Social Media Best Practices in Destination Marketing

Don’t try to make it viral

Think big, but keep in mind that very few social media campaigns break through. If you are lucky enough to get on the wave, ride it for all it’s worth. Six weeks is a short timespan, and when its over, its hard to maintain that kind of momentum without the money to pay for it.

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Planning and execution are key

The Best Job In The World campaign was highly orchestrated. Timing was critical. It was a tough time for the tourism industry and they had planned phases to draw out results. It was important to launch before the Obama inauguration to avoid getting lost, but take advantage of the lift from Australia: The Movie. They had to alter their plans on the fly whenever opportunities arose.

Set goals so you can measure success

The Queensland marketing team struggled with setting goals for the campaign as they had never undertaken anything like it and there were no benchmark metrics to consider (one of the biggest challenges with social media). They were spending a lot of money and expending significant effort, so they needed to define what would constitute success. Their constituents and partners would demand it.

They finally settled on a goal of 400,000 total visitors to The Best Job In The World website (as of the end of October, they had exceeded 8.4 million visitors from every country in the world), with 1-3% applying for the job (2.8% actually applied).

Don’t try to fake it: you’ll get caught

At the start of The Best Job In The World campaign, Cummins Nitro seeded the website with a video story about a woman who tattooed an advertisement for the Great Barrier Reef on her arm to win the job. According to Chris, their intention was to give an example of the kinds of videos they were looking for from applicants.

Unfortunately, when word got out, the social networks took over and the outcry, “FAKE!! -The Best Job In The World FRAUD EXPOSED!!” and the accompanying anger went around the world in no time. It took several days of damage control (using additional unplanned resources) and a public apology to eventually quell the storm.

There you have it

Queensland successfully used social media as a part of an integrated destination marketing campaign to drive traffic to their website (8.4 million site visitors, from every country) and visitors to their destination (Australia tourism down, but Queensland tourism up 20%). We've got our first ROI story from other sources and the start of our social media integration best practices list for destination marketers.