Superb Tourism Social Media? Australia Wins.

Superb Tourism Social Media? Australia Wins.

Are you wondering how you could best improve your tourism social media marketing? Want to increase the amount of eyes set on your destination? In 2010, Australia wanted to do the same thing and launched a successful tourism social media campaign that same year, “There’s Nothing Like Australia.” The campaign dramatically transformed tourism to the country by harnessing the power of word-of-mouth, social media, and photo-sharing social networks.

Tourism Australia There's Nothing Like Australia Campaign

Tourism Australia’s Challenges: Big Goals and a Lean Team

Australia is a beautiful country, and tourism is Australia’s second largest industry. Tourism Australia had two goals in mind: by 2020, Australia’s government wants to double tourism to the country, from AUS$70bn to AUS$140bn; and—they want to make Australia the “most wanted” holiday destination in the world. Talk about a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

However, in 2010, several challenges faced Tourism Australia and the overall goals they wanted to accomplish. Challenge one? While Australia is a beautiful country, before the rise of photo-sharing sites Facebook and Instagram, word-of-mouth was harder to come by because of the small amount of people it would reach.

As photo-sharing sites gained traction, however, Tourism Australia focused their sights on harnessing the power of social media—but there lay the second challenge: officially, there were only three people with the title, “social media” working at Tourism Australia. Just three.

“Tourism Australia transformed the way people went through the 5 key stages of travel.”

Their Solution for Tourism Social Media: Let the User Share (and Inspire)

Tourism Australia decided to turn to Facebook and Instagram, launching the “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign, and created a winning example of outstanding tourism social media. They brilliantly chose to focus on user-generated content, encouraging users to share their favorite “nothing like” moment, and hoping it would allow users to share their Australia experiences and pass them along to others with relative ease.

Doing this at the time when photo sharing sites were on the rise, it allowed millions of people to see, read, and watch others’ experiences while traveling to Australia. Through the “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign, Tourism Australia transformed the way people went through the 5 key stages of travel.

The 5 Stages of Travel

The 5 Stages of Travel

Tourism Australia was able to jumpstart the first stage of travel by focusing on the last stage: sharing. Through sharing user-generated photos and empowering travelers and Australians to share their experiences, Tourism Australia was able to visually pique potential travelers’ dreams, help provide information about planning and booking, and then let them have their own Australia experiences which they could share.

“Make sure every story is designed not only to tell a story, but also give a story to tell.”

Building Your Own Biggest Little Tourism Social Media Team

Tourism Australia achieved this by building the “Biggest Little Social Media Team” in five steps:

1. Create platforms that your fans can build on.

In mid-2011, Tourism Australia turned the “nothing like” campaign Facebook page over to its biggest fans. Reach and engagement exploded! They just surpassed 6 million fans and, everyday, they engage with 3 to 6 million people on their social channels.

2. Make your advocates the hero.

95% of content on Tourism Australia’s social platforms is user-generated. They receive over 1,000 photos each day and use them for content on their social channels. Every Friday, they upload a “Friday Fan” album with 20 of the best images submitted from that week. If the post gets delayed, they get phone calls and emails from fans asking them for the images, sometimes as far as from the U.K.

3. Surf waves.

Learn how to navigate both large and small waves. Large waves are those most-talked about events, such as the World Cup or National Blueberry Month, and being able to tie that story back to your destination somehow. Smaller waves are things you create: special and ongoing events on your social pages that encourage others to come to the page and participate on those days.

4.  Makes your stories social.

Make sure every story is designed not only to tell a story, but also give a story to tell.

5. Test and learn.

Every social network has its own set of rules. It’s important to test and learn and see which networks will work best for you and your fans. Tourism Australia is very active on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ and these platforms work for them. They post once a day on Facebook, once a day on Google+, and on Instagram 3-4 times a day. This posting strategy works for them well, but it may not be what you need for your community.


What were the results of Australia’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign? Here are some highlights:

  • Fans to date have sent over 299k photos through Instagram.

  • Fans to date have sent over 180k photos through Facebook.

  • Fans and followers upload about 1,000 photos a day to be shared across Tourism Australia’s social network.

  • The “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign became the country’s biggest consumer-generated promotions.

  • In 2012, Australia was the most popular destination on Facebok, Google+, and Instagram

  • They’ve uploaded 60,000 stories & photos.

  • And have formed an interactive map of stories from all over the country.

Check out the Presentation

So there you have it: ways for you to model Tourism Australia’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign and (hopefully) be able to create your own. If you’re needing help on your tourism or travel marketing, be sure to check out our full-suite of services.

You can watch Tourism Australia’s presentation below. All stats, images, and overall general information about the campaign go to Tourism Australia.


Social Media Examiner Tourism Australia podcast

Jesse Desjardins is the Social Media Manager of Tourism Australia. He speaks out on Social Media Examiner about social media for Australia and what it takes to manage the country’s voice. We loved his insights and we think you will, too.

Blog post update Oct 4 2014:

We just received these awesome videos straight from Jesse Desjardins and they are hilarious. Check out the Pat, the huge wombat, this 29 year old virgin turned into a social media phenomenon:



And of course, our fav story from Australia – how a huge kangaroo censored photo on Facebook got international coverage. Intentional or just too cautious, either way, it got a lot of attention. Check out the vid below and let us know what you think.

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About Brittany Alward

Marketing coordinator. Brittany keeps us all smiling and going forward with the right dose of humor and caffeine.

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