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Top Facebook Business Pages for Travel and Tourism in Australia


Hello and welcome to the top 5 Facebook Pages for Travel & Tourism (Australian edition). Includes Airlines, Destination Tourism, Cruise lines etc. If you just want the top 5 pages keep on reading and yes you’re welcome. If you want to know why and how they are the top 5 stick around and read my notes underneath each one. Please note: I have ordered these according to my Audit data, NOT Facebook’s “most followers” list.

Top 5 Facebook Business Pages in Australia on Travel and Tourism!

Methodology: Ranking Top Facebook Travel & Tourism Business Pages (Australia)

COMPILING: I started with a Google search, ended up on SocialBakers which was very helpful but they were missing some key pages – Tourism Australia! – so had to, as usual, add in my own. This is not uncommon as we are often compiling lists of lists of lists – you get the idea!

ANALYTICS: I only used Facebook’s own apps as the investigative tool, no paid 3rd party tools were used and so it’s all Facebook reporting not guesswork. Specifically: Number of Subscribers, Amount of Engagement (last 7 days), Number of Posts (last 7 days), how many Admins the Facebook Business Page has and how many are in which countries (of course Facebook doesn’t reveal the Admins names so don’t panic!). I looked at the number of current Active Facebook Ads for each Page and whether the Facebook Page was future-proofing with a Facebook Group for Travel and Tourism. [These analytics are publicly available, do not require me to be an Admin of the Facebook Business Page and do not require a 3rd party free or paid tool. ]

CAVEAT: I did however use a calculator to figure out the engagement percentage (number of subscribers divided by engagement) though this is not ideal as engagement (particularly with the competitions component) is often with non-subscribers. But I’m not an Admin of these Facebook Business Pages so it is what it is.

What is the SilkCharm Score?

Well my online name, Twitter, Instagram etc is SilkCharm. And the Score is made up of everything in the chart plus more. Maybe not quite “Facebook algorithm datasets are over 80,000” more, but quite a few more.

Criteria for a Social Media Audit Facebook Pages
How many Facebook Business Page Subscribers (Likes, Followers)?
Number of Facebook Posts plus Engagement (7 Days) & % of Engaged?
Number of Admins, How many admins in each country?
Social Media Diary with a Competition? Meme? regular programming?
How many Active Ads is the Page running? Increasing Engagement?
Future Proofing (Facebook Version 5) with Brand Groups?
Increasing Social Reach with Edumarketing, Online Courses ?
Leveraging targeting – Core Audiences/Preferred Audience?

I skipped a lot of “basic” data sets as these are Top pages – if the agency is not rotating header images/videos, does not have the correct size images, has not sorted the Lexicon™ Deep Text™ keywords, nor figured out the Story Type (text vs images vs videos) and so on, these Tourism Brands shouldn’t be in the Top Pages for Facebook. That’s the theory, anyway.

STUDENTS If you are attending my 2 Day Facebook and Instagram Marketing Course (Sydney) or 3 Day Advanced Social Media Professionals (Sydney, Adelaide) we’ll go through the tools indepth and it will be up to you to decide to share or not share with other attendees… but be aware this is publicly available anyway.

Social Media Audit of Tourism Facebook Pages

5 Flight Centre SilkCharm Score = 30/60

Flight Centre Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers1,900,004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days104
Engagement in 7 days164,1004
% of Likes vs Engagement18.22%4
How many Facebook Page Admins483
How many Admin Countries? AU, USA, Paraguay32
How many Ads (Active)2202
Programming Schedule11
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsNo1
Voice (asks generic questions) Events1/22
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?No2
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &etcNo1

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Content vs Promotions The Facebook Business Page links to the content but “is not” the content. While the short sentences do the job, the Page will struggle with (non)paid engagement. The Ads look identical to the Content (1 sentence, click here, book) yet probably work well leading to that 19% engagement metric. If Flight Centre could become just a little more magazine-y, organic engagement would increase and RoAS (return on ad spend) would be higher. The posts themselves are interesting but target too many psychographics (families with kids, culture vultures, single adventurers, retirees) for Facebook newsfeed algorithm to deliver to an audience with any certainty so organic reach would be low (paid reach should be high).

Honourable Mentions

Both Destination Gold Coast and Visit Queensland are great Destination Marketing pages. For example: DGC has a meme of the movie “IT” and connects it to Warners Movie World theme park, and with 1.2 million fans, 11 psots, 99,400 engagements leading to 8.4% engagement, they are doing well. This may be reflected in 30 Admins (English speaking nations) and 19 ads. Visit Queensland with nearly 2 million subscribers struggles a little more: 2.5% engagement, 75 Admins in 14 countries and 150 Ads and while they could be doing better on engagement (competitions, day in the life of) they show promise.

4. Sydney Opera House SilkCharm Score 31/60

NAME Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers2,100,0004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days83
Engagement in 7 days185,4002
% of Likes vs Engagement8.83%2
How many Facebook Page Admins243
How many Admin Countries? (AU India Singapore)32
How many Ads (Active)1002
Programming Schedule (IG of the Day)No2
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsNo1
Voice (funny, online courses and more)Yes4
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?no2
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectno4

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Content vs Promotion The most popular post for the 7 days I was reviewing was one of their few content posts (about the history of PT Barnum exploiting First Nations performers. This sits fairly and squarely in CONTENT as it is an article rather than an pure ad for an event, and more of these types of content will increase engagement. The Page does struggle as it moves between Story Types (visual story types need videos and image galleries, whereas text storytypes prefer links to articles to read) – the 100 or so ads no doubt target the different types of core audiences. Once Version 5 of Facebook is launched with it’s focus on groups, The Opera House will no doubt post more of it’s newsletter stories as a content calendar to engage with group members. As an ‘events’ destination the Events section is well established as one would expect. 

