There’s something to be said about the power of appealing to people’s emotions. It’s no wonder, to that end, that when Scottish entrpreneur Jeremy Jauncey launched his Instagram sensation of a travel account, @BeautifulDestinations and implemented the use of the hashtag #TagSomeoneYouLove, that people got on board. What’s now some millions of followers of the account began to tag friends, family members, lovers and mentors alike expressing the honest desire to create memories the world over in places they hadn’t been to yet, together. Similarly submissions began to flood the social media application as travelers tagged their photos #BeautifulDestinations in an effort to have their photos featured by Jauncey, who always credited the creator of the content for their beautiful work. Today a network of professional photographers create the content that’s posted on his slew of lifestyle accounts, all donning the incipit “beautiful” as the first word of their titles, but over 10 million individuals all over the world continue to hopefully submit their prized memories on the chance that they’ll have their moment in the spotlight, if their photo is selected to be shared. It kind of makes me feel like perhaps the Apple billboards expressing that they’ve been shot on an iPhone 6 and giving the photographer a byline are simply a too-little-too-late rendition of the Jauncey method, but that’s neither here nor there.
It’s only been a relatively short two years since Jauncey started the Beautiful business model, four since the account launched, but the success has been unheard of. A leader in the industry, the now six accounts which include @BeautifulHotels, @BeautifulCuisines, @BeautifulMatters, @BeautifulMenswear and @BeautifulApparel, beside the original destinations page and a huge Snapchat account, have become the benchmark against which lifestyle brands of all kinds measure the success of their consumer interaction on social media. Luckily, there’s no need to fret about missing out on the opportunity to connect with the beautiful double-digit millions, because they’re for hire. Jeremy, who played rugby for Scotland growing up and was on course for a career as a professional athlete, is actually a very savvy tech entrepreneur who started his business career running the European operations of a U.S. e-commerce business which grew from a handful of employees to over 300 and raised over 50 million dollars in seven years.
His digital deeds run deep.
After stepping down from his post in order to pursue personal interests in the tech space he set up a venture capital fund to invest in early stage businesses, primarily in the technology realm where he not only injects cash into the businesses, but also uses his social media experience and existing platforms to catapult said businesses into the super stratosphere. Some examples comes by way of his early stage investments in jet charter application, Fly Victor, which is now expanding to the United States; digital health platform Tictrac and photo sharing application Vhoto which was then acquired by Hulu, thus validating their track record. Clearly an innate understanding exists for this 31-year-old; but a clear and good intention at the backbone really speaks to his steady growth as well.
That intention, when it came to Beautiful Destinations, was to create the curated voice of travel on social media with a focus on targeting today’s young, affluent, successful and quite frankly, exciting consumer with content shot by and supplied by their peers.
Basically to celebrate the beautiful in the world and tell its story. The audience was there for the taking given the fact that we live in a world where people spend more time absorbing information via smart phones than anything else and definitely than ever before. In fact, he let me know that this year was the first that more people watched the MTV Video Music Awards on Snapchat (12 million for the live story) than on MTV (9.8 million on TV). In a world where creating amazing content for social media is becoming critical for business success, Jauncey and his business are leading the pack.
And they can create that content for you. In fact that’s what he does best, he helps brands tell their story through careful content creation. Luxury hotel clients, tourism boards, airlines, fashion brands, beauty brands, and the like have all tapped Jeremy’s resources to create their ad campaigns and distribute their branded content to his audience as well as enlisting his help to build their own social presence. The package, if you will, also includes some really specific data and analytics studies conducted by his bunch of on-staff data scientists who are constantly analyzing information in an effort to help brands generate a return from social media. People are talking to one another on social media platforms and studying their patterns and what they respond to best has been the game changer for Jeremy and his team who understand that advertising used to take a one-way-street approach to dishing out information; shouting their messages at consumers where as social media allows for an immersed conversation with your end-user.
These conversations are happening in very exciting and unique ways on Jeremy’s accounts where lifestyle remains at the focus and things like music collaborations are woven into the content as are bits about health and well-being, in an effort to keep the approach fresh, relevant and authentic.
A traditional ad campaign that might run in your favorite glossy falls flat on social media where followers are looking for fun and immersion. The struggle presents itself for those who choose not to understand that the future requires both traditional media platforms as well as new media options in the digital space that are speaking directly to the next wave of spenders–to those who don’t know if you don’t tell them.
Every day more and more brands and destinations are entrusting Jeremy and his team to act as their message-bearers. Tourism boards, for example, offer them the lovely nod of giving them the opportunity and massive responsibility to tell the masses the story of their destination; good, bad and otherwise. And the responsibility really is huge but also extremely powerful. Take for instance an in-the-works campaign surrounding creating awareness about the poor quality of water in India. Through Jeremy’s channels, people can get involved in making a difference in the world; which means he’s on the right path, given that the @BeautifulDestinations mission statement has always been, and remains: “Inspire and Celebrate the beauty of the world; and help preserve its future.”