Tourism Australia’s Facebook page facebook.com/seeaustralia to promote Australian holidays has passed a major milestone - two million worldwide fans - making it both the largest Facebook page located in Australia and most popular tourism destination page on the planet.
The ‘Australia’ page was tipped over the 2 million mark following Tourism Australia’s New Year’s Eve social media short film initiative Project:12 http://on.fb.me/SydNYE . The short film featuring Facebook fans of Australia celebrating NYE in Sydney as well as user-generated video captured via iPhone saw the fan base increase by 85,000 fans in 3 days, with the film viewed by almost 400,000 people.
Tourism Australia’s popular Facebook page has grown rapidly since it was first launched in May 2008, and in 2011 grew by 855,000 new fans.
Facebook is key to Tourism Australia’s social media strategy to promote Australia’s tourism credentials at home and abroad, with fans around the world viewing and sharing photographs and holiday experiences.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy believes surpassing two million Facebook fans is clear evidence of Australia’s enduring international appeal and of its successful social media strategy.
Mr McEvoy said digital marketing was a critical element in the ongoing successful promotion of Australia.
“By having the largest Facebook page located in Australia and, by a considerable distance, the largest destination page on Facebook - with almost three times as many fans as our nearest rival, Las Vegas – we can effectively demonstrate our country’s continuing appeal both to Australians and people overseas,” Mr McEvoy said.
“To achieve two million fans is remarkable and hasn’t happened by accident. We engage very closely with our followers, listening and acting upon their feedback to deliver simple and effective content which inspires many fans to share with their own Facebook networks. It’s a massive multiplier effect and this is what social media and advocacy is all about.
“To be relevant Tourism Australia has to provide compelling content and to deliver impact we have to use the channels where consumers are researching and booking their holidays – and today, that’s online.
“Through Facebook we get real stories about what people are currently thinking about Australia which influences our marketing and makes the platform a primary interaction point with our global advocates.”
Mr McEvoy said Tourism Australia had been proactive in encouraging Australian tourism operators to engage with its Facebook fans, by interacting directly with the See Australia page and provide links to tourism experiences our followers may be interested in.
“In a new initiative, tourism operators can add their company to an online directory on our page which allows consumers to search for experiences, attractions and events across Australia,” Mr McEvoy said.
Australia’s Facebook page is integrated with Tourism Australia’s wider social media activity, which includes Twitter, a dedicated YouTube channel, Google+, Instagram and an increasingly large presence on major Asian based Weibo and Tudou social media platforms.
To mark the two million fans milestone, Tourism Australia acknowledged some of the engaging stars behind the success of its Facebook page - Australia’s native animals. Photos of Australian animals posted on the page consistently generate the most ‘Likes’, comments and shares by See Australia’s fans. The resulting film and photos features kangaroos, koalas, emus, wombats and Tasmanian Devils and is available to view, comment on and share at facebook.com/seeaustralia