Social Media: Can It Deliver To Your Bottom Line


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Presentation on Social Media and how it can deliver quantifiable results to the travel and tourism industry, Given live at the SOVA Symposium on March 1, 2010.

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  • Click to next slide at 3:05The lines of what social media is are blending with things like rep management, there are conversation happening outside of facebook and twitter that you also need to track and pay attention toAnd these stats are growing daily!
  • First you have to Define Your Goals.As we get into the case studies, we will definitely show monetary returns, but you’ll also notice we are measuring other metrics. There is the money side,which often is difficult to attribute your initial social media touch point to a sale, buyers don’t always go through the conversion funnel exactly as we would like them to. There are also tools that you can use to help attribute conversation accurately, but it is not foolproof. (we are going to focus on this). And then there is the brand interaction side. When EngineWorks began providing Social Media Marketing services three or four years ago the sole focus was on the SEO benefits provided (additional listings for branded search terms and link building), the branded and extra traffic was really just an added benefit. As a data-driven, ROI focused company our focus was just on that, and there was very little to measure…that’s not the case any longer.So, once you’ve defined your goals, you need to do some Research. You have to listen for a while before diving right in. Bring a solution to a problem folks are try to fix.Then…you develop your Social Media Strategy, again folks too often make the mistake of just jumping in and pushing information.Just being on Facebook or having a twitter account is not doing social media. Posting information about your location is not social media. Are you providing an answer to a question and solving a problem?Once you have a sound strategy other campaign elements will include profile development & management, community participation, content creation and promotion, and of course the tracking, measurement & reporting of your success metrics.From what I’ve heard you are all pretty savvy on what goes into a social media marketing campaign, so let’s jump into it….here is what I’ve heard you are looking for:"OK, I'm Tweeting, blogging, have a Facebook and fan page, but I don't seem to see any real business coming from all this effort. It's taking more and more time, so is anyone seeing a pay off from this?"
  • One of Portland’s biggest attractions,The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry hosts their biggest annual fundraising event each January. Over the years the event has evolved from one of the first major auctions, to the unique interactive event 2010 featured.Basically with the economic climate OMSI decided they wanted to diversify their potential donor base and bring down the barriers to entry (ticket cost). So the bold decision was made to go a completely different direction.What used to be the classic dinner and fundraising event for 400 people (at $500 per person) changed into a very interactive event for 900 (at $250 a pop) (four food stations/bars and lots of different activities to participate in throughout the night…no sit-down dinner, no formal tables).One of the key elements to the success of the new format was what we called individual ticket sales (folk who are not part of a group…either a sponsor group or a ‘table’ at past events). Social Media was identified as the way to engage with this new audience and drive these tickets.Of course there were other important elements to the social media campaign including:Participation of these new attendeesCommunication with donors and the ease of that communicationSERP Real Estate and traffic to the event pageWe measured our success with ticket sales reports and Google Analytics
  • So, what did we do…Based in the popularity and use by the organizing committee (who would be called on the help seed the campaign) Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were chosen as the main social networks to focus on.Facebook StrategiesWe decided to create a new Facebook fan page for the Gala instead of using the general OMSI Fan page for two main reasons. First, most folks didn’t join the general OMSI fan page because they want to attend a $500 fundraising/socialite event, so sending them repeated messages about why they should buy a ticket and go was not appropriate. It is a totally different market (we did use their general page and their 7,000 fans to reach out a few times), we knew that there would be cross-over, but we wanted to be very targeted. So we created a unique group that can be specifically targeted for future Gala.2ndly, OMSI is such a big brand locally…everyone knows about it, but nobody knew about the Gala. We thought of it like Coke, if Coke is going to launch a new product, they are not going to use Coke page, but create a new one and focus the branding and messaging around that new productTactics used included…Contests to encourage fans interaction (often charity focused…win