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More Facebook fans than people
Marketing and communications co-ordinator uses social media to tell potential visitors about Inuvik

Mark Rieder
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 13, 2015

Taylor Giffin, the Town of Inuvik's marketing and communications co-ordinator, is working to bring as many tourists and new residents into town as possible.

NNSL photo/graphic

Marketing and communications co-ordinator Taylor Giffin uses social media to draw interest over what the town has to offer. - Mark Rieder/NNSL photo

Social media plays the largest role in making that happen.

"We have more fans, more audience, more likes on our Facebook page than we do actual residents, which is huge. It's unheard of really for certain places," Giffin said.

Despite the abundance of information people can get through the Internet, Giffin said that it is still difficult for a person to get a full understanding of what a place is actually like.

"You can do as much research online as you can, but you never get a true sense of where you're going, and that's true for almost any destination," he said.

"When I arrived in Inuvik, everything looked the same, because I did my Google map search and I followed all the streets. But the feel of the town was completely different."

Giffin said the main feeling one cannot get from the Internet is what the people are like. He points to his own experience when he first arrived in town.

"Everybody has a smile on their face, everybody says, 'hi' when you walk by. I'm a friendly person as well, so I embrace that. I say, 'hi' to everyone I walk by as well when they say it. So that aspect of it was not what I expected."

With the high level of social media popularity behind him, Giffin's focus is to take advantage of that to coax people to visit.

His strategy is to discover who is expressing an interest in visiting and to contact them to further their understanding of the town.

"That's the big thing right now that we're focusing on, is utilizing social media as best we can to draw tourists to town and connect with them," he said.

"Anything we can do to try to entice people to actually follow through on their potential plans on visiting Inuvik."

Originally from Ajax, Ont., Giffin studied journalism at the University of Toronto.

"Journalism wasn't exactly what I wanted to get into, so I started to gear myself more towards the communications side of things," he said.

His responsibilities include being in charge of the Arctic Market. He is also playing a role in getting things ready for the Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference scheduled for next June.

"There's a lot of work involved with the re-branding of it from the previous Inuvik Petroleum Show. Right now we're just trying to get everything organized so we can go forward with some more content the public can see. Right now we're completing the logo," he said.

"For the most part it's still going to be the same. With the re-branding we're not just gearing it to petroleum, to the oil and gas industry. We're hoping to open it up to those emerging technologies that might be available, that might be interested in setting foot in the Arctic."

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