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I’m Sarah Page and I work for the Lower Colorado River Authority providing tourism and economic development assistance to the communities and organizations in our service area. And what XX didn’t tell you is ….
… I’m a geek. Who other than a geek would get their Twitter handle on a t-shirt? I love social media. I use it every day. But I also live in the real world. So I’m going to show you some things that will hopefully make using social media much easier for you.
I know this doesn’t seem like much, but we have a lot of ground to cover today. There will be plenty of time for Q&A at the end, but I’m also happy to field questions during the presentation if you’ve got something that just can’t wait.
Why should you be using social media? Well, this is why. Your audience is there.
You need to be able to describe the value proposition of your event in one sentence. Like a mission statement, but not too mission statement-y. What’s the one thing that makes you unique? With Zappos’s it’s not the shoes, it’s their customer service.2.a. Generate sales – using social media to create first-time customers and drive repeat business2. b. Brand enthusiasm – turning customers into fans2. c. Loyalty – building long-lasting relationshipsSome of your audience has never heard about you. Others are raving fans. Who are you trying to reach? This matters because your messages to these diverse groups will be very different. a. awareness – they may have heard something about you b. interest – heard about you, visited your website, no purchases c. action – they’ve made a single purchase d. advocacy – fans of the brand, told friends, frequent/repeat purchases
Knowing how your audience behaves within social media is critical. This will help you select the social media channels you use, and the types of promotions you run. Are they creators, joiners, critics, or merely spectators?Who from your organization will be the one “talking” in social media? One person, a team? Figure it out in advance and get buy in from those who will be doing it.Which social media tools/channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) are the best ones for your organization AND your audience?People love social media. Why? Because they can develop relationships with a brand. Those brands that sound like real people, anyway. You have to put a “face” on your brand. What’s your voice? Fun, urban, folksy? Whatever you choose to measure, make sure it ties back to your goals and objectives. Before you start, establish some baseline metrics so that you have some things to compare. We’ll talk some more about measurement in just a minute.Sit in a room with your team and some flip charts. Go through each of these questions until you have answers for them. This will become your strategy. Once it’s finessed, share it with your organization, your board, etc.
Social media works best when it is a component of an integrated marketing strategy, inclusive of advertising, public relations, etc. It should be a part of your marketing plans, not an island unto itself.
Whatever you choose to measure should be tied back to your marketing goals. Let’s do one quick example: follow the blue text.
The brass in your organization will like to see how your social media efforts are impacting your bottom line. All of these examples can be tracked to a buying decision. Whether you’re tracking the number of coupons redeemed or the number of opt-ins to your SMS promotions, financial returns can be measured.
Sometimes money can be difficult to track. Or, you just want to augment your financial metrics with some qualitative ones. Other metrics like brand awareness and website statistics can indicate positive or negative trends in your social media presence.
Campaign codes = HTML code added to a link that you want to track. They are used to track specific marketing campaigns like emails, advertisements, etc.
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is “how much time will all this take?!” The truth is, that it does take some time. But there are some tools out there to help you cut down on the time you spend posting content and monitoring your social media channels.
Twitter Feed is a great little tool that can automate sharing of your blog posts to either Facebook or Twitter, or both. Just create a free account,
Twitter Feed makes it very easy to create an RSS feed. Just name it and copy the feed address into the second blank from your feedburner account.
Then just choose where you want your new blog posts to be published.
You can then get stats on how many times people click on your link from Facebook and from Twitter.
UsingHootSuite to manage your Twitter feeds and Facebook pages makes life a lot easier. HootSuite allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts in advance. You can do many of your tweets for the week all at once to free up time for other things while you’re at work. Just type your text in the box and click the calendar button.
In the calendar dialogue window that pops up, select the date and time of day you want the tweet to go out.
Any tweets you’ve scheduled will show up in the “Scheduled” area of the Publisher menu where you can check on its progress and even edit it.
HootSuite is also great for helping you monitor your brand or keywords that are relevant to your event. Here I’m pointing at several keywords I’m tracking. These are for presentations I had coming up to help me find good content to share. I’ve circled the “Searches” tab I set up. There, I track mentions of various LCRA properties, LCRA-related topics and more.
This is another cool (and free) service that allows you to post your content at one time and in one place, and have it sent to multiple social media channels.
Just type in your content and select which channels you want the message sent to.
If you manage Facebook pages, this tool allows you to post your content on Facebook and have it automatically sent to Twitter. Login to Facebook and open a new tab. Then go to facebook.com/twitter. Since you’re logged in, Facebook will know what pages you manage. You’ll see a list like this, and you simply click “Link to Twitter” for the ones you’d like to link. Couldn’t be easier.
This is a relatively new one I just stumbled upon a few months ago. HyperAlerts is a free service that will tell you when you’ve had any fan activity on your Facebook page. This feature now exists in Facebook with the new pages redesign. However, the Facebook alerts come to your email as they happen. With HyperAlerts, you can choose to receive a summary email once per day or other frequency settings.
