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The World's Biggest Social Media Team

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In 2012, Australia was the most popular travel 
destination on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

In 2013, Tourism Australia has an ambitious goal to use the power of social media to make Australia the most talked about holiday destination in the world.

There are officially just three people with ‘social media’ titles at Tourism Australia. Yet look a little more closely and in fact the content shared comes from millions of people who interact and enthusiastically help sell the country.

Welcome to the World’s Biggest Social Media Team.

The World's Biggest Social Media Team

  2. In 2012, Australia was the most popular travel destination on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. In 2013, Tourism Australia has an ambitious goal to use the power of social media to make Australia the most talked about holiday destination in the world. There are officially just three people with ‘social media’ titles at Tourism Australia. Yet look a little more closely and in fact the content shared comes from millions of people who interact and enthusiastically help sell the country. Welcome to the World’s Biggest Social Media Team.Gold Coast Tourism - Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta 44,403 1,495 5,470
  3. There’s Nothing Like Australia 3• Tourism is Australia’s second • Tourism Australia operates in Power to the consumer 6 largest industry, worth $96bn 22 markets and 17 languages and employing close to TripEcho 8 1m people • Its 200-strong workforce is split between Sydney (120) and Powered by fans 10• By 2020, the government 12 offices around the globe (80) 5 steps to creating the World’s wants to double tourism 11 Biggest Social Media Team expenditures from AU$70bn to AU$140bn 1: Create platforms that our 12 fans can build on 2: Make our fans the hero 19 3: Surf waves 25 Canada UK Germany 4: Create social stories 32 France Italy USA South Korea Japan China 5: Test and learn 37 Hong Kong India Malaysia Singapore 5 stages of travel 40 Inside: Indonesia Brazil GHQ - Growing the team in 3 areas 43 Sydney New Zealand Fan favourites 45
  4. In May 2010 Tourism Australia launched ‘There’sNothing Like Australia’, a global campaign with astrong social element. It was the first time thatsocial media showcased the range of diverseexperiences up for grabs in Australia, as well asdemonstrating the power of word of mouth.The big idea being that its better to have all ofAustralia advocating through their travel stories.Australians uploaded 60,000 stories and photos,sharing their favourite ‘nothing like’ moment withthe world in what became one of the country’sbiggest consumer-generated promotions. Thesestories now form an interactive, digital map,inspiring travellers ahead of their Australian holiday.There’s nothing like australia
  5. RED CARPETSALWAYS LEAD TO SOMETHING special The world travels to experience difference Word of Mouth is all powerful For Tourism Australia ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ is both a campaign line and a brand truth. It was born from two key insights: 1. The world travels to experience difference and Australia is an extremely unique destination 2. Word of mouth has always been and will always be all powerful, particularly when it comes to travel decisionsD I S C O V E R T I M E L E S S U LU R U AT AU S T R A L I A . C O M
  6. The past 20 years have seen a dramatic shifttowards consumer generated stories.The shift started roughly in 2002 whenconsumers, not just publishers, could easilycreate content (think blogs, TripAdvisor reviewsetc.). This ushered in a new era of tourismmarketing, one that was honest, transparentand increasingly driven by the consumer. Mobile nt nte d Co e erat G en er- UsPower to the Consumer SOCIAL WEB 2.0
  7. With the rise of user-generated content Tourism Australia is well-placed to capitalise on this latest phase, particularly considering the growth in popularity of photo-sharing sites. Fans to date have sent over 229k photos via Instagram and over 180k via Facebook to be used specifically by Tourism Australia on its social media platforms. storytelling with the consumerAquabumps - Perfection? - Cable Beach, Broome WA 65,167 2,227 8,314
  8. Pre social media, if someone visited Australia their circle of influence was quite small. Maybe they would make a few phone calls back home, send a few post cards and tell a handful of people about their trip on their return home. Today, in a networked, always on, real time world, a holiday in Australia can be broadcast via social media to an intimate few, hundreds, thousands and even very publicly to millions of people around the world. With a digital shift driven by consumers we optimistically see unprecedented scale for word of mouth. trip echo (source: Travel 2.0)Justin Heitman - Can you see Heart Reef? ♥ 48,848 1,151 4,626 pre social today
  9. “Social offers an accessible point of entry for companies in the tourism sector. 78% of our industry is made up of small to medium-sized enterprises, so a lot of them don’t have the time or money to spend on traditional marketing campaigns. Social has levelled the playing field for everyone and is an effective way for them to secure endorsement. If I own a hotel and someone tweets or posts on Facebook about my establishment, they’re advocating for my hotel. This makes everyone who comes through the door a potential fan and advocate. We see the same opportunity from everyone that visits our shores.” Nick Baker Executive General Manager, Consumer Marketing Tourism AustraliaKatie Daly on Tasman Island Cruises) 40,941 770 4,924
