The Four Lessons of Social Media-led Marketing

Head of Research and Insights
Published 3/15/17
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Tourism Australia: From One Spokesperson to Millions

Part 2 of a 3 Part Video Series 

Watch Part 2 of the video series featuring Jesse Desjardins, Global Manager of Content & Social for Tourism Australia

Watch Part 1 of the video series, where Jesse takes us back to the 1980s and perhaps the most successful tourism campaign of the 20th century.

We continue our video series distilling the lessons from Tourism Australia’s move from its hugely successful Paul Hogan-led campaigns of the 1980s to a social media-led marketing approach in the 2010s. In this second part, Jesse Desjardins (Global Head of Content & Social at Tourism Australia) shares his four best practices for marketing with the voices and content of your community, visitors and partners:

#1: Create Value Not Vanity

This is particularly apt with the explosion of Influencer proposals that many destinations and tourism businesses are receiving.  These pitches are often focused on building the “brand” of the influencer rather than the amplifying the story of their client.  Look for partners who are genuinely engaged and interested in your destination or business. 

#2: Make Other People The Hero

At the center of social media- and user-generated content-led marketing is the belief that the most powerful storytellers for your destination, accommodation or experience are visitors, guests and locals. Jesse shares his insights on how to empower these story tellers – and in many cases allow them to not only educate the consumer, but also the organization on what they know and can share.  

#3: Build Platforms (Not Campaigns)

 An effective social media-led marketing approach needs to be scalable and repeatable. This means investing in technologies, processes and support structures to enable your community to post, share and comment. One set of solutions are social media integration and management platforms like ShuttleRock, Chute and Crowdriff that enable the easy management and publishing of UGC content into your website and also ease the process of asking for permission to use the best of this content in your marketing. 

#4: Use Social Media to Build Trust

Tourism Australia struggled in the first decade of this century with its ill-fated “Where the Bl**dy Hell are You?” campaign. Widely panned and under fire from the public and politicians, Jesse describes how the move to UGC- and social media-led content and marketing offered credibility, authenticity and trust,. 

Jesse also talks about the phenomenal impact of Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show taking its studio audience to Australia as a promotion (watching the audience’s reaction to this surprise announcement is priceless). The benefits dubbed “The Oprah Effect” was estimated to have generated media coverage worth more than $190 million in the following six months alone. 

This promotion was of course a mixture of both the old and new approach to tourism marketing – the “One Spokesperson” (Oprah Winfrey) and the “Millions” (her audience and other visitors/locals) – demonstrating that a hybrid model of leveraging major media personalities and their shows as well as UGC-driven content still offers real impact. 

Parts 1, 2 and 3 will be published on Wednesdays, March 8, 15 and 22, 2017. Stay tuned for more.


Watch Part 2 of the video featuring Jesse Desjardins, Global Manager of Content & SOcial for Tourism Australia

Watch Part 1 of the video, "Moving from an Iconic Spokesperson to a Social Media-Led Campaign" and read the accompany blog post

Read Jesse’s in-depth blog, “From One Spokesperson to Millions” (a summary of his Masters Thesis)

Skift Article: The most Popular Photos on Instagram all come from Australia

Tourism Australia’s website and presence on Facebook and Instagram