Purpose of Social Media Guidelines

The purpose of the social media guidelines is to provide an overview for all activity concerning Destination NSW’s (DNSW) social media channels, particularly the Australian consumer and corporate social channels and related content.

For more information on how to develop, promote and sell your tourism products, visit the NSW First Program, which includes a range of workshops and webcasts, resources and guides for the NSW tourism industry.

Content Priorities Based on Insights

Insights and data can back up how effective certain formats are at engaging audiences on certain platforms.

It is important to note that the social media landscape, and the platforms themselves, are constantly evolving, meaning that the opportunities that each platform provides may change in the near future. The below insights are current for 2021.

Each channel has a range of formats available to us, usually with data-driven recommendations for how to implement.

Example: Leisure travellers aged 18-34 years in Australia are 1.4 times more likely than those aged 35 and over to research travel destinations via mobile.

The insight above indicates the value of mobile-friendly content. Consider which aspect ratios will create a better content experience on mobile and prioritise these in social media planning.

Facebook Insights

Facebook provides insights that are readily available for brands and businesses to leverage into their decision making.

Explore the insights and easy-to-use tools to find data-backed evidence to inform our content planning and design considerations.

Design Specifications

When it comes to organic social content – that’s any content that doesn’t have money behind it - on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the most common post placements will be Newsfeed (all) and Stories (Facebook/Instagram).

Each platform provides a range of post types that can be used with still image and video assets. Single image/video, carousel, story, and going live.

Common Specs by Channel

Select an option below to see the most common specs for the relevant platform.

YouTube Best Practices

How To Get Maximum Visibility On YouTube 

  • Optimised metadata that includes keywords that users are searching for - ensure these sections have relevant keywords: Video File Name, Title, Description, Tags, Subtitles/Closed Captions. This allows YouTube to pair searches to relevant videos on the platform. 
  • Having a high impr. CTR, high # of views, and average view duration can signal to YouTube that a video is of high quality. 
  • Having lots of likes, positive comments, shares, and subscribers is also a great signal to YouTube that a video is of high quality. 

Uploading Best Practice 

Each video should have: 

  • Video Title (60 characters or less): including primary keywords towards front 
  • Video Description (5k characters or less): including keywords in description as well as relevant links to supporting media (ie articles, social links, etc.) 
  • Video Tags: includes keywords 
  • Video Category: helps inform YT what your video is about 
  • Custom Thumbnail: improves CTR 
  • Subtitles/Closed Captions: for optimised mobile viewing without volume 
  • Cards: to support video content, improve viewer engagement, and increase traffic to relevant site pages 
  • End Screens: increases your YouTube channel's viewership 

Thumbnail Creative Best Practices

  • Use the “rule of thirds” to compose interesting and dynamic images
  • Images should always be high res, with close-ups of important visual elements
  • Use distinct thumbnails for each video to help viewers decide what to watch next
  • Thumbnail should ALWAYS have text that is relevant to what is displayed in the video. This text should be large, easy to read and compelling, without being too click-baity

Taking Advantage of YouTube Features

  • Cards: preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel. Think about the best placement that correlates with what's happening in the video and does not disturb the viewing experience.
  • End Screens: a YouTube feature that appears in the last 5-20 seconds of a video (think an area to promote other videos on the channel, playlists, links, etc). End screens can be added to the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video. Be sure to link to relevant content. Use an image that's at least 300 x 300 pixel width. Make sure you leave enough space and time at the end of the video for an end screen (last 20 seconds).
  • Playlists: a collection of videos that can be viewed, shared, and embedded like an individual video. Note that this can appear in search results. Be sure to organise videos by theme. Combine your most-viewed videos with new uploads. Choose a strong thumbnail for your playlist. Embed playlists on your website or in your emails if you want to drive traffic directly to them. Collaborate with other relevant channels to increase visibility of your playlists.

Publishing Best Practice

  • Use the "Audience" section in YouTube analytics to determine the best publishing schedule for your videos
  • Communicate with your viewers when and how often you'll be publishing, be sure to space out when your videos go live
  • Set alerts to send so subscribers get notified when a new video is published
  • Create a process around sharing content on other channels (ie website, social, etc.) to maximise visibility

What To Avoid

  • Republishing - when you post a video, make sure it's the absolute final version of the video. Once it's published it will alert subscribers and gain viewers. When you re-upload it will create poor subscriber experience and you'll lose views (ie losing signal strength).
  • Poor video resolution - refer here for video specifications
  • Poor thumbnails/duplicates - thumbnails with low res and small text, will create poor CTR. Also do not use the same thumbnail or thumbnail image for two different videos as each video will lose its unique appeal.
  • Clickbaity Titles - will set unrealistic viewing expectations
  • Using too many cards - can disturb the viewing experience and can shorten viewer duration
  • Publishing too many videos at once - this may set off too many alerts for subscribers and encourage unsubscribes from the channel. Alternatively, new viewers may only see one of the videos published and miss the ones that followed.