  10. “Social is a massive platform Here is where the World’s Biggest Social Media Team haswhere people can tell stories. a crucial role to play: they field questions and interact with people who are starting to consider visitingUltimately, we want our Australia.4 million plus Facebook fans, This kind of evangelism, facilitated through Tourismthe 23 million people who Australia’s profiles, packs a far greater punch than welive here and the 6 million could ever create on our own.who visited last year to It’s the same story when a trip reaches the planningbecome ambassadors for the stages: when places to stay or eat out are recommendedcountry. Everything we do in in a peer-to-peer fashion, it’s out of a genuine desire tosocial is to make this share and help others enjoy their holiday in Australia.happen.” - Nick Baker The core social media team aims to win consumer trust by taking a back-seat approach, facilitating natural conversation and spontaneous recommendation between users. Here’s how we do it... powered by fans
  11. 5 steps to joiningthe world’s biggest social media team
  12. Alexander Frings Photography - Double-rainbow in Byron Bay 4,787 321 1,614 step 1: create platforms that your fans can build on
  13. The core social media team focuses on creatingplatforms on which fans can themselves build on.This is a world away from regarding social as achannel through which to broadcast one messageto the masses, and allows a number of perspectivesto be represented in one place. This, in turn,conveys that a visit to Australia can prompt aninfinite number of experiences.Instead of pushing out one-off ‘social campaigns’Tourism Australia creates always on’ platforms thatinvolve fans and followers adding social context toevery story being shared.
  14. 4m fansIn mid 2011 Tourism Australia changed itsFacebook approach and turned over thepage to its biggest fans. The results was anexplosive growth in reach and engagement.“The possibilities are endless. When we sawthe potential we quickly moved from ateam that was producing static one waystories to dynamic multi angled ones 2m fanscodeveloped with our fans. “Jesse Desjardins fansSocial Media and Advocacy Manager vingTourism Australia Invol sting Bro adca Turning point
  15. Fans and followers send in over 1,000 photosper day to be featured on Tourism Australia’ssocial media platforms.What’s more, professional or semi-professionalphotographers are increasingly likely to share theirshots as casual snappers, with some using those socialplatforms as a launch pad for their career.Richard Hirst, a Sydney-based professionalphotographer, has built up his Facebook fanbase andhas been hired by Nikon thanks to his shots beingregularly featured on Tourism Australia’s Facebook.This is testament to one of Tourism Australia’s coresocial media principles: make fans the heros.(more on this later)
  16. While Tourism Australia receives incredible photos from professional and semi professional photographers (about 40%), the vast majority comes from thousands who give Tourism Australia a real time look at events happening across the country via Instagram.“5 years ago it would have been unthinkable forus to have photographers in the field sending usa thousand photos every day.” - Nick Baker“With mobile, you have only a second ortwo to tell a story. It once again changes therules. Everything has to be short andYour best camera is the one you have with youpunchy, intelligent, focused and massivelyrelevant”- Jesse Desjardins
  17. Harry Willey - Coolangatta, QLD 1967 When Facebook introduced timelines for brand pages most companies flocked at the opportunity to talk about their history. To keep in the spirit of our approach (creating platforms that our fans can build on) we turned it over to fans who have been populating the timeline with their own family holiday photos, generating discussion on family traditions and holidays across Australia. Fans can see photos dating back to 1910. stories embedded in the history of our fans
  18. Australia’s tourism industry has followed suit, with a moreand more companies embracing the concept of creatingplatforms that other people can build on. This, in turn,makes it easy for people to talk about their product orservice and helps to publicise unforgettable experiences tonew audiences in apeer-to-peer environment.Pro Dive in Cairns, for instance, has installedfree 3G wifi connections on their boats going out to theGreat Barrier Reef so in between dives, customerscan post photos and videos in real time. “Whether it’s free WIFI or fan-generated social media content, companies that can recognise the power of introducing additional, participatory layers to their proposition are not just enhancing people’s enjoyment of their product, but are also helping their business in the long-term through people generating positive PR on their behalf.” - Nick Baker
  19. Christine Amherd - “Chin up mate :)” 44,093 844 6,931 step 2: make your advocates the hero
  20. 95% of content on Tourism Australia’ssocial media platforms is created by fans.This means the social media team is focused oncurating, not just creating, content thatshowcases the best of Australia.This also means that the people whose content isbeing showcased on the day become expertsjoining the core team in leading the discussionand helping to answer questions from other fans.
