N5R has been looking at the 5 ideas Tourism Australia used in their social media marketing to become the most popular travel destination on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. In case you missed yesterday’s post you can check it out here and catch up on the first two ideas.
3) Surf Waves
When it comes to social media, it’s all about relevancy and no one understands that more than Tourism Australia. That’s why capitalizing on events, news stories and generally staying current is such a huge part of what the social media team there does. They call it surfing waves, because, much like surfing, it’s all about taking advantage of momentum. Yes, planning out your content with content calendars is important, and Tourism Australia certainly understands that too, but nothing can match the power of relevancy.
They even break it down into what they call big waves and small waves. Big waves are usually large-scale news stories that have caught the world’s attention. For example, when the Mayan Calendar came to an end on December 21st, 2012, Tourism Australia used Facebook to tell the world that “Yes, we’re still alive.” This resulted in 180, 000 likes, 7,000 comments and a dedicated page with 4 million fans—a big wave to say the least.
Not all waves are big ones though. Small waves usually don’t make for front-page news around the world, but they still keep things current. Friday’s Fan Photos, for instance, gives fans a chance to check out 35 brand new featured fan photos from around Australia every Friday.
Riding waves let’s Tourism Australia keep a strong always-on approach to social media that keeps fans engaged 24-7.
4) Make The Stories Social
Every post that Tourism Australia puts up is designed with a very specific goal in mind. Yes, every post tells a story, but more than that, it hopes to give a story to tell. By constantly asking fans to build on the story or share their own thoughts, perspectives, and experiences around it, posts take on a life of their own.
Using photos to tell these stories is particularly important. As one of the most visually distinct regions in the world, photos are a perfect medium to both tell Australia’s stories and remind fans of their own. When people see the pictures that are posted they get the chance to say, “Hey, I’ve been there,” or “I’ve done that.” The stories are always expanding and fans are always discovering new shared experiences.
They’ve even managed to take this strategy a step further by creating the Discover Australia Through Friends App. Not only does this ingenious app help users find interesting places to go in Australia, but it does it by finding experiences your own friends have had and shared from those places. Imagine trying to pick a vacation spot and finding out that your old college roommate just had an amazing time in Melbourne, complete with all their trip photos. That’s some pretty powerful stuff.
5) Test and Learn
The team at Tourism Australia says that they learned this lesson when they started their Google+ brand page. Apparently, they had originally thought to approach the Google+ page in the same way that they had approached the creation of their Facebook page. The page was performing well, but it wasn’t going crazy until the day they decided to mix things up and see how posting interesting facts about Australia would help the pages performance. In only 3 months time, followers of the Google+ page grew by over 730, 000 followers. It only goes to show what N5R always preaches—changing your content and testing the results is the best path to continued success with online marketing.
Not every social network is alike and you can’t simply approach all of them with the same strategy. To be successful, marketers have to be innovative and understand that the biggest benefit of social media marketing is it’s inherent ability to track results. Tourism Australia understands this and their success is no coincidence.
“One of the best outcomes of our social media efforts is that we now globally have access to an incredible focus group who continue to inspire us every day”
Nick Baker – Executive General Manager, Tourism Australia
So there you have it. They 5 big ideas that have made Tourism Australia’s social media marketing the most successful of any travel destination in the world.
—Create Platforms Fans Can Build On
—Make Fans The Hero
—Make The Stories Social
—Test and Learn
It’s a simple model and it could be applied to just about any social media campaign. Use what Tourism Australia’s 3-person social media team has already learned and you’re potential for success will be endless.
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