User-generated Content

User-generated Content (UGC) — any content posted by individual users of the social media platform — is a staple of DNSW’s content plan. It is cost-effective and plentiful and suitable for organic destination and experience marketing.

Repurposing this form of content requires a process of selection, credit verification and permission to use. An organisation must comply with regulatory standards, which dictate that they must seek permission to share content created by a user. This ensures the correct ownership of the content is confirmed, as often users will share content they do not own.

Content Verification & Permission

It is important to ensure that the owner of the image that you wish to use has been verified and contacted to request permission to use.

DNSW has established a clear process to confirm the content ownership and to guarantee the owners’ expectations are met, with regards to how their content will be used.

For more information on the DNSW verification process when repurposing UGC, please visit the relevant DNSW website:

Working with Content Creators

The DNSW social team recommends working with content creators — content partners that are identified primarily by their photography or videography skills — as opposed to influencers, who are identified primarily by their personal brand and following. Content creators are similar to a content freelancer with a social profile.

If your potential content partner meets the criteria for a content creator, go ahead with your enquiry. If you think your enquiry may involve an influencer, please get in touch with the DNSW Media team for guidance.

Working With Influencers

Below are some general tips on working with and engaging influencers.

For further information and assistance working with influencers, we recommend reaching out to the DNSW Media team

Shooting Drone Content

When shooting drone content you must comply with the guidelines and procedures of regulatory authorities.

In Sydney, all commercial drone or remotely piloted aircraft, regardless of size or type, require City of Sydney approval to take off or land on public land, with further approval and guidelines provided by Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). There is also a Drones in Parks policy that applies to reserve or park managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service. Please review this policy and seek approval before conducting drone activity in NSW parks.

Regulations are subject to change so always check with the proper authorities to ensure compliance is met. To find out more details on where you can fly drones via an interactive map, click here.

More useful links and resources on flying drones can be found below.

Emerging Social Media Platforms

It is important to test or explore managing activity on emerging platforms, such as TikTok. This platform allows you to reach an audience, even without a following, because the algorithm is designed to serve content to a public newsfeed, the For You page. Users are then able to gain more/less traction based on how much interest and engagement your content generates.

For more information on TikTok and the latest news on the platform, visit TikTok.

Event Pages

Events are free and easy to create on Facebook. You can use Facebook Events to help set up an event, reach your audience, increase attendance and sell tickets. Events can also be promoted as an ad.

How to build organic awareness for your events:

  • Post about it on Instagram/Facebook Stories
  • Add a countdown sticker to your story so that users can opt-in to a notification when it begins
  • Occasionally post relevant content to the event page wall to keep attendees engaged

Visit Facebook’s event page section to get started with Event Pages.

Inspiration & Examples

Here are some examples of creative content that the DNSW social media team have used that have proved to be popular and engage consumers on social media platforms.

The DNSW social media team curate content to maintain visual and tonal consistency, while allowing for a balance of topics and messages to be covered. The DNSW social team plan content a minimum of two to four weeks in advance, while also allowing time to insert reactive content as the opportunities arise.

Having consistent content each week such as Trivia and Instagram of the Day (mentioned below) keeps audiences engaged regularly over a period of time.

For more information on creating imagery and making videos to promote your tourism business, visit the NSW First Guides.

Examples of DNSW Owned Content

Below are some examples of the type of creative content you can incorporate into your social media accounts:

For further information, please refer to our Resources page.

Facebook Creative Inspiration

Explore the Facebook Creative Hub and Inspiration page to find case studies and tips to inspire and guide your design and creative ideas depending on your objectives.

This will help you to get started with content that is both fun and engaging, as well as on-brand and best practice.

Get Connected

Get Connected is DNSW’s website membership program. Simple and easy to use, Get Connected membership is free and open to all tourism operators within New South Wales.

It gives DNSW the opportunity to showcase your tourism products and tap into over 1.7 million potential customers per month, both domestic and international — that’s 21.4 million people a year who are looking for tourism products.

NSW First

The NSW First program makes it easier to stay in touch with customers, maintain relationships with media and distribution partners, and develop new areas of business. The NSW First Quick Tips Tutorial videos help tourism businesses take the next steps to building a social media profile. Here’s a list of tutorials to watch:

  • Adapting the product
  • How to shoot video
  • Refreshing and updating your online presence
  • Regional conferencing
  • Social media
  • Staying connected with distribution partners

Content Library

Have you checked out DNSW’s content library? It has more than 29,000 stunning images and reels of footage available to help promote your business and destination.

Boost with Facebook Tourism Program

Facebook Australia recently launched travel-specific education sessions to support small business owners to increase their digital skills. Join free workshops and listen to local case studies who have grown their online presence through Facebook and Instagram.