Monday, August 27, 2012

How Visit Greece used Google+ to make #greekphotos more popular than #greekcrisis

The Greek financial crisis may have made headlines around the world, but it’s worth remembering that from Santorini to Rhodes to Athens, the sun continues to shine, olive groves flourish and the wine still flows – all in the context of bright blue skies and pristine seas. It’s a message that Visit Greece, the brand umbrella of the Greek National Tourism Organization, is keen to get across.

Visit Greece understood that encouraging people to discover and travel to Greece depends on reminding potential tourists of the country’s unrivalled natural, historical, cultural, and culinary riches. They needed a means to engage these prospective visitors, ideally with a huge global reach and the capability to bring the stunning country to life through captivating imagery.

Having adopted Google+ from day one of the platform’s launch, Visit Greece was the first tourism related organisation in the world to set up a Google+ page. The reasoning behind the implementation was simple: the worldwide reach of Google+ provided a significant pool of potential visitors, and this was an audience simply too good to pass up. Here are some of Visit Greece’s Google+ strategies:

Visit Greece realized that its business particularly lends itself to rich media content; imagery has proved itself to be much more important than links or text. Visit Greece regularly posts high-resolution photography, as Google+ photos makes it simple to promote every aspect of Greece. This strategy has been so successful that the team has made the hashtag #greekphotos far more popular than #greekcrisis.

Circles and ripples
Circles makes it easy for Visit Greece to tailor content for different groups of followers so that certain messages can be shared with particular segments. Followers are placed into circles depending on their interests, +1’s and shares, their personal posts and sometimes their identification details. Visit Greece then creates posts according to each circle’s characteristics. To see how posts spread across Google+, Visit Greece is also using ripples, a great Google+ feature that helps identify influencers and shows how communities are formed around different content.

Social extensions
Visit Greece uses social extensions across all of their AdWords search campaigns, helping the organization obtain more +1’s and traffic to their Google+ page and at the same time increasing the number of followers. In this way, they’ve achieved an impressive 35% CTR uplift on AdWords campaigns. On top of that, Visit Greece also installed the Google+ badge on its homepage, making it easier than ever for fans to follow the organization. On average the daily increase in followers ranges between 3,000 and 10,000. They even gained an incredible 18,000 new followers in one day!
Already Visit Greece has surpassed 750,000 followers on Google+, more than any other tourism association. And the Visit Greece Google+ page has been selected as a recommended page to follow in the travel industry because of its rich unique content, in turn raising the profile of the association and the brand awareness around Greece.

Want to learn more about how your business could replicate this kind of success? Download the full case study here.