a family membership for a needy recipient) Act as the hub for Gala updates on activities (announcement of Ketel One Ice Bar and Star Wars Cantina)Use FB to feature (and get people excited about) the various activities throughout the night and the raffle items on-siteDirect interactions with folks that showed an interest in the event in general or a specific element of the night…whether that be the presentation by Astronaut Mike Barrett or Dick Rutan, the Star Wars characters by going to Star Wars Forums…or the chance to win a trip to a shuttle launch…And lastly provide a vehicle for groups to connect pre-event (here is an example of where the return isn’t necessarily in ticket sold, but happy stakeholders whether those be committee members, board members, city council or the like…everybody has a boss)Twitter StrategiesLike Facebook we Set-up a specific Twitter account for the GalaUse as communications tool for the contests and to drive Facebook fansAnother successful element was the use of the ‘honorary committee” (business leaders and politicians mostly) having specific social media groups provided an easy way for those folks to help specifically promote the event through their personal tweets and facebook updates and not have their audiences confused or distracted LinkedInLinkedIn Group and Event – know where your audience is…attendees are business folks. Also, people attend charity events not only because they care about the organization, but also to see and be seen with the right people. A lot of ‘regular’ networking is a part of this event.Other StrategiesGet listed on as many online event listing and calendar sites – make sure folks can find the Gala as an option if they are looking for something to do
  • The Results!Record attendance was achieved and we stopped actively promoting ticket sales a week before the eventAs I mentioned, one of the big reasons for taking the big risk of changing the format for the event was to start to build relationships with a new, and younger, demographic. This goal was definitely achieved with 21% of donors first time.It is also important to note that this new concept was very forward thinking…it was not developed out of need because the previous years events were headed downhill. General visits to the Gala Web Page were up significantly (34%) and Referral Traffic from social media sites increased 278%.Lastly, prior to the social media marketing efforts, the event had basically zero presence online (I did a search for it before we started and all I could find was an article about the 2008 event on the first page). As you can see here we have 9 of the 10 first page results in Google
  • Facebook page, followed by Squidoo lens, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp and Eventbrite
  • Last October, the City of Bothell engaged EngineWorks to design and execute a professional Social Media Marketing (SMM) campaign to promote its inaugural Vintage Bothell Wine Walk holiday shopping and wine tasting event, and to increase the number of online visitors seeking local lodging packages through their Web site.Ultimately, the goals of this engagement were to sell all 300 Vintage Bothell Wine Walk tickets, drive bookings and to increase awareness of the exciting activities and businesses in the area.
  • This engagement was initiated with our in-depth research and analysis into the tourism activities and commercial offerings in the City of Bothell, followed by the implementation of proven SMM strategies designed to directly connect with their target audience through popular social media sites and networking channels.Facebook StrategiesEstablished engaging Facebook page for City of Bothell, WA – Official Events and Visitors Page.Created online Promotional Giveaway contest featuring lodging and tickets to Vintage Wine Walk.Required visitors to become Facebook fans in order to enter Promotional Giveaway contest (insider tip…there are rules on this now, but if you get creative (which facebook basically tell you to do) you can still drive fans in this way…make the contest entry page one only fans can get to.Published Facebook advertisements for Promotional Giveaway contest and Vintage Wine Walk.Directly interacted with Facebook fans, posted event schedules, and added local photographs.Twitter StrategiesSet-up Twitter account for ExploreBothell.comDesigned custom background featuring compelling descriptions, URL’s, and event schedules. Not just custom that it is for Bothell, but Custom twitter background focus on the event.This was a brand new account so in order to promote the wine walk, we needed to have an audience. For a DMO or CVB a great place to start is your city, county, area partners (e.g., Convention Visitor Bureaus, local tourism groups, etc.).Promoted the Promotional Giveaway contest and Vintage Wine Walk through online interactions. Promotional StrategiesAdded Facebook and Twitter links to Web site.Created optimized press release for Vintage Bothell Wine Walk.Promote Wine Walk through other social media site, specifically Reviews site (like Yelp) and event sites (such as and eventful)Partnered with local vineyards and other partners to retweet, reference the facebook and twitter pages in content.
