Award-Winning Social Media

Tourism Social Media Case Study: South African Tourism

This tourism social media case study explains more about our multi-award-winning campaign ‘Discover Your South Africa’ for South African Tourism.  You can learn about the campaign objectives, challenges and key results.  You can even try the campaign quiz for yourself!

Why was the campaign created?


South African Tourism is one of our most important tourism clients.  We have worked with them for several years.  In 2018 they came to us with a particular marketing request which had several objectives…

Primary Objective

  • Increase the number of visitors and considerers and promote geographical spread of visitors from the UK & Ireland.

The client’s annual strategic planning session identified that 55% of all UK visitors to South Africa are returning visitors – once they visit, they love the country.  However, after visiting once,  some visitors may feel they can tick off South Africa as ‘done’.

The client also needed the campaign to promote geographical spread of visitors and highlight hidden gems.  The reason for this is that Cape Town and the Western Cape accounts for around half of all visitors from the UK.  So the campaign needed to highlight equally amazing experiences elsewhere in the county.

Secondary Objectives

  • Increase the number of warm leads in the client’s eMarketing database
  • Gather consumer insights and preferences
  • Raise general awareness of South Africa’s beauty and diversity as an appealing holiday destination when in the trip consideration process

Multi-Award Winning

Winner: Travel Marketing Awards 2020
Winner: Travolution Awards 2019
Winner: International Travel & Tourism Awards 2019
Highly Commended: Northern Marketing Awards 2019
Finalist: The Drum Social Media Awards 2019


YoY increase in bookings with tour operator partner

Quiz participants

Consumers Reached

Campaign Impressions

New eDM subscribers

What did we create and why?

The lead element of the DYSA campaign was an interactive multi-room experience using sight, sound, touch, taste and smell using brain-reading technology.

The outcome of each user experience was a bespoke Trailfinders itinerary to match their results.  Around 2000 people took part in the Out of Home experience in 5 cities.

Our challenge was to find a way to digitally execute this concept; expanding upon its limited offline reach.

Research was showing that the ‘Instagrammability’ of a destination was an increasingly important factor in the research and decision-making process of travellers.

Therefore we chose the create a visual digital version of DYSA featured colourful Instagram-like square images which was fun, visual stimulating and easy to complete.

Our ‘Discover Your South Africa’ test measured a person’s impulses and his or her gut reactions to 36 carefully curated visual images.

After completing the test, each participant was presented with their unique travel persona, bespoke South African itinerary and travel suggestions.

We launched a fully branded mini-website to host our test, including the visual stimuli, personalised results and full data capture, workable on both mobile and desktop.

After completing the quiz, users were given:

  • their unique travelling style and one of 5 personality profiles
  • their bespoke South African video itinerary
  • a discount code to book directly with Trailfinders
  • a personalised email with all the information to help their trip planning.
  • automatic entry into a prize draw to win their bespoke itinerary.

Participation was further encouraged by asking people to share their results on social media or via email to get their friends to take part, with each referral earning an extra entry into the prize draw.

We saw a significant spike in room nights to South Africa in September 2018 in comparison to the rest of last year, but since February 2019 we have shown major growth and have been recording figures as much as 57% up YOY which is absolutely fantastic!

Alex Maidment


Here are some graphic assets which we created for the campaign

Insights and Legacy

The DYSA campaign was a big success in terms of return on investment, with Trailfinders reporting a 57% year-on-year increase in South African bookings (to May 2019 i.e. 6 months post-campaign)

It also met and surpassed business objectives in regards to creating awareness and consideration of the destination, with over 1.5 million UK users reached, over 100k visits to the campaign landing page and an increase in thousands of new fans and email subscribers.

Expectations were exceeded in regards to participation too when compared to previously run campaigns. We put this down to a strong campaign ideology and execution, clear design and UX, a great prize and effective use of social media advertising – all of which resonated and successfully connected with our target audiences to see close to 18,000 test participants!

We also garnered some interesting insights from our audiences’ preferences and travel motivators, which has been invaluable in our upcoming strategic planning. For example, the most engaging content pillars were scenery/outdoor, (resulting in the ‘Authentic Adventurer’ profile), followed by safari/wildlife, (resulting in the ‘Nature lover’ profile.) Meanwhile, the least engaging themes were for food/wine, cities and culture; proving we need to determine how best to present this content to engage our target audiences moving forwards.

Finally there was an unplanned campaign benefit relating to legacy value. Whilst the campaign was originally meant to be a short-run, the feedback and participation rates were so positive, the client decided to permanently feature it on the main South African Tourism website.

To date, in addition to the almost 18,000 entries seen during campaign period, an extra 2,000+ people have taken the test, proving that there is still a need and desire for people to get trip inspiration and suggestions, and for them to discover their South Africa.

Thank you for reading this tourism social media case study.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

Try the quiz yourself

Here is a live version of the ‘Discover Your South Africa’ quiz app.

(cannot see it? click here for the standalone version)

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Award-winning social media: Tourism social media case study for South African Tourism

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