Storytelling + Social Community Management
November 2020 - Ongoing
The destination marketing organisation for the Limestone Coast Tourism Region, Limestone Coast Local Government Association (LCLGA), has engaged Tourism eSchool to plan and implement a strategic storytelling and social media marketing strategy to drive awareness and visitation to the Limestone Coast Tourism Region since November 2020.
With a new website being produced and launched in mid-2021 this activity has a major content driven focus on leveraging user-generated imagery and publishing of new storytelling blog articles, along with management of their social communities.
Through this activation the region has benefited long term though the production of foundation digital content for the brand new Limestone Coast Tourism Region website, which has worked in harmony with best practice strategy and operations across the Region’s social media resources.
Social Media Community Management
Social Media Optimisation & Visitor Journey Mapping
To ensure strategic and focussed implementation we first ensured alignment of all content creation and targeting fell in line with the region’s high-value visitor personas, as outlined in our previous work on the Limestone Coast Destination Tourism + Marketing Plan 2025.
It was essential to understand who the region was trying to attract and convert, and gain deeper understanding on the people who stay the longest, disperse around the region, spend the most, love the experience of the destination (including the towns, natural attractions and tourism businesses) and become strong word of mouth advocates or repeat visitors.
From here, we also analysed the region’s current social media audience. The channels were in their infancy in November, 2020, but using the information available we were able to extract some data around users’ age and location, when they’re generally online and the types of content they engage with the most. This provided an even better picture of who we were targeting, and the triggers needed to catch their attention in a busy and cluttered social media environment.
Given both social media channels were very much ‘start ups’, additional work was then undertaken to optimise Facebook and Instagram to aesthetically fall in line with the region’s new branding (which was also being implemented on the new website), while ensuring best practice functionality was implemented on each platform.
Metrics + Measurement
Our second step was to establish some baseline metrics and a measurement framework, using both Iconosquare and Facebook Business Manager as key sources for insights and forward planning on LCLGA’s Facebook and Instagram.
This was critical to benchmarking future performance, so baseline metrics were taken retrospectively around community growth, engagement and reach, in addition to the all-important website traffic data on Google Analytics.
By setting the bar from the beginning, this provided a solid platform to track the effectiveness of social media efforts for not only the short term, but also to provide to LCLGA with a robust reporting tool that we could use and reference well into the future. As such, a comprehensive reporting template was designed to cumulatively capture and input key data moving forward.
Content Audit + Curation
Following our research undertaken in the Limestone Coast Destination Tourism + Marketing Plan 2025 around key content themes, we took a deep-dive to source fresh, high-quality, seasonally relevant visuals for use across the channels. This was critical to ensure we had an established library of amazing material to draw and build upon from the very beginning.
To do this, we ‘mined’ for user-generated content on Instagram, searching through a labyrinth hash tags, geo-tags and account tags functions to ensure our content left no stone un-turned.
First, we targeted any content shared with LCLGA’s official hashtag, plus material their account had been physically tagged in. We then utilised geo-tags to find additional content users had shared at key locations around the region. Research was also put into other non-official (but highly relevant) hashtags that people otherwise used when posting, enabling us to fill more gaps, as required.
Approaches were then made to well-known local influencers and professional content creators, helping us build productive relationships with a talented group of artists that we could activate and encourage to contribute from time to time.
Throughout the process, sharing permission was sought from all creators before images were optimised for social (right size, right medium, with/without enhancements) and banked away in the library, kicking things off with a base library of around 200+ photos and videos to ensure the channels received immediate traction.
Social Channel Management + Reporting
Having curated a swathe of user-generated visuals, it was time to start posting on LCLGA’s socials.
Initially, it was clear that the eyes of the Limestone Coast tourism industry and town communities would be on these new channels, so it was key to really inspire and engage them early on. By showcasing the breadth of hidden gems (not just hero experiences) around the region, this would give them something to be truly proud about – and in doing so, turn them into the channels’ biggest advocates.
