This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
W


e s t ar ted communicat- ing with our


EMMA ANDREWS


customers online in March 2009. People were talking about the brand online so we joined in. It also drives traffi c to our website and blog to infl uence our brand reputation and increase brand awareness. The average Facebook person has between 150 and 200 friends – if they only talk about your brand once, it gets you heard by people who you might not have otherwise been able to reach. We’ve got nearly 12,500 friends on Facebook and just over 2,000


digital marketing manager, Go Ape


on Twitter. We talk to them daily about anything from an event we’ve heard about, to a competition, to something we’re doing. We try not to talk about ourselves all the time so we can add value. Users talk to each other as well and comment on other people’s posts. We use Google News alerts to monitor what’s being said about us


online. Using Facebook Insights, we look at the number of fans and how they’re growing. We ask customers where they heard about us when they booked and look at referrals to our website – Facebook is in the top 10 every week; it’s driving business to our website. We can also measure it by the take up of promotions – sometimes we’ll only publicise something on Facebook. For example, at the moment we’re doing some half-price courses for visitors who check in through Foursquare (a location-based social media platform). We’ve got photos, comments and videos that our fans have shared


with us. That shared ownership over user-driven content makes it much richer and more authentic and vibrant then anything we could ever put out there as a pre-marketing message.


www.attractionshandbook.com


people who followed us on Twitter, Face- book or MySpace. The offer was for free admission for up to four children under the age of fi ve and free parking. We sold thousands of tickets as a result of the promotion. The monitoring was directly tied to tracking the unique web page and ticket sales. We knew how many times the page had been visited and the number of tickets that were sold. The “mum blogs” picked it up and people began forwarding it to


F


e-communications and new media manager, Georgia Aquarium


each other via email and social media. We started receiving phone calls about it. Soon, coupon and discount blogs in the region began promoting both offers and the interest continued. The main challenge with social media is staying ahead of the game


and knowing what’s coming next. The landscape changes so quickly that everything we’re doing today may not be relevant in a few years’ time. There may be something bigger and better to be working with and there’s no way to know what that is right now. The main benefi t is having a direct connection with your audience and customers. Social media has become another facet of customer service and it’s an opportunity to not only help consumers, but to build brand loyalty. Social media brings in an audience with different interests. It’s a great way to learn about your community. However, while it’s an important marketing tool and one that will


grow in the future, it can’t be the only tool. A mistake some people make is failing to continue with traditional marketing tools that have al- ways worked, such as advertisements, commercials and billboards.


Attractions Handbook 2011-2012 67


rom February to May we ran a promotion for


ASHLEY PAYNE


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