Agencies tend to like the invention of new. There’s nothing wrong with being innovative. In fact, it’s both commendable and desirable, and, in the majority of instances, needed. What they’re sometimes not very good at doing is acknowledging the value in existing work or work (gasp), that is not their own.
So when it is right to take out the tried and tested, dust it off and make it better? When is it ok to say ‘that’s working, it’s working well, so we’re not going to change it (much)’?.
It’s a little bit of practice what you preach….
We’ve always advocated that social media is a long term commitment and by being continually involved in the space you have a voice that gets heard and has credibility. The application of that ethos helped in the creation of a successful social media campaign for Tourism New South Wales starting from somewhere around, ooh, I’d say, the 100m mark?
Our challenge? To raise the profile of Sydney as a destination of choice for young travellers (aged 18-30 years) from the UK and Ireland looking to travel on a variety of visa types.
We already had two things: A youth market contributing 37% of international visitor arrivals in New South Wales, and an engaged fan base on Facebook of a little over 3,000 fans. So we harnessed both of these and used them as a foundation to build even higher.
Facebook became the fulcrum for the campaign. The fan base at the beginning of May 2009 was 3,359. Since then, the number of fans has more than doubled through purely organic growth, with an increase of 4,275 additional fans. The fan base, which has a strong representation from the 18-30 target market, is now host to a total fan base of 7,634. And perhaps ‘fan’ is the wrong word. These aren’t discount driven relationships or pure broadcasting, they are engaged participants having conversations and sharing information.
Of course that didn’t happen all on its own and there was a carefully crafted strategic approach backing it that comprised of both offensive and defensive elements; a lot of research; content creation; seeding in travel and vertical markets; and general passion and enthusiasm for a fun job with a great client.
Better yet were the results. Tourism New South Wales share of online voice in social media for ‘Sydney’ went from 22% in the months leading up to the campaign to 39% at its conclusion including forums, blogs and micro-blogs.
So yes, it’s a lot of hard work too but the point is this. If clients have bothered to take themselves into the world of social media and they’re not doing a bad job, they may need your help and direction which they’ve obviously recognised (and for that we praise them) but don’t disregard their experiences to date. Use what they have and let them share their knowledge and challenges with you. It makes sense and it works. And you know what? You both end up feeling better for it.
See more of 7 Days in Sydney here: