Insta the travel guide: Atlanta edition

I love doing “Insta the travel guide” posts for two reasons. 1) I get to spread the word about how one can use social media platforms to your advantage while traveling! 2) I try to convey to the marketing world and business owners the importance of the use of social media platforms to reach certain markets. For many like me, if we can’t find your business online, we can’t find your business in person.

My first blog post ever was about how I used the Instagram account, ATL Bucket List, to make the most out of my summer in the city! Now, I wanted to do a separate post about my favorite places I found through Instagram! ATL Bucket List and the Atlanta Places tag were great places to start, as well as stalking friends’ and family’s  accounts! Here are my top 9 places in Atlanta!

1. Murals: I am the most stereotypical millennial and loved the murals. They are all over the city and this Instagram account tells you where they all are! My friends from school came to visit and I dragged them all over the city to see them. This particular one is in the heart of the Edgewood neighborhood and definitely my favorite of the ones we saw!

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2. Jackson Street Bridge: This was by far the hardest place to find because most people don’t like tagging its exact location, but I found it! This bridge has the best cityscape view in the city (that I found so far)! Hopefully this helps someone else who had seen it pictures, but couldn’t find it!

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3. High Museum of Art:  I don’t live under a rock. I had heard about the High before, but the photos in the Places tag made me want to go! I wouldn’t say I am “into” art, but I loved exploring this place!

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4. Chattahoochee Coffee Company: In the back of a gated apartment community, there is the cutest coffee place with the BEST view in Atlanta (ITP!) Pull up to the call box, say “Coffee!” and they’ll buzz you in!

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5. Atlanta History Center: While the museum itself was very interesting, the best part is the Swan House out back and its gardens! I had seen photos of this place and had to find it. It’s absolutely gorgeous and a must-see while in Atlanta! It was once owned by the (very rich) Inman family in the 1930s. Today, it’s known for that the Hunger Games was filmed there!

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6. Sweet Auburn Curb Market: Definitely one of the coolest places I’ve been! Sweet Auburn Curb Market was started in 1918 after the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917, as part of the area’s revitalization efforts. Today, you can find really affordable produce and meats, as well as shop at various food court style restaurants! I highly recommend Bell Street Burritos, a local business similar to Barberito’s and Moe’s!

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7. Monday Night Brewing: Although one of the big three breweries in Atlanta, I initially found Monday Night through a friend’s Instagram and I had to go see the tie wall! While I wasn’t the hugest fan of their beer selection (I’m not a fan of really hoppy beer), it has a great atmosphere and hilarious tour guides. Tucked away in West Midtown, this a must try for a fun evening out!

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8. Midtown: Midtown is an obvious must-see, but a picture with the sign in Colony Square is a must-do while in Atlanta! Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

9. Georgia Aquarium: This one is cheating because I interned there this summer and I didn’t find it on Instagram, but it is definitely an Atlanta must-see and their Instagram is always on point. One of my favorite things I’ve ever done was getting to take a yoga class in front of Ocean Voyager! Processed with VSCO with se2 preset

The best thing that has ever happened to me in my life was catching this cutie’s attention and snapping this awesome picture of our staring contest! I love beluga whales.

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These are my top 9 spots in the city! What are your favorite spots in Atlanta?

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Insta the travel guide: Philly edition

In any industry, the most powerful marketing tool has always been word of mouth recommendations. As consumers, we trust our friends’ opinions. If they have a great experience, we expect the same. In our social media driven society, it’s only natural that word of mouth has gone digital. Instagram has made it extremely easy to share our ideas with our friends and strangers by simply uploading a picture and a caption. It’s my go-to travel guide because I tend to like seeing the sights and experiencing the cool, local stuff instead of the tourist crazed attractions. If I’m ever in a new city, I always follow about 5-10 local Instagram accounts to find the best of the best and I haven’t been disappointed yet. My very first WordPress post was actually about my great experiences with the Atlanta Bucket List account. Most recently, I used Instagram to make the most out of my trip to Philadelphia! While we were only there for a couple days, we made the most out of the city.

Start off the with the Places tag or hashtag of the city you’re in to see the most popular photo ops. We didn’t see too many unique sights this trip because my mom was not up to walking 15 miles a day, but then again, neither was I. It was too cold for this southern girl.

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Then, search for accounts with the city in the name. phillyfoodies and philadelphiafoodie gave us such a great recommendation for brunch near our hotel, we ate there twice! Green Eggs Cafe was amazing and I highly recommend the rosemary potatoes and the cookie dough stuffed french toast. They also led us to Federal Donuts, which is hands down one of the coolest custom donut places I’ve ever been to!

