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. I also coordinate the marketing and social media efforts for the Colorado River Trail. And what Will didn’t tell you is ….
… I’m a geek. Who other than a geek would get their Twitter handle on a t-shirt? Maybe some of you can relate?
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.
The Colorado River Trail is an 11-county region of LCRA’s service territory that starts up in the pecan orchards of San Saba County and follows the river down to Matagorda County and the Gulf of Mexico. It started about 15 years ago as a way to connect LCRA and local/county parks along the river, and has evolved into more of a tourism region where we highlight all the fun things to see and do.
We do a lot with our Flickr photos on Facebook. We just started this feature where we put up two photos and get people to vote on the one they like best. It will revolve around a theme – like this one was about how to spend Labor Day weekend. Lounging in a hammock or lounging in a canoe. I’ll do one every couple of weeks from now on.
We do a weekly photo trivia contest on Wednesdays called “Tripod Trivia”. Fans have to correctly guess the location where the photo was taken. I don’t offer any prizes – just braggin’ rights. This one almost always gets great interaction.
One of my favorite things to do is to post a photo of some yummy food I’m about to eat or a scenic place I’ve just visited. Kind of a “don’t you wish you were me” type thing.
I’m in the midst of a little test of Facebook advertising. I used a photo (with permission) from our Flickr group as the image in the ad. It seems to be working very well so far.
I always announce our Facebook Tripod Trivia feature on Twitter to try to cross pollinate our audiences. I’ll also post the actual photo once the correct location is guessed.
And I get great photos like these that I can use to promote my region … for FREE.
And this is an example of how we’re using my Flickr group in some of the other work we do in our department. This is a slide from a draft presentation we’re working on that will provide economic data for specific regions in the LCRA service area.
We also use the location-based application called Gowalla. Many of you have probably heard of Foursquare – this is very similar. They both allow you to virtually “check in” to a location, say something about it, and share it with your network of friends AND on social media. We chose Gowalla mainly because it was developed by an Austin-based company, and we wanted to support them. But they also have some pretty cool features (one that Foursquare just copied, I might add …) that can help in promoting your cities or counties. I’ve circled in red some Trips I created for the Colorado River Trail. Trips are just a collection of locations that are grouped by a theme. I chose local places to eat for this group of trips.
Here’s a screenshot of the Local Eats trip I created for Bastrop County. There are 15 total locations included on this trip. Each trip has a unique URL, so you can post it (and promote it) pretty much anywhere you want.
Just a few weeks ago, I created a custom map on Google. I’d seen a similar map online, loved it, and wanted to steal the idea for my own region. Until then I knew you could create your own maps, but I had no idea you could embed videos, photos, and web links into the pin points. It took some trial and error, but I figured it out. So far, I’ve created two of these maps for my 11 county region. More are on the way soon.
Click on the red pinpoint, and up pops a photo taken at that location.
Click on the blue pinpoint, and you can watch a video that was shot at that location. I’ve used LCRA’s videos and those from The Daytripper and Texas Parks & Wildlife. The green pinpoints open up a link to a blog post I wrote about that location.
Location-based Tools & Social Media 2011 3CMA Conference Making Communications Work: Hitting the Right Notes in a Wired World September 9, 2011 Weird X
Flickr Photo Contest Contest began April 4th, and the winner was announced May 17th Asked for photo entries in 5 categories Outdoor activities River and lake activities Festivals and events Entertainment History, heritage, and culture
Offered prizes for each category winner, and the grand prize was offered by the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Flickr Photo Contest Goals Build photography inventory in our Flickr group Increase awareness Increase fan/follower engagement Build fan/follower-base in social media channels Process Join Flickr group; agree to Terms; upload photos Tag photos with “CRTContest11” and type of activity Judging team selected top 15 Two rounds of public voting
Flickr Photo Contest Results 107 contest entries (84.5% increase over 2010) Fans/followers increased an average of 15.85% across our social media channels Activity on Facebook and Twitter increased Inbound traffic to the photo contest page increased over 11,000 % Peaked during the final voting phase Time on site ranged from :58 seconds pre-contest to 4:21 during peak voting