3. Sydney Tourism SilkCharm Score 37/60

Sydney Tourism Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers2,700,0004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days63
Engagement in 7 days120,4002
% of Likes vs Engagement4.39%2
How many Facebook Page Admins73
How many Admin Countries? (AU, Paraguay)21
How many Ads (Active)63
Programming Schedule (IG of the Day)yes3
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsno1
Voice (funny, online courses and more)yes5
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?yes5
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectyes5

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Social Graph Entities: Sydney Tourism focusses on uploading original content such as photos and videos (which they pull from Instagrammers) which could look like me-me-media to Facebook newsfeed algorithm but they mitigate this by tagging relevant pages. [Note: Facebook really needs to offer a tidy way to attribute to Instagrammers besides just writing @silkcharm or whatever. They own Instagram for Pete’s sake!] Tagging other Facebook Business Pages helps Facebook traverse target audiences back and forwards from the relevant Travel and Tourism pages as the Lookalike is obvious to the AI. Like a web! Sydney.com have not added events for months.

2 Tourism Australia SilkCharm Score 38/60

Tourism Australia Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers8,300,0003
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days62
Engagement in 7 days338,8002
% of Likes vs Engagement4%2
How many Facebook Page Admins (Japan ++)993
How many Admin Countries?114
How many Ads (Active)02
Programming Schedule (fanfotofriday)yes4
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsno1
Edumarketing (events, online courses and more)yes5
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?yes5
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectyes5

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Tourism Australia leverages Facebook’s strong implementation of target audiences very well – the Agency target’s relevant content (cute animals, remote sunset locations, quality cheese and wine) to contextually relevant audience overseas – primarily retirees with cash – SKI (spending the kids inheritance). Which makes it much easier for Facebook to organically target similar audience data sets and is a far more focussed content strategy than the custom/lookalike audiences of pixel remarketing (website visits etc). EDUMarketing? Tourism Australia has offline and online courses including a 4 part video series on social media! GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR OWN SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS. However as they do not have a Facebook group connected to Tourism Australia Facebook Page, the online course is not in the group. Nor are there Video playlists – edu or otherwise – for the videos on the Facebook Business Page itself. So mostly off-platform.

UPCOMING Social media COURSES: 2 Day Facebook and Instagram Intensive in Sydney in October 2019 and 3 Day Social Media Manager professionals (Advanced) training in Adelaide in November 2019. There’s an Instagram and Wine course in Mudgee coming up in November and more courses in February 2020! (Get emailed).

1. Qantas SilkCharm Score = 41/60

Qantas Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers1,500,0004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days205
Engagement in 7 days164,1005
% of Likes vs Engagement11%5
How many Facebook Page Admins1904
How many Admin Countries? (languages)154
How many Ads (Active)3104
Programming Schedule (IG of the Day)No1
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsYes!4
Voice (funny, online courses and more)No2
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?No1
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectNo2

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Q Magazine? The Qantas Facebook Business Page is heading towards bing like the inflight Q magazine (but doesn’t have the programming guide so a bit random). Still, at least the articles are more like the magazine and less like shouty “get 10% off” spam! Kudos for that Qantas! Leveraging groups (Qantas Points Hack) was a clever move – buying groups (!) or building groups that contain your core audience and their main concern shows strategic direction in social media as we head into new terriroty. Mixing the story types (organic loaded video vs reading text article links) could be a mis-shot but in general the Page strives to be the magazine not just the ad and is worthy of it’s high score. The ads could be improved (330 in Australia) and have Customer Service openly manage the day to day of the Page (don’t hide things behind please call use/DM us) to calm things down but in general, Qantas does exceptionally well on social media when supported at a senior level.

YouTube video: Top Facebook Pages for Travel in Australia

Summary of Top Facebook Travel Pages

I’ll admit I was a little prejudiced coming into this exercise. I was certain Tourism Australia with their history (top Facebook Page globally) of great content, great engagement would come top. And on any other week (I looked at the last 7 days) they may have picked up a few more points as their engagement has dropped recently (Fan Foto Friday? Weekend Restaurants? gone?). But having said that, Tourism Australia is marketing, not selling their product and services. Qantas has to sell actual tickets. A few Asks in with the Gives. And while Qantas priority of B2B travel (the audience centric articles in Q magazine) is not really mirrored on their Facebook Page, they have enough points from other social media assets to pull them over the line. Well done Qantas!

What are the top Facebook Business Pages in Australia (Travel)?

  1. Qantas Australia
  2. Tourism Australia or Australia.com
  3. Sydney.com
  4. Sydney Opera House
  5. Flight Centre

Other Articles you might find interesting: My original Top 100 Facebook Business Pages in Australia, https://laurelpapworth.com/fanpages-list-of-top-100-australian-facebook-fan-pages/ then there is the SocialBakers list for travel Facebook Pages (Australian) and Travel, tourism and airlines top Facebook pages in Australia (news.com)

I’ll be tackling Top Facebook Pages (Australia) in FMCG in the next week. Let me know which Pages I should look at and why! (Or hang around and see who I choose!). If you know anyone in the travel/tourism industry, or a group, please pass this on, and may you always have not-the-middle-seat and free upgrades as you wing your way into social media, brands and community!

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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