At commencement, the key elements of channel management included a minimum of five organic newsfeed posts per week on both Facebook and Instagram, with daily Instagram Stories (including operator re-sharing and dedicated features) and full daily community management.
Given the new Limestone Coast Tourism Region website was also a few months away from launching, extensive storytelling in captions also helped to fill this the void, with links being driven directly to operators and council websites for further information.
From the outset, each and every post has been optimised to ensure it is fully tailored for sharing on the relevant channel. In doing so, posts achieve maximum reach, engagement and web traffic, with community interactions and messages being addressed as they arise.
The content schedule has also been 100% reflective of seasonality, ensuring the audience sees the best and most relevant material each month. In doing this, daily weather fluctuations regularly see content adapted to better capture and harness community sentiment ‘in the moment’, capitalising on the mood on any given day.
The launch of the new website in mid-2021 has also now moved the content strategy to the next phase. Monthly blog articles are being written (refer to Content Creation section below), with social channels publishing relevant and highly impactful visual leads to drive users back to them to the website learn more. It is here we are seeing the powerful combination of highly impactful social media content working in harmony with a highly engaged audience to produce exceptional results.
What our Storytelling Looked Like...
To date, storytelling has reflected every aspect of a holiday to the Limestone Coast across all seasons, combining stunning imagery with creative captions that inspire users to dream, plan, book and stay longer.
- Summer saw the Blue Lake at its best as beachgoers social distanced in Robe
- We ate seafood by the sand and found shade at Umpherston Sinkhole
- Borders closed and re-opened as Christmas came and went
- The New Year rang in as we made tracks to Coorong National Park
- We cooled off at Ewens Ponds and explored the depths of Kilsby Sinkhole
- We enjoyed the morning show in Port MacDonnell and slept in a million star hotel
- Autumn brought a kaleidoscope of colour as the sun slipped away in Kingston SE
- We dined by the vines and camped in the dunes
- The mornings grew misty as the Southern Lights illuminated our evenings
- We explored Naracoorte Caves and went foraging in forests
- The vines turned to gold and the days became cold
- Winter weaved it’s magic as the seas raged in Robe
- We ate fish and chips on the jetty and went puddle jumping in Coonawarra
- COVID locked the State down before businesses welcomed us all back
- We wandered the shores of Lake George and Leg of Mutton Lake
- We tended the vines in Wrattonbully and basked at golden hour at Tantanoola
- Spring sprang with beautiful blooms and canola brightened our mood
- We made tracks back to the beach and put the 4WD through its paces
- The sunset symphony lit up Bool Lagoon as rains kept the country green
- We grazed and glamped in Coonawarra and put our bathers back on in Robe
Throughout the course of the year, regular dialogue with LCLGA has been maintained to ensure communications stay responsive to their ever-changing needs, as well as the dynamic nature of State-led tourism recovery campaigns around COVID-19.
Our extensive research and preparation has yielded some amazing results, with all key social media and website metrics rising significantly. As the channels continue to build momentum, and more visitors travel to the region, we are continually sourcing fresh new user-generated material on a daily basis, which is then optimised and shared as part of the mix.
Large local and national influencers are frequently sharing content with their audiences, extending the content/region’s reach to valuable new audiences of millions.
Comprehensive monthly Social Media Reports have been delivered to LCLGA, addressing all key results areas in line with earlier planning and benchmarking.
Website Marketing + Storytelling
An equally important part of the project has been to build out the article content on the brand new destination website to drive demand and interest for holiday makers to the Limestone Coast Tourism Region.
After project managing the build of the new website, we knew immediately what content needed to be created to drive demand from the regions high yielding visitor personas.
Given there was no legacy content, we had to prioritise the development of new articles articles. So we prioritised based on:
- Specific itineraries to support the region's Visitor Personas
- Key niche interest experiences that the region needed to 'own' in terms of experience strengths.
The first round of storytelling content was the development 4 hero itineraries/articles to provide foundation content for the website, including the sourcing and approval of imagery.
Each article targets a specific Visitor Persona in line with the Limestone Coast Destination Tourism + Marketing Plan 2025.
