Tourism Office’s West Virginia Week Challenge reaches record number of social media users

West Virginia’s birthday social campaign had an estimated reach of more than 26 million social media users in seven days thanks to thousands of West Virginia fans who shared their love of the state.

Almost Heaven, West Virginia is top of mind for travelers this summer thanks record-breaking participation in the West Virginia Tourism Office’s West Virginia Week Challenge.

“West Virginians sure do know how to celebrate the state they love, and our 156th birthday celebration was truly record-setting,” Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said. “In just one week, West Virginians from near and far posted beautiful pictures and shared their stories using #AlmostHeaven. Together, you helped shine a national spotlight on West Virginia.”

In thousands of comments, people from all over the United States gave their instant reactions to the campaign. Across all Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #AlmostHeaven posts received more than 237,000 likes, comments and shares during the week. The high volume of engagement earned West Virginia third place in Facebook travel promotion last week, just behind Florida and Michigan.


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Research shows 86 percent of people become interested in a specific destination after seeing something posted by another user.

The campaign not only resulted in large-scale wins across social media, but also led to upticks in web traffic on WVtourism.com, as more and more users took an additional step and clicked from the social platforms to learn more about West Virginia online.  

“Your participation helped us fill your friends’ social media newsfeeds with thousands and thousands of ideas for their next vacation.  Within hours of the campaign, we started seeing more interest in West Virginia, and we knew it was working,” Ruby said.

Throughout the week-long social challenge, the Tourism Office saw increases in new online users, travel guide requests and calls.

The Tourism Office led a similar campaign in 2017, which reached 15 million social media users in the span of two weeks. The West Virginia Week Challenge nearly doubled the overall campaign reach in half the time.

“West Virginia Day may be over, but that’s no reason to stop posting your West Virginia memories,” Ruby said. “Summer is the perfect time to explore and show the world all that’s great about #AlmostHeaven.”