  • We sold out the event w/in the first hour of tickets going on sale. THE ONLY PLACE WE PROMOTED THIS EVENT WAS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEIR WEB SITE18% of the attendees entered the contest and 10% added a photo to the facebook page, that is huge interactionAlso during the time of the promotion. Visitor traffic to package reservations pages on the booking engine increased by 152 percent after social media campaigns were implemented late in 2009.(I’m sure you all noticed that we measured and reported on Booking Engine Visits, not actual bookings…here is a little footnote is to why, you have know how far you can measure something and who is responsible for allowing success. In this case we couldn’t have our success measured by bookings because the booking engine is not user friendly and effective. There may be reasons outside of your SMM strategy and execution that is limiting your effectiveness and ROI. Identify (and unlike this case), rectify those barriers to success.Due to the social media marketing effort, traffic more than tripled on the day of the event and produced the most traffic per day recorded on the site to date.And finally it was a great jumpstart to their social media efforts and provided the type of results they needed to gain continued funding and a proof of concept Less than $500Another note here on how this social media campaign delivered to the bottom line of the City of Bothell’s visitor and tourism efforts. Granted, this is a pretty small event (300 people), but the potential economic impact can be pretty significant. Many of the attendees came from out of town, stayed in hotels, ate in restaurant, and bought wine. That is the mission and purpose of the organization.
  • Not to mention SERP Real Estate againTop two results are Web site, followed by Facebook, local blogs, Twitter and finally a review and event site.Helped their SEO
  • For the final case study, I’m going to focus on a resort destination in Pine Mountain, GA.We have been working on their SEO and Paid Search for a several years and Last year we began their Social Media Marketing campaign with the same primary goal as everything else we do with them. Sell rooms, heads in beds.Now like the other two case studies we had other things we wanted to accomplish along the way.Building a network of brand ambassadors and Callaway Garden enthusiast was important and so was encouraging user generated content on travel review sites.The primary measurement tools were bookings recorded in Google Analytics, and direct interaction stats from the social networks
  • First, during our research phase, we had to identified how their audience was using social media to determined how they should be part of the conversation and where to have a voice (LinkedIn no, Flickr, yes).A lot of social media success is having a well thought out plan – seeing what people where asking about (what already asking about, what people trying to find, what type of pictures are popular in flickr, what are folks already talking about, what questions can we answer (e.g. does Callaway have stroller rental, what are the golf course conditions, fast greens, cart paths only)…then sweep in and be the authority and be a part of the conversation…knowing your role (a lot of people make this mistake and just jump in right way…spam, throw out stuff just to get it out there…it is more about listening and interacting, has to be a two-way conversation.Next in how we are going to participate – for us it is to indentify what tools & resources we would have from the client (for you it may be to identify what internal resources you are willing to commit), for Callaway we had $25 off coupons, access to lots of media (pic, Video), and quality events, also always keeping CG involved to help (folk on ground, related to weather, golf course answers, what is happening day to day, encourage them to help)…again for you this may be more coordinating between internal dept.Following keywords on twitter (TweetDeck, HootSuite)…a good way to start conversations.Fan of other pages in the niche (geographically and demographically…common interest)…cheap fun thing to do with kids…twitter momsResearch – chase down our audience….where do your consumer find their info? Go there, but listen first.Then start to provide those answers and be the resource.