- Ultimate Limestone Coast Roadtrip
- Road Trips for Young Families in the Limestone Coast
- On Tour With Your Teens + Tweens
- Devouring the Limestone Coast
Once the initial itineraries had been written and published, a number of other articles began to follow, each tapping into current seasonality and interest niches of the Visitor Personas.
These have been rolling out on a monthly basis since the website launch.
- How to do Winter in the Limestone Coast
- Top 10 Winter School Holiday Ideas in the Limestone Coast
- Limestone Coast’s Best Lunch Spots With a View
- Best Short Walks in the Limestone Coast
- Your Ultimate Limestone Coast Golf Trip
- The Ultimate 4WD Guide to the Limestone Coast
A significant level of planning and background research was undertaken to curate and write each these stories, which aim to be both in-depth and informative pieces.
As part of the process, we also sourced and approved all of the images for use within the articles, which was made easy through the relationships we had built with creatives via our Social Media Management work.
Increase Reach + Engagement
To extend the reach of these articles, each was optimised for key search queries for visibility in search engine results, and they have continuously been referenced and linked in social media content, reaching thousands of users across the destination's social channels (as per the work above).
To improve the visibility and engagement of the new article content for users on the website, we optimised the Itineraries and Blog pages to ensure they added value for the Region’s Visitor Personas, helping to move them down the purchase funnel to plan and book their next trip.
A seasonal focus was also maintained in terms of content timing and delivery to add value for customers ‘in-the-moment’ and encourage them to delve deeper by cross-promoting to other articles, events, operators and information.
Focus on Conversions
To measure the impact of the content as genuine driver for travel to the region, we ensured that where relevant, we linked content to tourism operator websites (rather than their ATDW listing on the site) so that the user could easily make the next move (hopefully booking direct!) in their planning journey.
We also ensured the website's Google Analytics platform had the right user tracking mechanisms in place to record how many times a user clicked on the operator websites, which could then be used as a reportable KPI for industry.
Social Media Community Management
Grew community, amplification, engagement and reach metrics over the 12 month period (1st Nov 2020 – 31 Oct 2021), with fanbase growing 483% across both Facebook and Instagram and posts reaching almost 1.39 million users.
- A total of 405 posts were published
- Fanbase increased by almost 277%
- Almost 696,000 users were reached
- Posts generated 10,930 reactions, 1,417 comments and 2,394 shares
- There were 92 engagements and 6 shares on average per post
- Average Engagement Rate on Reach was maintained at 6.55%
- Posts were picked up and re-shared (amplified) by multiple media channels, including Tourism Australia, SATC, ABC Adelaide, ABC Australia, Glam Adelaide, Adelady and Mix Adelaide, reaching an extended Facebook audience of millions.
- A total of 251 posts were published
- Followers increased by almost 866%
- Almost 691,331 users were reached
- Posts generated 47,878 likes, 1,422 comments and 3,010 saves
- There were 190 likes and 5 comments received on average per post
- Average Engagement Rate on Reach was maintained at 6.98%
- Posts were again picked up and re-shared (amplified) by multiple media channels, including Tourism Australia, SATC, ABC Adelaide, ABC Australia, Glam Adelaide, Adelady and Mix Adelaide, reaching an extended Instagram audience of millions.
Website Marketing + Storytelling
Preliminary Results from Mid-June 2021- End October 2021
- When launching a new website, there is an expectation that it will take time to establish trust and authority with Google and other search engines. That said, the articles that we have written have all attracted visitors from Search Engines already (from June-October 2021) which means the articles have been indexed and are visible in search engine results for key search queries. It will be interesting to see, as the site grows in authority (still building it's authority with Google) as to how the referrals from Search grow.
- Having an active social media presence at the launch of the new website has been critical to get referrals from qualified traffic (those who are already engaging in the destination brand) to the new site (75% of all traffic from June-October 2021).
- The article content on the website is averaging approximately 4 mins time on page, which is a reflection of the long-form content strategy implemented (as per the above)
We look forward to sharing more results as time progresses.