Simply Social Media (SSM) is a Santa Fe-based social-media strategy company that creates unique opportunities and campaigns to connect local businesses and organizations with new markets. SSM also engages with and promotes local communities through two Instagram accounts: @SimplySantaFeNM and @TravelNewMexico. The company’s owners, Caitlin E. Jenkins and Amy Tischler, are particularly interested in the possibilities that exist when virtual communities are connected in real life.
Having met through Instagram, Jenkins and Tischler see themselves as living proof of the power of technology and social media. By searching through similar local hashtags they found each other’s Instagram accounts and, after several online conversations, decided to meet in person. Ideas came pouring out and, in December 2014, they launched their first Instagram project: @simplysantafenm, based on their mutual love of photography and all things local. The account now has a following of 14,800 people all over the world. It spotlights local businesses, organizations, events, landscapes and everyday Santa Fe beauty through featured photos using the hashtag #simplysantafe. Jenkins and Tischler take turns choosing images that relate to things going-on in the community. The photographers are always credited.
SSM produces promotional events and activities for clients to increase brand-name recognition and build community. One such activity is InstaMeet, a collaborative experience that uses social media to bring the virtual community together in real life. After brainstorming with a client, Jenkins and Tischler facilitate an experience that’s not normally publicly available, such as a behind-the-scenes access to a business, organization or event. Social-media influencers from Santa Fe and beyond are directed to the event location to create buzz and provide Instagrammers with unique opportunities. Ultimately, InstaMeets are about moving people from interacting with just their smartphones to interacting with each other in person.
For example, there are three InstaMeets in the works with the Santa Fe Opera this summer that coincide with social-media previews during final dress rehearsals. Participants will have the opportunity to tour and photograph the backstage and grounds areas and will be treated to a conversation with conductors and directors in the exclusive Opera Club. Instagrammers will also have an opportunity to photograph an actual performance, something that before last year was strictly off-limits. You can see images from last year’s InstaMeets by searching for the hashtag #SFOInstaMeet.
SSM’s @travelnewmexico Instagram account documents New Mexico road trips by giving guest Instagrammers a chance to “take over” the account, during which time they can share their unique road-trip experiences through imagery and stories.
Started while on a road trip a little over a year ago, the account now has more than 18,300 followers, a very engaged and supportive community. This project was inspired by two facts: There are so many amazing places to visit in New Mexico, and no one person or organization could possibly document them all. Jenkins and Tischler recently returned from a road trip through the southwestern part of the state. They drove 1,300 miles and walked 26 miles in seven days, during which time they hosted four events and toured cities, universities and backcountry, as well as national and state historic parks and monuments, all the while taking photographs and making connections. They were excited about being able to take a platform where people connect virtually and bring them together in real life. By checking out the hashtag #hbdTravelNM, you can see images created during their epic road trip.