  21. Lauren Bath, Gold Coast QLD: Carly Donohue, Perth WA: “A lot of wonderful things have happened to “My aim generally on a weekly basis is to get me since I started sharing photos but my into the weeks fan photos posted by Australia. most exciting was the feature that Tourism It is one of the best ways to market attention Australia did on my shots. It was my first big to a photo of mine. Alone it would be photographic break.” impossible for myself to engage all those in the world that like Australia photography to see my photos.” Jen Rayner, Hobart TAS: “I love Australia and I love photographing it.   Tourism Australias Facebook profile provides the Richard Hirst, Sydney NSW: perfect platform for me to share my perspective “I have been inundated with emails from of Australia, with the rest of the world… I know people around the world telling me how how important tourism is to Tasmania and much they love my work and Australia. It is being involved in promoting my island gave me especially satisfying when I receive emails a great sense of pride.” from friends of mine who live overseas and who have seen my photos posted by Tourism Australia.” Brad Chilby, Illawarra NSW: “I get hundreds of emails and enquiries through my Facebook fan page asking about visiting the Andy Hutchinson, South Coast NSW: Illawarra, places to see and things to do and I “Best thing thats happened since I started sharing my photos is that Ive started making aWhy photographers share their photos... really enjoy sharing my local knowledge with them. The more photos I share with Tourism living out of selling them. I didnt think my Australia the more my fan base grows and so photos were very good and had never does the interest in the region. Tourism considered selling prints before, but thanks in Australia once shared one of my photos of Sea part to traffic sent my way via the Australia Cliff Bridge at Coalcliff in N.S.W and my fan page and so many positive responses, I thought numbers jumped by almost 400 fans in one day. Id give it a go. Ive since sold prints and It would normally take around 3 months to gain calendars all over the world  - if someone had that many fans.” told me that would be the case this time last year Id have thought they were mad.”
  22. Harry Willey is an 81-year-old fan ofTourism Australia’s Facebook page.Harry shrugs off the few negativecomments which occasionally appearon the page and also shares his ownexperiences and extensive knowledgeof Australia spanning decades.“Harry is part of our socialmedia team and is proof thatTourism Australia’s social mediaplatforms aren’t exclusivelytargeting younger audiences.For over 50 years Harry hastravelled all across Australia. Interms of expertise, it literallydoesn’t get any better thanHarry.” - Nick Baker
  23. Visit the social media team at TourismAustralia and you’ll see an unusual photoof Luke Skywalker and Yoda.“This photo reminds us to make our fansthe hero every day. When we look at whatother brands are doing in the social space,it’s still all about them, they are the hero,they are Luke Skywalker.In Star Wars, Yoda is the wise one, he’s theone who has a deep understanding ofwhere Luke should go and whispers thispath in his ear. But throughout the film thehero is always Luke. This is our approach insocial. When we make our fans LukeSkywalker they will pick up our stories andtake it to places where it could never go onits own.This mantra is always front and centre ineverything that we do in social media.”- Jesse Desjardinsusing the force
  24. Russell Ord - “Massive swell” 55,626 2,576 12,410 step 3: surf waves
  25. While planning and content calendars have their place the team needs to always be ready to grab their boards and surf incoming waves. The biggest advantage is that ‘Tourism + Australia’ are naturally some of the most talked about topics on social media in Australia with incoming waves coming in daily. The challenge is choosing exactly which ones to surf. We’re always ready for two types of wave: big waves and small | Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW- “Duck” 5,765 246 1,287
  26. Every day we hone our skills to be able to respond to newsstories with an Australian angle, as evidenced recently on21st December 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar,which some were hailing as the end of the world.By taking advantage of Australia’s geographic location wetook it upon our selves to tell the world ‘Yes, we’re alive’ onFacebook.The results? More than 180k likes and 7,000 comments.This also led to the page reaching more than 4 millionfans. News of Tourism Australia’s Facebook comment alsobecame headline news in the mainstream press. "Wed like to reassure our fans around the world that Australia is very much alive and well, and still thebig waves perfect place for a holiday." - Media statement from Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia
  27. “The ‘end of the world’ posts was a perfect example of the power and speed of social media. We’re proud of the capabilities we’ve built internally that allow us to respond to such opportunities. Our team was able to seize upon an incredible PR opportunity, which within minutes saw Tourism Australia’s Facebook site making news across Australia, and, within hours, across the globe.”Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director
  28. The core social media team also worksclosely with traditional media partners.When a rescued Koala became a big hiton our Facebook page, we quicklycontacted the media in Australia. Theresult was a feature in three major newsoutlets in Australia, the US and the UKin less than 24 hours.
