Social Media in action with the Houston Zoo


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Ed Schipul's PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference presentation on practical usage of online marketing and social networks for the Houston Zoo (

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Social Media in action with the Houston Zoo

  1. 1. Houston Zoo Social Media Case Study: When Online Marketing goes WILD!! Ed Schipul // Schipul - The Web Marketing Company //
  2. 2. What we’ll talk about: •Storytelling •Real World meets Virtual World •Online Community (isn’t for the birds) Find this presentation:
  3. 3. 1.6 million visitors / year 4,500 animals Established in 1922 // // //
  4. 4. Markets are Conversations // 95 Theses from 1999
  5. 5. Social Media to tell a Story
  6. 6. 4 Elements of Storytelling 1. Message 4. Plot So my point is... 2. Conflict 3. Characters
  7. 7. Mac the baby elephant (2006 - 2008) •Mac naming contest (7500 entries) •Mac’s birthday card contests •Elephant adoption packets (thousands sold and increased awareness) Celebrating the life of Mac, the baby elephant
  8. 8. Embeddable pics and videos Research Fund Drive 1000’s of personal Stories Helping a Community heal after a tragic loss
  9. 9. Conservation Blog Calls to Action Frog videos to share Combining Online Storytelling with Real World calls to action 2008: Year of the Frog
  10. 10. Houston Zoo Frog Blog
  11. 11. Real World meets Virtual World
  12. 12. Strong fan following Visual announcements Fan photos Houston Zoo on Facebook (
  13. 13. 37 ‘Yes’ 36 ‘Maybe’ Planning an Online Fan Photo Day at the Zoo
  14. 14. Children’s Museum of Houston ( Facebook Ads - A big bang in a small package • Integrated newsletter sign up campaign • Hundreds of email adds / Overs one million impressions • Under $400 in paid ads
  15. 15. The power of visualization on Flickr ( Harnessing the User Generated Content madness
  16. 16. Online Community Building
  17. 17. Houston Zoo on Twitter: Twitter includes others in ongoing dialogue
  18. 18. Continuing the Mission and the Online momentum Houston Zoo pals growing their own networks IntlRhinoFoundation
  19. 19. Let’s review: •Pick your characters and tell your Story •Combine online and offline events and promotions •Pay attention to your online relationships Find this presentation:
  20. 20. Can we help you? Let us know! Ed Schipul // CEO Email: Personal blog: Flickr: Twitter:
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