I’m vegetarian, but my mom had to make the tough decision on whether to try Geno’s or Pat’s philly cheesesteaks. She went with Geno’s and she actually said she’d had better before. Our Uber driver said Pat’s was better, so we maybe should’ve listened to him and not based the decision on the most photogenic building. 🙂

We found Bar Bombon the old fashioned way (Google maps), but this place is my #1 Philly recommendation y’all. The entire restaurant is vegetarian, and you wouldn’t even know. My mom, a carnivore, said this was the best place we went to the entire trip! Highly recommend literally everything on the menu.

Thanks Insta for another great trip!

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Wildwood Revival knows its audience

Last year, my friend and I discovered an amazing local music festival and immediately fell in love with it. Wildwood Revival features over 20 folk/americana artists each year and takes pride in that it is not “your average music festival.” Artists perform in the cutest barn on Cloverleaf Farm in Arnoldsville, Georgia. I went again this weekend and it was amazing.

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This place is always hoppin’. I attended last year and again this year. BOTH years have completely sold out. While they have a relatively limited number of tickets for sale due to the smaller venue space, it can still be hard to get 1,400 people to buy $78 regular admission tickets and $278 VIP tickets when you’re such a small, local event. However, Wildwood Revival knows how to reach its target market and sells out every year.

The usual crowd is mostly mid-20s and 30s hipsters with a few college students (me) and a few older hippies/empty nesters. These demographics are heavy Facebook and Instagram users (if they use social media much at all), so Wildwood Revival makes sure to effectively reach their target market through both of these platforms. While this may seem obvious, they reach them from two angles and then really hook them in on their website.

Wildwood Revival promotes themselves on their brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, but also, all 20+ artists heavily promote the event on their accounts, as well. This reaches 20+ times the amount of the target market that are very likely to purchase a ticket. If their favorite artist will be there, as well as 20 other similar artists in the same genre, they’re sure to at least consider it. A regular artist will usually Instagram a picture or tweet once or twice about a show, but at Wildwood Revival, artists will post about it 3-4 times on each of their social media accounts.

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Once a potential customer reaches the website, they’re sold. I want whoever their photographer is for my wedding one day. The photos are gorgeous and really capture how amazing the event is. They highlight all of the artists and food vendors in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way. Almost all of the food vendors offer dishes made with organic, all natural ingredients. They sell reusable cups onsite, so there is not one plastic cup used all three days and it avoids tons of wasted plastic. They have various craft vendors that sell various sustainable products, from recycled metal jewelry to all natural hair care products. Their website highlights all of this, which they KNOW their hipster target market will love.

You may be thinking “Is that it?” It kind of is, but this works for them. Wildwood Revival relies on Facebook and Instagram as far as digital marketing is concerned, but also heavily relies on word of mouth. Their target market loves the fact that they don’t advertise that much and they feel special when they’re one of the lucky ones that finds out about it. Wildwood Revival has 4,362 followers on Instagram, 3,581 likes on Facebook and I’ve told every single person I’ve ever met about it; so overall, it’s an effective method in my opinion. 🙂

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Use Instagram to get the most out of your city

This summer I moved to Atlanta and interned with Georgia Aquarium (the best decision I’ve ever made and I could talk about it all day). I’m not originally from Atlanta and I didn’t know what all there was to do in the city, so I followed an Instagram account that did everything for me.

ATL Bucket List highlights the trendiest and hottest spots of Atlanta. It focuses on local food and drink, but also frequently features attractions, street art and special events. The Instagram account was only created a little over a year ago in March 2015 and already has over 57,700 thousand followers (and increasing every day!). Alyssa, the account’s founder, has now expanded ATL Bucket List into a blogFacebook Page and Twitter.

Atlanta isn’t the only city to have this type of Instagram account. Nashville has a very similar account, Nashville Guru, and Chicago has an almost identical Chicago Bucket List. I’m sure there are many more cities with similar accounts that I just haven’t visited yet. If you can’t find a similar Instagram account for your city, I highly recommend starting one. Alyssa has become a major influencer in the Atlanta community in just over a year. This could have have easily been anyone! All it takes is one great idea and an Instagram account to gain a following. Through ATL Bucket List, she has gotten some exclusive VIP invites to special events, as well as free swag, from organizations like Chateau Elan and The Atlanta Beer Festival, to give away on her account.

Business owners should go home and pray that she happen upon their business. Just one post and 60 thousand potential new customers have been reached. These are 60 thousand followers there solely to get advice on where in Atlanta they should spend their money next. I am living proof that this is true. I saw these places posted on her account and tried most of them the next day. If you’re an Atlanta business owner yourself and ATL Bucket List hasn’t happened upon your business yet, Alyssa can be easily contacted by the email address located in her bio. If you really want to solidify your chances of being featured, you could always follow in Chateau Elan’s and The Atlanta Beer Festival’s footsteps by bribing her with free stuff. I’m sure she’d be willing to give your business a try then. 🙂