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Published 25 March 2013 12:04, Updated 10 April 2013 07:32
Tourism Australia has a huge following on social media - as well as 4.1 million likes on Facebook, it has nearly 41,000 followers on Twitter. Photo: Fairfax Media
Tourism Australia has turned to customer service software to manage the large volume of social media inquiries generated by the Best Jobs in the World campaign.
The tourism marketing agency originally adopted Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service tool, to manage social media interactions for the Best Jobs in the World campaign that launched recently. It has since integrated the software into its main Facebook page, which is one of the most popular in the world with 4.1 million likes.
The Best Jobs in the World campaign is inviting video applications for six positions – “chief funster” in NSW, lifestyle photographer in Melbourne, outback adventurer in the Northern Territory, park ranger in Queensland, “taste master” in Western Australia and wildlife caretaker in South Australia. Each job comes with a six-month contract and a $100,000 package.
It is a sequel to the Best Job in the World campaign run by Tourism Queensland in 2009 which culminated in the year-long employment of Briton Ben Southall as a blogger based on the Great Barrier Reef.
The new campaign launched on March 4 and has already received more than 400,000 entries worldwide from 220,000 individuals in 196 countries, according to Tourism Australia. Entries close on April 10, with winners to be announced on June 21. The most popular job so far is the wildlife caretaker in South Australia, closely followed by the NSW chief funster position.
The chief information officer of Tourism Australia, Dave Rumsey, says the agency has just three social media staff based in Sydney and the large number of interactions on social media meant it was essential to support them with good tools.
“We wanted something off-the-shelf and cloud-based, like Zendesk is, and it was a nice fit for the whole service management piece,” Rumsey says. “We’ve had more ad hoc efforts in the past but we wanted to move forward in a really professional way.”
Rumsey says Zendesk lets Tourism Australia divert people to FAQs in the first instance, saving time for the social media team. While there were only 20 to 30 FAQs when the campaign launched, there are now 104.
Unsolved queries are issued a ticket so the right person can deal with it in a timely fashion. The Sydney-based team can also use the ticketing system to call in the assistance of colleagues from around the world if local information or foreign-language support is required.
The fact that Zendesk is cloud-based means that staff can access the tool from the PC, tablet and mobile phones, both in and out of the office. “As you can imagine, it’s a 24/7 operation for the social media team at the moment, so they wanted to be able to access it on their mobile devices,” Rumsey says.
He adds that the other reasons for choosing cloud-based software were that it worked with the agency’s standard operating environment, and the business would only pay for what it used. Rumsey says Tourism Australia is currently paying about $6000 a year during the peak demand of the campaign.
Melbourne-based internet development company Lovestock & Leaf integrated Zendesk into both the main Facebook page and the competition-specific one, which has nearly 337,000 likes already.
Tourism Australia has a huge following on social media. As well as Facebook, it has nearly 41,000 followers on Twitter, and large followings on Google+ and Instagram.