  29. One example of a small weekly wave is theFriday Fan Photos. Around 35 photossubmitted by fans from a wide variety oflocations are rounded up every Friday and thenpublished as an album on Facebook.Comments are relentlessly positive, with fansliking, sharing and reminiscing about theirown memories.‘It’s become a big thing and people are quitecompetitive to get their pictures featured.Professional photographers send us photos on adaily basis and people call the switchboard andsend photos in the mail.’ - Jesse Desjardins Small waves are our favourites because they allow us to hone our skills and to cumulatively always be achieving more. You only get better at mastering the big waves once you’ve mastered the small ones.small waves
  30. “We are constantly searching for theabsolute best content to showcaseAustralia. Our fans loved the idea of‘glamping’ over the holidays. With thehelp of Paperbark Camp and theperfect image we were able to reachhundreds of thousands of people toshare an incredible Australianexperience. By crafting exactly theright post we were also able toincrease Paperbark Camp’s Facebookpage from 423 to over 7,900 fans,generating enquires and bookingsfrom all over the world.” - Jesse Desjardins
  31. Visual beauty and social media is a highlypotent combination when it comes to drivinginterest in Australia.“Platforms like Instagram and Facebookgive people a 24-hour, constant, real-time loop which is forever suggesting aholiday in Australia over their next bigpurchase. It’s a constant way to reconnectwith people who have already been hereor who are dreaming of a holiday inAustralia.” - Nick Baker“If we’ve just had the most beautiful sunny dayand our fans in the UK are just waking up to ablizzard we can quickly put out a gentlereminder of what they’re missing out on.”- Jesse DesjardinsAlways on
  32. Karen Fitzgerald - Injalak Hill, Oenpelli, Arnhem Land, NT. 5,284 414 724 step 4: make our stories social
  33. Every post is designed to not only tell a story,but also to give a story to tell.On Facebook, for example stories are neverdesigned just for the 4.1 million fans, they arealso designed to get those current fansinfluencing their 457 million other friends.“The majority of our fans have already been toAustralia or they live here. Social allows us to putpart of a story out there and say ‘here, you buildon it’. If a photo gets shared ten thousand times,then there are probably ten thousand differentangles to that story being told.” - Jesse Desjardins Current fan base Friends of fansGiving people a story to tell
  34. “A picture just sells it, and because Australia is globally recognised as being number one for natural beauty, photos are the best way to show it off. Social context adds comments and people saying ‘I’ve been there, I’ve done that.’ Then it’s magic. Through these simple fan photo features we can have the same reach as a traditional campaign every day.”- Nick BakerAdventure Photography Whitsunday 40,445 1,358 4,915
  35. In 2012, Tourism Australia launched a Facebook appthat allowed travellers to tap into their own networkof friends for inspiration and ideas to plan and makethe most of a holiday in australiathrough your friends
  36. The app was the first of its kind in the world.Not only does it help you choose where inAustralia to go, but also embeds Australia’sdiverse stories in the social context of yourfriends who have already been. Making thetravel planning process truly personal.
