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Visit Jacksonville Taps Local Social Media Influencers To Boost Tourism

Shawana Brooks shared this post on her Instagram page after being named a Visit Jacksonville Ambassador.
Shawana Brooks' Instagram page
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Shawana Brooks shared this post on her Instagram page after being named a Visit Jacksonville Ambassador.

Visit Jacksonville is tapping into the marketing power of social influencers to try to drum up interest in Duval County.

The tourism agency announced Monday it will use the clout of eight local social media accounts to help promote the area.

They’re called Visit Jacksonville Ambassadors. Under the arrangement, the social media ambassadors, who are not being paid, will share Jacksonville-centered content with the hashtag #onlyinjax.

“As people begin to travel again, they want to experience a new destination from a local standpoint and do the things that locals do. Visitors want to eat at the cool neighborhood restaurant, they want to shop at the boutique with the locally made goods, they want to safely have fun where the locals go,” said Katie Mitura, director of marketing for Visit Jacksonville in an email to WJCT News. “We have identified those Jacksonville Ambassadors and we are partnering with them to show off the best of Jax.”

The annouced Visit Jacksonville Ambassadors are:

Jacksonville Mom alone has more than 98,000 Facebook followers. Katrice Shorter, who goes by Will Work For Heels on Instagram, had more than 5,700 followers on the photo sharing platform at last check.

When Shawana Brooks posted her Visit Jacksonville appointment on Instragram, 97 people had liked the post as of Monday afternoon.

“One of the best ways for them [tourists] to know that any spot is legit is to first discover it through the eyes of people who live here  and who truly know and love their hometown,” Visit Jacksonville's Mitura said.

Visit Jacksonville is also inviting other local social media influencers to be considered for the program by filling out this form.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.