passport podcast

Social Media Marketing – Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast #037

Interview with Andrew Hickey from Scott’s Cheap Flights about Social Media Marketing.

With more than 10 years of experience working in social media marketing for global travel brands, Andrew Hickey has worn many hats including running large digital marketing campaigns, increasing brand awareness, driving web traffic, supporting marketing initiatives, and increasing sales.

Hosts: Leif Pettersen of Leif Pettersen PR and Chris Christensen of and

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Working with Bloggers

Should You Hire an Instagram Marketing Service?

Whether you are a company or a blogger, you probably have a lot of things to do. A difficult but important question is when should you outsource some of what you are doing, in this case to an Instagram Marketing Service.

Stalled Instagram Growth

For me, the question was what to do about instagram. A lot of companies are looking for bloggers with 10,000+ instagram followers for different campaigns and I was not having much luck growing my account. I had about 3,000 followers,

I was posting a new photo once or twice a day, but I really didn’t have the time to spend on instagram between Amateur, the This Week in Travel podcast, the Passport Travel Marketing and PR podcast, another podcast, volunteering and paid software consulting. I was pretty busy.

Hire an Expert

I was approached by Social Network Elite that they would spend a month working to raise my instagram following as a trial as long as I would write about what the results were.

I needed to know some things first. I needed to know:

  • They would not buy followers
  • They would not actually post any new images on my feed
  • They would just interact with other instagram users, commenting, following, etc.

It seemed worth a try, but frankly I was skeptical. When they started  I was at 3,100 followers, after a month I was at 4,000 followers. But the more interesting thing is that since then my followers have grown to 4,823 followers. Some of that may have been directly from their effort but it seems like they also just helped me build some momentum that has continued after they stopped.

Now I have spent some time for a month before trying the kind of things that they were doing with less success. So some of the success was effort but some is probably that they are better at this than I am. So I could have outsourced this to some VA in the Philippines who had more time but did not have as much knowledge and I would have gotten different results.


One thing I do like about Instagram is spending some time looking at my Instagram feed for what friends are doing or just looking at cool photos. Now that someone else has been in charge of who I follow, I have sometimes gone in and said, “why am I following that person who is not posting travel photos”. I have unfollowed some people.

This was one of the big reasons I wanted to make sure I knew the ground rules. Following someone I didn’t want to is not a big deal but posting photos would be a bigger deal and buying followers would make me deserve to be sent to some frozen level of internet hell.


Outsourcing somethings helps. In my case I did find that an Instagram Marketing Service was able to get more results than I could and… those results seem to have gotten me unstuck. So, what is your experience?


passport podcast

Hashtags – Passport Travel Marketing & PR #018

Hashtags – Passport Travel Marketing & PR #018 (Podcast)

Interview with Ciaran Blumenfeld from Hashtracking about how to and how not to use hashtags to promote your business in social media.

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Ciaran Blumenfeld is a creative entrepreneur & social spirit guide. She is the CEO & founder of, a social media analytics service that offers insight into hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. She’s also the publisher of the popular family lifestyle blog She has been named as one of the “15 Most Powerful Moms in Social Media” by Working Mother Magazine and has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times and Fast Company.

Hosts: Leif Pettersen of Leif Pettersen PR and Chris Christensen of and

Hashtags – Passport Travel Marketing & PR #018 (Podcast)


passport podcast

Pinterest – Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast Episode 9

Pinterest - Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast Episode 9 (Podcast)

Interview of Louise Cottrell from about Pinterest:

  • What is Pinterest?
  • When would I want to use Pinterest
  • Pinterest as a search engine, not a social network
  • Getting ready for Pinterest
  • Getting started with Pinterest and automation
  • Get a free month of tailwind

Louise Cottrell is the founder of, where she offers her talents as a Pinterest marketing strategist working with travel content creators and business owners to generate traffic, grow their audience and increase sales. She does Pinterest account management as well as consulting and training for bloggers and social media teams through her Pinterest Marketing Mastery Program. She’s also a world traveler and dog enthusiast.

Hosts: Leif Pettersen of Leif Pettersen PR and Chris Christensen of and

Pinterest - Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast Episode 9 (Podcast)