East Arnhem Land
Social Media Community Management
September - November 2022
The destination marketing custodians for East Arnhem Land, Developing East Arnhem Land (DEAL), engaged Tourism eSchool mid 2022 to develop a new Destination Marketing Plan. At the time of the delivery of the new Plan, DEAL were facing a short term staffing gap with the management of the East Arnhem Land consumer facing Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.
Tourism eSchool stepped in and provided support to manage the accounts for a couple of months, allowing the DEAL tourism team peace of mind and the ability to free up their time to focus on other important visitor economy projects.
Short term goals we developed for the accounts were:
- Evolve the social media storytelling to align to the new Destination Marketing Plan Storytelling Framework, to connect with the hearts and minds of potential visitors by showcasing the full breadth of experiences across the region.
- Elevate stories of the Northern Territory's wet season across the Region, typically a season that doesn't receive coverage on State or National destination social media accounts.
- Educate people about what responsible, respectful and safe visitor behaviour looked like in the region.
- Aim to have East Arnhem Land social media posts re-shared by larger destination social media accounts such as Tourism Northern Territory, Tourism Australia and media, such as ABC Darwin.
- Leverage the first ever live event of East Arnhem Live and amplify it's reach and awareness for future events.
- Increase the quality, quantity and engage of social media referrals on the destination website.
- Build a library of quality user generated photos and videos, that was optimised and approved for use that we could hand over to the DEAL team
- Mentor and train the DEAL team to continue our work and be able to manage in-house in the future.
Social Media Optimisation
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 East Arnhem Land Marketing Plan 2025.
Metrics + Measurement
Next was the establishment of baseline metrics and a measurement framework, using both Iconosquare and Facebook Business Manager as key sources for insights and forward planning on EAL'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 DEAL 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 already undertaken in the East Arnhem Land Destination 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.
Approaches were also made to well-known local influencers and professional content creators based on our existing relationships, 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 120+ 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 EAL's socials.
Initially, it was clear that the eyes of the East Arnhem Land communities would be on the 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 three organic newsfeed posts per week on both Facebook and Instagram, re-sharing of relevant Instagram Stories (including operator re-sharing and dedicated features) and full daily community management. A strong focus was also put on vertical videos, for sharing in the form of Instagram Reels.
From the outset, each and every post was 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.
Over the two months of managing the accounts, the storytelling reflected every aspect of the visitor experience East Arnhem Land combining stunning imagery with creative captions that inspire users to dream, plan, book and stay longer.
Examples social media posts included:
- There's really something quite ethereal about East Arnhem Land when the rain rolls in!
- The estuaries around Nhulunbuy
- Elevation of East Arnhem Live Music Festival
- It’s all too easy to run a red light in Milingimbi...
- There's nothing quite like an adventure down the Central Arnhem Road
- Just your average Wednesday in Groote Eylandt
Our extensive research and preparation has yielded some amazing results, with all key social media and website metrics rising significantly (see below).
Towards the end of our tenure, a mentoring and training session was held with DEAL staff before they officially took back control of the accounts, covering every aspect of best practice social media community management, so they could continue the momentum of the previous two months.
^ Snapshot of East Arnhem Land Instagram Posts shared during our time managing the account.
Over the two months of management of the East Arnhem Land social media accounts, following are some of the key results.
- On Instagram and Facebook, all key markers (reach, engagement and amplification) were significantly up for the reporting period – the most successful of all time for the accounts.
- Activity across both accounts saw 64 posts shared organically (non-paid) reaching 1,317,270 people.
- Reach was up by almost 517% across both channels as a result of the extremely strong engagement in content, which reflects a high level of community interest and relevance.
- Community size grew by 19 % on Facebook to 13,557 and 4.15% on Instagram to 11,707.
- One East Arnhem Land post was picked up and reshared by Tourism Australia, and pleasingly, was a focus on the wet season, and also using First Nation's stories, which was a first ever for the region.
- Additional third-party approaches and interactions were had with other major influencer accounts, including ABC Darwin and Tourism Northern Territory, indicating further resharing of content is likely in the future.
- Advocacy and positive support from local residents and expats was very clear on the account with major growth in commenting, tagging sharing and telling of their own EAL stories in the post comments.
Specific on channel results were:
- Fanbase increased by nearly 20%
- Reach increased by over 630%
- Reactions increased by over 573%
- Comments increased by almost 589%
- Shares increased by over 485%
- Engagements increased by over 308%
- 5 of the top 10 most engaging, and 7 of the top 10 highest reaching Facebook posts of the last 12 months were posted within the two-month period.
- Followers increased by over 4%
- Reach increased by over 239%
- Likes increased by over 152%
- Comments increased by 415%
- Saves increased by almost 397%
- Profile visits increased by almost 86%
- 8 of the top 10 most engaging and 3 of the top 10 highest reaching Instagram posts of the last 12 months were posted within the two-month period
Social Media Traffic to Website
- Social media referrals (sessions) to the East Arnhem Land website increased by 751.33%.
- The share of social media referrals (users) almost tripled.
- Facebook traffic increased by 782%
- Instagram traffic increased by 127%
In the recent months following DEAL taking back management of the social media accounts, we've been delighted to see the continuation of very positive momentum and results on the accounts.