After you create your account or sign in, you can add new alerts for other pages or edit the types of alerts you’re receiving for the pages you already monitor. I set up alerts on 3 of my pages. You’ll notice that I don’t want alerts for my own content on two of them. That’s because I’m the only one who posts content there – I know when I’ve done that.
They’ll send you an email as often as you choose to let you know what’s been happening on your page when you weren’t looking.
Nutshell Mail is another relatively recent find. This is a free monitoring tool from Constant Contact – the email newsletter people. This also notifies you when there’s been fan activity on your Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as activity from your friends on your personal profile.
You’ll receive an email with all the notifications from the previous time period.
You’ll see all your notifications and show you some recent posts from friends it thinks you might like. The cool thing about NutshellMail is that it allows you to RESPOND directly from the email without having to go to Facebook. Very cool.
Everybody knows about hashtags, right? Has anyone ever used them to follow along at a conference? A conference you’re not even attending? What about a Twitter chat? Tweetchat.com is an awesome tool that lets you monitor a hashtag in real time. Just sign in to Twitter and enter the hashtag you want to follow in the window.You’ll be taken to a “chatroom” where you can see tweets from everyone using that hashtag at that exact moment. If you tweet something, it automatically appends the hashtag to the end of your tweet.This chat is following the hashtag #coopext. However, they are promoting a Twitter chat called “#AgChat”. I participate in a chat called “#TourismChat”. Twitter chats are regularly scheduled discussions that occur over Twitter. Tourismchat has people “attend” from all over North America and several other countries. There is usually a pre-announced topic and everyone can participate. You might want to start a Twitter chat for festival organizers.
URL shorteners come in very handy with Twitter, where you only have 140 characters to get your point across. But you can use them on Facebook too. The cool thing about them is that you can track how many times the link you shared gets clicked, and whether the click-through came from Twitter or Facebook. So this is one way to actually account for your social media efforts.There are several other URL shorteners. HootSuite has its own called owl.ly. There’s bud.url which allows you to assign each tweet or post to a category (like food, arts, history, etc.) so that you know what category performs best. Bud.url is not free, however, and also takes a fair amount of work for each link.
Just type in (or copy in) your long link, and bit.ly automatically generates a shortened link for you. Down below it shows the number of clicks I was responsible for out of the total number of times that link was clicked.
Much like groups on LinkedIn, you can now have private groups on Facebook. This “Tourism Geeks” group is one that I belong to. It’s populated with people from all over the country who work in technology and social media in the tourism industry. We bounce ideas off each other, share work horror stories, and share interesting articles, and ask and answer each other’s questions. It’s an invaluable source of knowledge for me when I’m drawing a blank. Could you put together a group like this with festival and events people?
Has anyone heard of either of these two services? Anyone using them? I’m not ashamed to say that I’m addicted to both. If you’re a deal seeker, then this is for you! For businesses, it’s a great way to get rid of excess inventory, introduce a new product, get people in the door, as well as an opportunity to up sell. For people like us, it’s deeply discounted products and services that are emailed to you daily based on your location and preferences.
Here Downtown Nashville shares on Facebook the deal for that day. It happens to be for one of the downtown Nashville businesses.
Okay, hold on to your hats. If your mind hasn’t been blown by now, this section will definitely do it! Has anyone heard of Gowalla or FourSquare? Used them?These are applications you can download onto your smart phone. The apps “know” where you are based on your phone’s GPS. When you open the app, you’ll see a list of business or places nearby. You can “check in” to that place via the app.Why would you do this? For the geekiest of the geeks, it’s the game. You can earn virtual pins and badges that laud your check-in prowess. For regular geeks, it’s probably the real (not virtual) perks. On Foursquare, businesses have the ability to reward people for checking in multiple times. Think of it as a virtual “frequent flyer” program. On Gowalla, you can create virtual themed trips for your destination. Each trip has its own URL so you can link to them and promote them on your other social media channels.
Here’s an example of what a check-in looks like on Foursquare, and how you’ll know if there’s a special being offered.
Gowalla lets you set up “trips” for a destination or attraction. For large festivals, you could do this for festival venues. Most of the time, they are themed trips like this one. This is an Austin Museum Tour created by the Austin American-Statesman. There are several more listed below the fold. Once a Gowalla user has checked in to at least 3 of the locations on the trip, they can get a special badge. This is a great way to create an itinerary for travelers. Gowalla’s trips have unique URLs, so you can link to them on your website or other social media channels.
Gowalla and Foursquare also allow you to let your friends know where you are. You can do that through the application itself (on your smart phone), or you can tweet it or share it on Facebook.
QR stands for “quick response”. A QR Code is a 2 dimensional bar code that can be read with a special app on a smart phone. They are usually linked to a URL to get more information on something. They give consumers a reason to interact with offline objects. They allow those offline or static objects to become dynamic and interactive. There are lots of uses for them in the festivals and events world.
Creating a QR Code couldn’t be easier. If you Google “QR Code generator”, probably the first 10 or so listings will work just fine. This one – QRStuff.com not only generates the code, it connects you to other sites where you can make things with your code (like t-shirts).