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How To Run A Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign: Case Study

So you want to run a successful social media competition for your brand. What are some of the results of  successful social media marketing by organisations, companies and agencies? What are the elements  of success to facilitate the campaign going viral? Here is a social media campaign that produced some results worth noting.

Case Study

Courtesy: Quinn & Co.

Competition: The Best Job In The World

Organisation: Tourism Queensland (Australia)

Tourism Queensland’s groundbreaking “The Best Job In The World” campaign is a PR and viral marketing phenomenon that has generated worldwide media attention, . Conceived by Tourism Queensland (TQ) and its ad agency, CumminsNitro Brisbane, it was executed in the US and Canada by Quinn & Co. The concept was simple: post a one-minute video application on Tourism Queensland’s Web site explaining why you should be chosen as caretaker of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef and you might get to blog and cam your way through a six-month gig that paid about $100K U.S. The story broke with a Reuters placement around sunrise in Australia on January 12, 2009. By breakfast time in London, AP was interviewing Tourism Queenslands’s UK director for a broadcast package that turned up on the morning shows in the U.S.


  • Within two days there were 1,100 TV placements in the U.S. alone
  • In 30 hours they had 400, oo0 new visitors. The goal was to get 400,000 new visitors to it’s website (www.islandreefjob.com) over the course of the one-year campaign
  • One million hits on the second day
  • The million hits crashed the site
  • When they brought it back up it was hosted on 10 Web servers, the maximum number of servers possible
  • Approximately 34,684 people from more than 200 countries applied for the job of Island Caretaker
  • A social networking frenzy ensued with 336,000 Facebook-referred Web site visits
  • More than 3,170 @Queensland followers on Twitter
  • 338 members on the campaign’s Wiki (islandreefjob.ning.com)
  • By the 18th of March, 2009, 423,000 people (including 210,000 from the U.S.) had voted for their favorite top-50 finalist
  • Also by the same date, the Web site had 6.7 million visitors, including 1.7 million from the U.S.
  • Over $11 million worth of exposure
  • 627 million media impressions in the U.S. and Canada alone

Note: Quinn & Co.’s work promoting “The Best Job In The World” continues to produce powerful exposure across all media platforms and channels So how can you make a Social Media campaign a success.

Elements of Success For A Social Media Marketing Campaign

Courtesy: Toughtpick .com

The success of social media campaigns, and utilization in general, does not, in any way, rely on some magical formula or any secret ingredients we might need to acquire from the belated witches of Salem! Yet, it is a careful mixture of simple and valuable elements which need to be present before, through and after the implementation of any social media campaign. Some elements could be very obvious, while others need some research and attention to be achieved.

  • Make sure that you apply smart integration with the “right” social media channels that suit your brand image, the product/service you are trying to promote and its value. Not every social media channel will bring about the positive feedback you are waiting for!
  • Take time to choose the team who will be in charge of executing your social media plan. It is not about the quantity, it is about the quality, remember that! Experience and already established online PR agents or staff members will be of a higher value to your campaign in comparison with anyone with a lot of free time to waste!
  • Again, content is king! It is a must to make sure that your social media campaign’s content is not offensive, biased or easily misinterpreted. This could be easily used against you!
  • Just as it is important to know your target market online, learning more about your online target audience is very important! This will not only help you know where to find them, it will also guide you in designing the campaign that will intrigue them and lead them to take actions!
  • You are under the microscope; play nice! Always be aware that once your social media campaign has hit the hot topics’ list, you are now being watched. Try to be continuously involved in any conversations, posts, chats and/or forums taking place regarding your product, service or campaign.
  • Be innovative and try not to imitate whenever possible. You might use the same social media channels others are utilizing but try making your benefit and reward systems varied. Your audience is not always looking to get a free coffee!
  • Constantly measure the depth of your social media campaign’s fulfillment of goals and returns. The ROI should always be bigger, or at least equal to, the invested money, time, effort and resources that you are putting in the project.
  • Put effort into making the overall social media campaign’s experience fun, engaging and proactive. Adding games, puzzles and teasers can be very addictive!

