Content Marketing Blog

Twitter campaign turns sour for Tourism SA

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) has come under fire for paying celebrities to post tweets about Kangaroo Island as part of its social media marketing strategy.

According to Australian media analysis program Media Watch, SA Tourism was paying Australian celebrities such as chef Matt Moran, singer Shannon Noll and TV personality Sophie Falkiner up to $750 to generate posts about the tourist attraction on Twitter.

Australian Idol runner-up Noll, who is currently appearing on Dancing with the Stars, posted on March 27: "All this moving and dancing training! I think I need a break! I heard Kangaroo Island is awesome. Thoughts anyone?"

"Bring on Kangaroo Island. Saw the TV ad last night and makes me wish I was visiting sooner rather than later," @chefmattmoran tweeted the following day.

Initially, the campaign seemed to be working – Kangaroo Island eventually became a trending topic on the social media platform.

Media Watch reported that they were tipped-off by an anonymous source who asserted: "[SATC] don't want the tweet to appear endorsed, rather an organic mention, injecting your own personality into the tweet".

There are more than 30,600 followers exposed to the tweets between the three celebrities.
SATC general manager Rik Morris defended the move, claiming that the commission believed that the social media marketing strategy was legitimate.

"This is something that's not just done by us, it's throughout the tweeting world – just yesterday [model] Megan Gale was telling people about how fabulous her Foxtel was … now I'm sure she wasn't doing that for free," Mr Morris told Fairfax Media yesterday (April 25).

Mr Morris explained that the $10,000 celebrity Twitter campaign was part of a broader $6 million Kangaroo Island marketing push that included the current television advertisement referred to by Matt Moran.

Posted by Elise Ferrari