  37. Richard Hirst - Winter ice skating in Bondi 39,857 1,865 7,565 step 5. test & learn
  38. “When Google+ launched pages for brands our first intuition was to repeat something that worked on Facebook. 3 months into it we had about 30k followers, which we thought was good. One day we decided to experiment with facts about Australia and the engagement went crazy. In the following 3 months we grew to over 730k followers. We quickly learned that every platform has its own rules.” - Nick Baker Watch Tourism Australia’s Facebook page and you’ll see that captions can be changed several times in the first instance that a post shows up on the newsfeed. “It’s not uncommon for us to tweak a caption on a post a few times once it’s been published. Within seconds we started getting feedback from fans around the world. They tell us very quickly when we’ve hit the mark and when we haven’t.” - Jesse DesjardinsEugene Tan - Aquabumps 28 0 1
  39. “Often we’ll let our fans come upwith a caption for our posts. Wecan often get several thousandsuggestions from fans all aroundthe world. Not only is this a greatway to engage, it’s also incrediblyinsightful for us to learn from.The creativity of some of our fansnever ceases to amaze us.”- Jesse Desjardins
  40. This never-ending influence through socialstories is crucial when it comes to tapping intothe first and last of the five stages of travel:dreaming, planning, booking, experiencingand sharing.“Our job is conversion. When people arebuying a holiday, there’s a phase whenthey go all over the place and are decidingif they actually want to go on holiday or ifthey’d sooner upgrade their bathroom orbuy a new car.” - Nick Baker dREAMING SHARING PLANNINGthe 5 stages of travel EXPERIENCING BOOKING
  41. Tourism Australia’s research has shown that 24% ofpeople who see their peer group’s holiday photos areinspired to go on holiday, while 11% want to go onexactly the same holiday enjoyed by their friends.“Holidays are a cherished part of life where peoplereconnect and make important decisions. There’sa virtuous circle at work where post-holidaysharing steers the next wave of visitors toAustralia who are at the dreaming stage.”- Nick Baker dREAMING SHARING
  42. “We use all sorts of metrics to track thesuccess of our platforms andcampaigns. Although likes, commentsand shares give us some indication,the real value often in social is whatthe consumer is telling us and how itcan influence everything else that wedo. One of the best outcomes of oursocial media efforts is that we nowglobally have access to an incrediblefocus group who continue to inspire usevery day.” - Nick Baker
  43. The core social media team splits its time in 3 focus areas: • working towards being the world’s most talked about travel destination globally • focusing on platform-building instead of one- off initiatives to expand reach in partnershipPlatforms Partnerships with fans and industry partners • the team spends roughly 30% of its time working in other business units sharing insights and expanding the size of the team throughout the organisation and industry. Insights “Everyone at Tourism Australia plays a role in our social media efforts. The biggest mistake for our small team would be to work in a silo. Through collaboration there’s almost no limits.” – Jesse Desjardins The team’s goal is to show how being open, collaborative, and, ultimately, having the utmost confidence in your product, attracts people to want to advocate on your behalf. Growing the team
  44. In 2012, China surpassed the UK to becomeAustralia’s second largest inbound marketafter New Zealand.While Australia has had success in thewestern world’s social media platforms, it isalso one of the most followed destination onSina Weibo, a microblog used by well over30% of the Internet population in China.“Through partnerships with Sina Weibo andYouku we’re once again having to adapt ourstorytelling approach. We’ve found that whilethe majority of the world used platforms likeFacebook as an extension of themselves,consumers in China will often use them toproject an image of themselves. A trip toAustralia is an incredibly popular propositionwhich is clearly shown by the amount ofconversation around some of this country’snatural beauty.” - Nick Bakerchina
  45. FAN FAVOURITESCity of Sydney Embrace 2013! Happy New Year from Australia xxx 123,320 3,830 22,046
  46. No one can predict what the future will hold and how digital platforms will evolve. But with over 6 million visitors last year, 22 million Australians and the help of the world’s biggest social media team, we are in the best possible position to show the world why There’s Nothing Like Australia. /+SeeAustralia /SeeAustralia /SeeAustralia /+Australia to join the team visit:Tommy Clarke Photographer - Waiting to start the Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim
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In 2012, Australia was the most popular travel 
destination on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. In 2013, Tourism Australia has an ambitious goal to use the power of social media to make Australia the most talked about holiday destination in the world. There are officially just three people with ‘social media’ titles at Tourism Australia. Yet look a little more closely and in fact the content shared comes from millions of people who interact and enthusiastically help sell the country. Welcome to the World’s Biggest Social Media Team.


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