What have been your successes with social media marketing?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Great Post! I found more than what I’m looking for. Definitely informative. Thanks a lot!

  • I think you make some good points in this article, however you missed the biggest incentive of all….offering a $100,000 job in paradise. Who wouldn’t want that! or to pass that on to their friends.

  • All the above things are really worthy! On a whole any social campaign though it may not have a unique product, if the members in the network feels it’s a genuine one, you will meet the success! As always seeing it is all the credibility that matters!!

  • Good post. Advice very much in line with general best practices. As for the Queensland example, I am in total agreement with skfox56. The success of this campaign was due in significant part to the incentive offered, a paid six-month gig on a tropical island with worldwide attention. 99% of other brands that want to leverage social media do not have this kind of carrot to dangle in front of people’s noses. In those cases, brands need to understand why their customers are online and how their brand attributes, benefits or values smartly translated across the social web, can help customers achieve their goals.

  • Great and informative post, the Queensland campaign was a great but like others have said it certainly helps to be offering $100k to chill out on a beautiful island. most campaigns don;t have the luxury of offering that. How about an example of a good campaign that didn’t offer money

  • Hi,
    Running a successful social media campaign can be time consuming and challenging. This case study as well as the other posts were very useful to our organization, a marketing outsourcing company. Reading all your other posts.

  • Good one. I have been struggling with how to connect the dots a bit. I think what I need to do is reexamine my crossover strategy and embed my digital profile into more of my shrinking print media.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • A great post. Truly viral content is priceless, but not that easy to come up with. Planning a viral marketing campaign can be a little like a book I was given once ‘1000 way to make £1,000,000’ it was full of great ideas, like: ‘write a best-selling book’ – all true, but not really useful.

    Here is the last video I made that went viral – it did pretty well, but the problem I have now is I need to think of a better idea for next time!
    Social Media reaches the South Pacific.

  • If the objective is to raise awareness then reach, coverage and hits are success factors – if however, like in the case of the ‘best job in the world’ the objective was to raise tourism sales, then the fact the campaign didn’t, is something that should be looked into.

    With no disrespect to Quinn & Co (and every other agency that takes credit for being the one who ‘came up with it’), the objectives of raising sales trump even the most incredible youtube stats…

  • Awesome STUFF! Thanks for sharing this wonderful value here. You’ve helped me so much! God Bless Your Success!

  • Superb. Shows how solid PR skills get turbocharged with the tools of social media.

  • I agree with you that segmenting your customer file and testing the which produces the highest response. Remember you can only test one element at a time. That would be pretty interesting to read it. i feel happy to join this site.

    Sincerely, Jenny from Detox

  • Cale D. Hawley

    Can someone help me here? I did not see a percentage increase in revenue and resulting profit fro the campaign.

    And did the agency in question come up with the idea to pay someone $100K US to do “nothing” in Queensland?

    I recently read about another “social media agency” taking credit for Lady GaGa’s social media success.

    OK great, $11 million in exposure for next to nothing. Now what? Will anyone vacation there as a result of the social media campaign or were they just signing up for the contest? How many of those leads were converted into sales?

  • Brillant post. We are going to be launching our social marketing campaign in the near future. Very useful information. Thank you

  • Brillant post. We are going to be launching our social marketing campaign in the near future. Very useful information. Thank you

  • Markjack014

    very helpful article…social media has grown so much over the past few
    years…doesn’t look like it’s going to stop growing anytime soon either
    Call me old fashioned, and hey maybe true
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    I am, but I believe there IS such
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  • Dave Kaiser

    Great post! It was really helpful in the construction of my first social media campaign for my company. You can check it out at http://TheDealPages.com/ipad2 and let me know what you think. Thanks again.

  • Hi Jeff, Great post. thanks for the helpful information. This is something we can apply across our businesses. We’ve just bought a facebook marketing course, so this will help us as well