South African Tourism
Flow is proudly South African through and through, so you can imagine our delight when we started working for our beloved country's main destination marketing body. South African Tourism aims to promote our country's incredible and diverse attractions, and showcase it as the top-notch global tourism destination it is, as well as a place of adventure and magic for locals to explore further.
Flow began generating and editing content for South African Tourism in 2010, and won a programming and development tender to revamp and maintain its website, blog and social media platforms in 2012. After a massive content migration, which we managed to pull off without a hitch, www.southafrica.net, surely one of South Africa's largest websites in terms of both numbers of pages and sophistication of functionality, and in visits, grew and improved on a daily basis.
The blog, www.southafrica.net/blog showcases a wide selection of travel pieces, by some of the country's top travel writers, and boasts information about attractions, responsible tourism, wildlife, culture, history, traditions, events and lots more.
We've also worked on many one-off campaigns and projects for South African Tourism. In 2013 we launched the virtual Big Five site, which is a magazine-style, immersive digital safari experience that uses spectacular photographs, video, audio and gamification elements to bring the Big Five alive.
In October 2014, we worked on a project to commemorate 100 years since Gandhi left South Africa to return to India. The website built features Gandhi-inspired tourist attractions, encouraging tourists to follow in the footsteps of the father of passive resistance, as Gandhi was fondly known.
“The Gandhi project was a deeply enriching process for us,” says Tara Turkington, CEO of Flow Communications. “It was fascinating to uncover the Gandhi story and to bring together beautiful design, photography, video and web capabilities into one package that will hopefully inspire many tourists to follow in Gandhi’s footsteps.”
We've also completed the online training programme SA Specialist, which is aimed at giving trade professionals around the world an even better idea of the country and its assets in order to sell it better, and is available in more than 10 languages.
And we've worked extensively on sophisticated database development with South African Tourism, redeveloping, for instance, the National Tourism Database in collaboration with South African Tourism and the national Department of Tourism.
Another big component of managing South African Tourism's online presence has been making sure its various social media platforms are cutting edge and up to date, and that a high level of interaction and engagement with international and local followers, fans and circles is happen 24/7/365.
Flow also runs South African Tourism's consumer-facing Twitter account @GoToSouthAfrica and the trade-facing @SATravelTrade. The leisure-focused "Love South Africa" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/southafricantourism) is also booming, and the trade page (www.facebook.com/SATravelTrade) has a loyal following.
The consumer-focused and trade-focused Google+ pages have often been held up at conferences and elsewhere as excellent use of this fast-growing social network for online destination marketing. And the Love South Africa Flickr group, which Flow started on behalf of South African Tourism, is one of the country's most popular, with over 1 000 members who have contributed more than 25 000 high-quality images to the group, taken all over South Africa.
In 2013, we worked closely with South African Tourism to develop what we called the #MeetSouthAfrica campaign. #MeetSouthAfrica is an expansive, socially immersive campaign that encompasses the South African Tourism mandate to market South Africa both locally and internationally as a preferred tourist destination. The #MeetSouthAfrica campaign is designed to show South Africa through the eyes of travel bloggers and ordinary people who have experienced South Africa, whether as a local or a tourist, in order to connect our destination with potential travellers who are dreaming about their next holiday destination. This campaign has been incredibly successful, and the #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag is being used on a daily basis by tourists and locals alike.
Flow also developed the Madiba's Journey app for free download on Apple and Android devices, to much critical acclaim. The app leads users through 27 locations associated with Nelson Mandela, providing audio tours at each.
Finally, Flow ran the social media coverage for the annual tourism Indaba, owned by South African Tourism. It is one of the largest tourism marketing events in Africa, and brings together exhibitors from all over the continent. The SATravelTrade Twitter and Facebook accounts were used, and were active before, during and after the event. Content editors worked hard to ensure that the platforms were always up to date and relevant for consumers.