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Staking a claim in the twittersphere

Tourism

A NEW study of the Australian twittersphere has demonstrated how South Australia has successfully promoted itself as a unique travel destination for premium food and wine and world-class arts festivals.

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Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology identified Australia’s 3.7 million Twitter accounts in 2016 and mapped their connections.

The map illustrated how accounts were connected through overarching themes or clusters.

South Australia was the only location to be featured on the topics list, which included themes such as sports, celebrities, teen culture, porn and politics.

Co-author of the study Axel Bruns said South Australia’s appearance as the only location on the map was a surprise.

However, he said the state’s position alongside arts and food demonstrated its success in promoting itself as a tourism destination focused on these two themes.

“It seems to me that the accounts associated with South Australian tourism have been particularly active in connecting with those businesses interested in festivals, shows, wineries or gourmet travel on Twitter,” he said.

“It’s great for these accounts to co-ordinate with each other to highlight activities and rally to tie into state-wide campaigns such as the Adelaide Festival.”

The multi-institutional research used a social media analytics platform known as TrISMA to identify about 167 million connections between 3.7 million Australian Twitter accounts.

The map (below) illustrates the 250,000 accounts that have at least 1000 connections.

img - Australian Twittersphere

Aussie twittersphere map. Picture: Axel Bruns, QUT Digital Media Research Centre

The dense or bright regions point out the many accounts, which have a close connection to each other. They are separated by lower density-spaces that are darker and less aggregated.

Each cluster is labelled based on the overarching theme that came about through the analysis.

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) is responsible for promoting the state as a tourist destination and has more than 114,000 followers on Twitter.

Director of Marketing Brent Hill said Twitter was an important strategic outlet the SATC used to conveniently showcase South Australia’s major highlights.

“We know what our strengths are, what we compete on and those things include winery experiences, our wildlife and our events and festivals,” he said.

“We obviously want our social media to be authentic and it has happened with organic growth where more accounts interested in those areas begin following South Australia.

“We have an ‘always on’ strategy where we try to ensure we’re not just another voice so it is very interesting to find South Australia included in the map because we think it’s important to connect to those accounts within the target you’re looking at.”

Professor Bruns said South Australia’s position on the southwest border meant it was less likely to be associated with the other themes on the map.

“If there is a tweet about South Australia it might be more visible to other South Australian accounts or those around its cluster only,” Bruns said.

According to Bruns, following more accounts from the celebrity or cycling clusters could lead to a broader reach for all accounts associated with South Australia.

South Australia hosts world-class events such as the Santos Tour Down Under cycling race, the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide music festival.

The state’s 18 wine regions are consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual wine production and up to 80 per cent of its premium wine.

The proximity and link to both the education and agriculture clusters also reflects two major industries in South Australia.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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