016. According to the latest media analysis, word about the #HelsinkiSecret Residence has already reached 50 million people.
Photo: Lauri Hassi
The #HelsinkiSecret Residence is a residence programme for international social media influencers, who can apply from anywhere around the world. Visit Helsinki, i.e. Helsinki Marketing Ltd, selects the residents on the basis of their commitment and the popularity of their social media channels.
So far the residence has hosted bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers from 16 countries: Spain, China, the USA, Russia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Great Britain and South Africa.
Each guest gets to stay at the residence for 3 to 6 nights and is encouraged to report on their experiences however they see best.
“Our guests create their own itineraries and programmes according to their personal preferences. Their only scheduled activity is an interview with Radio Helsinki on Wednesdays,” says Hanna Toivonen , Social Media Manager at Visit Helsinki.
New ways of attracting interest in Helsinki
According to analysis carried out by media intelligence company Meltwater Oy, the #HelsinkiSecret Residence has gained a lot of visibility in both online editorial media and social media, attracting 50 million potential views during the first six months. The majority of this visibility has come through Twitter and Instagram.
The visibility that can be achieved through PR activities like the #HelsinkiSecret Residence is considered an increasingly important way of enhancing Helsinki’s appeal in international markets.
“The residence is an excellent example of participatory city marketing that utilises the skills and followers of international content producers in a new way. It generates an enormous amount of high-quality content about Helsinki through many different lenses and over many different channels,” Toivonen adds.
Helsinki is currently renewing its marketing with the aim of increasing awareness about Helsinki and enhancing its appeal. The #HelsinkiSecret Residence programme for its part aims to encourage recommendations for visiting Helsinki.
Internationally, marketing is being focused on opinion leaders, such as social media influencers, who can recommend Helsinki among key target groups.
“It does not pay to base city marketing on ad campaigns. Instead, we can build up awareness through media content, unique events, brand ambassadors and recommendations,” says Tia Hallanoro , Marketing Communications Director at Visit Helsinki.
Residence programme set to continue in 2017
Impressed by the excellent results and positive experiences with the #HelsinkiSecret Residence, Visit Helsinki will continue the programme also next year.
“We will shift our focus to Asia, as the StopOver Finland programme is also aimed at the rapidly growing Asian markets. Next year, in addition to social media influencers, we will be inviting experts in different fields to stay at the residence based on recommendations from our partners. Discussions with our partners are already underway,” Hallanoro adds.
Examples of social media posts by guests at the #HelsinkiSecret Residence:
Tia Hallanoro, Marketing Communications Director, tia.hallanoro(at)hel.fi, +358 40 826 3130
Hanna Toivonen, Social Media Manager, hanna.l.toivonen(at)hel.fi, +358 40 744 7575
Helsinki Marketing Ltd is a marketing company owned by the City of Helsinki. Visit Helsinki is a marketing name used by Helsinki Marketing Ltd.