Before I touch on my insights of South African social media, I want to point out how fascinating it is that a country has branded itself. Every effort that goes into branding an organization or a product South Africa has done for the country as a whole. Everything from the consistency in using the colors of the flag to creating a slogan, “Alive with possibility.” I have never experienced a country other than caribbean islands which are known for their tourism.
I thought that was very interesting to point out which brings me to the point of this post. As South Africa prepares itself to host the 2010 World Cup I am throughly impressed with how South Africa is using social media to connect with the world. From Blogspots, Twitter, The Facebook, and Flickr South Africa is using various social media outlets to promote the 2010 World Cup. Now, the use of these various online mediums is nothing new. However, what is very insightful is how these social mediums are used to promote not just the 2010 World Cup but South Africa as a brand. How smart to use this opportunity where tourism will be at its highest for South Africa to potentially retain that level of tourism by pushing the South Africa brand. The use of showing pictures of South Africa through Flickr, telling real life stories through blogs, and communicating in real time with potential tourist via Twitter are ways that countries have never connected with the world.
On the Brand South Africa site there is an interactive communications tool kit #mce_temp_url# available for download for potential sponsors and companies that maybe interested in participating in the 2010 World Cup. This tool kit provides updates and marketing information useful to these potential sponsors. This is a great resource for sponsors who need to keep abreast with preparation for the World Cup.
Social media has been used for various aspects of marketing but I believe that South Africa has done a great job of showing how social media can be used to promote a country.