Image via My Destination New Zealand

How My Destination New Zealand Saved 48 Hours a Month on Social Media

How an online travel brand engaged its audience with awe-inspiring content

My Destination New Zealand is a travel guide that aims to attract adventure-hungry travelers to New Zealand’s exotic shores. Run by small business owner Mike Watt, the guide is a collection of websites and mobile apps  showcasing destinations across Auckland, Christchurch, Rotorua, Queenstown, and Wellington.

The guide uses local knowledge to curate information that’s useful to travelers and showcases local businesses to provide everything they need to plan a trip to New Zealand. Mike uses social media to drive brand awareness and increase website traffic for My Destination New Zealand.

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What They’re Doing

To grow global brand awareness, Mike uses a mix of traditional PR, content partnerships, brand activations, and social media. Active across Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, he uses the following rules of thumb to build his communication plan:

1. Frequency of posts

a. Facebook—1 post per day with images

b. Twitter—3 Tweets per day

c. Google+—1 update per day

2. Messaging mix—following the 80-20 rule

a. 80 percent of posts, Tweets, and updates targeted at engaging his readers

b. 20 percent relating to his own brand

A picture is worth a thousand words or in the case of My Destination New Zealand, a thousand views. To capture those views, Mike and his team of freelance local experts craft and share narratives and stunning photos across Instagram, Facebook, and Google+. From savoury local cuisine to otherworldly landscapes, each photo shared works as a tiny visual capsule showcasing the essence of his five New Zealand destinations.

Photos are hands down the most popular way for us to share the magic and adventure of New Zealand and when accompanied by a story, they become even more powerful.

– Mike Watt, Managing Director, My Destination New Zealand

How They’re Doing It

For a business owner like Mike, managing social media is just one of the many hats he wears each day. With limited time available to post content and engage in conversations across his 15 social profiles, how does Mike optimize his time and boost productivity on social media? He uses Hootsuite.

Saving Time with Scheduled Content

Mike used to spend a few hours every day composing posts and trying to find the right time to publish them. Averaging a staggering 25 posts a day across 15 social channels, Mike needed a solution.

Now using Hootsuite’s scheduling feature, Mike prepares and schedules nearly 250 monthly posts across Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram in just two hours at the start of each month. By scheduling posts in advance, Mike has shifted from a one-way communication model focused on producing 250 monthly posts to one based on lively interaction with his readers. Since this shift from publishing to communicating, Mike has grown his Twitter base from 100 to over 1,000 followers and received over 3,000 Facebook likes in six months.

Being able to schedule everything in one sitting has been a huge time-saving win. And with Instagram now in the mix, I’m even more effective.

– Mike Watt, Managing Director, My Destination New Zealand

Monitoring Multiple Accounts

Switching between social profiles is often a challenge for any team that manages multiple social channels. Logging in and out of multiple social networks and switching between browser tabs takes up a lot of time. To boost productivity, Mike uses the Hootsuite dashboard to quickly navigate between My Destination New Zealand’s 15 social profiles. He has set up streams within the dashboard to monitor mentions of his website, conversations about New Zealand, and messages from his community across each of his networks.

The Outcome

Scheduling and monitoring frees time up for engagement and brand building

By scheduling his posts in advance and regularly monitoring mentions, Mike has become much more effective in the way he invests his time on social media.

Today, Mike spends his time generating entertaining and useful interactions—a shift his readers have responded to generously. Since engaging Hootsuite, Mike has seen enormous growth across his entire social media suite leading to:

  • Over 6.8 million views on Google+, including 530,000 views of his iconic Piha Beach photo

  • Growth in Twitter followers from 100 to over 1,000 in under six months

  • Over 3,000 Facebook likes

His days of tediously entering 25 separate social media posts per day are behind him. Mike now uses Hootsuite to help him:

  • schedule over 250 posts per month in a single setting

  • listen and respond to every single interaction with his brand from a single dashboard

  • coordinate timely posts to match audience activity and drive brand awareness

“Hootsuite has removed the headache of trying to deliver regular updates across our multiple social media platforms in a timely and effective way. Along with freeing up time to spend on other areas of our business, we now have more time to interact with our followers rather than just posting updates.”

– Mike Watt, Managing Director, My Destination New Zealand

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