  • Bookings, Revenue, and Average Value are all increased very significantly. This is for the four months following the launch of our social media campaign vs. the previous four months…and not just because of seasonality, in fact this is despite seasonality….Even more impressive is that all other traffic sources numbers where down the previous time period and the same period the year prior. For Example:For All Traffic Sources previous four months: Rev down 24%, Total Bookings down 18% and Ave Value down 7%, Visits Up only 31%For All Traffic Sources same four month previous year: Rev Up 1%, Total Bookings up 11% and Ave Value (not surprisingly with discounting) down 10%, Visits down 10%An Asset we had from the client was 50 $25 off Coupons…all were claimed, an area for improvement is to know how many were actually used…this is a great example of where a direct ROI isn’t measured, but we know it has a significant impact on the bottom line.We’ve built pretty impressive fanbase, etc., but what is really impressive in the amount of interaction those fans have.Facebook fans growth an average of 40% increase each month and during active promotion times over seven interactions per day…comments, likes, posts, photos, etc. and average 4/day.While growth of fans/followers, etc is good, as I’m sure you all know it is not the be all end all. A good barometer of how you are doing is see where posts are coming from…if they are all from your administrators, you are not interacting, but pushing info. It tells you that you are not hitting the mark with your audience.Most of the reviews on TripAdvisor were focused on one specific lodging option (some of which were negative and it was the least expensive area to stay at the resort). Of course addressing the concerns raised is part of the job, the other part is somehow encouraging folks that had a good experience to share that info too. This is where the coupon came in to play…we didn’t require folks to leave positive reviews or post, etc. we simply posted things like Have you been to Callaway Gardens lately? The next 10 people who review us on Trip Advisor will receive a $25 Coupon! (link)We think of our social media fans as an army troupe…we can really use them to accomplish other initiatives. When you post a video on YouTube, you can direct your fans to view it, Google local reviews, identify fans with blogs.
  • PostRankTrendrrSocialOomphBit.lyRadian6TrackurThere really are a ton of options. Some of them will provide great insight, others can automate tasked or aggregate information. While many of the available tools (both free and paid) are useful and have their place in social media marketing campaign,BlogPulseWhosTalkinKeotagWhat The TrendSocialMentionTweetbeepBoardReader
  • PostRankTrendrrSocialOomphBit.lyRadian6TrackurThere really are a ton of options. Some of them will provide great insight, others can automate tasked or aggregate information. While many of the available tools (both free and paid) are useful and have their place in social media marketing campaign,BlogPulseWhosTalkinKeotagWhat The TrendSocialMentionTweetbeepBoardReader
  • I’m sure you noticed from my case studies, we really didn’t highlight results from any of these. We used some of them, to track our URLs and SocialOomph for twitter monitoring…but mostly we can track ultimate results solely using Google Analytics and the social media channels themselves…There were hundreds of logos on the screen, your customers have visited a fraction of those site. Identifying which one they go to and participate is a key to a successful SMM campaign
  • I’m sure you noticed from my case studies, we really didn’t highlight results from any of these. We used some of them, to track our URLs and SocialOomph for twitter monitoring…but mostly we can track ultimate results solely using Google Analytics and the social media channels themselves…There were hundreds of logos on the screen, your customers have visited a fraction of those site. Identifying which one they go to and participate is a key to a successful SMM campaign
  • Lastly, there are factors that are very important that you will not be able to measure.We all know the most valued and trusted sources for recommendation are friends and family. Being present and active (and providing useful information that is easily shared) is more important now than ever before.Polls also show that customers like it when they can hear from companies directly online. A survey last year by MarketingSherpa found that 57 percent of consumers feel better served by companies when they can interact with them through social media. These number are going down though, with the use of (and perceived manipulation by consumers, it is even more important to provide value)A report on “Trust in Advertising” by the Nielsen polling group last year showed that 70 percent of consumers put trust in comments they’ve heard from other consumers online.The final immeasurable element is what is being called ROE or Return on Engagement…not unlike new chairs in a hotel lobby, new mattresses in rooms, or manicured landscaping…we’ve all being doing that for years and I haven’t seen yet and ROI figure.Social Media is a great way to find out if it is time to upgrade the rooms or mow the lawn.
  • Thanks for your time, please feel free to reach out to me here or in the future through social media.
  • Social Media: Can It Deliver To Your Bottom Line

    1. 1. Social Media:Can It Deliver to Your Bottom Line?Presented by:Mike Rosenberg – Vice PresidentEngineWorks, Inc.<br />
    2. 2. Presentation Outline<br />What is Social Media?<br />Why Do I Care?<br />Why Participate?<br />Social Media Campaign Elements<br />Case Studies<br /><ul><li>Local Attraction – OMSI
    3. 3. DMO/CVB – City of Bothell
    4. 4. Resort Destination – Callaway Gardens</li></ul>How To Track & Measure?<br />
    5. 5. What is Social Media?<br />
    6. 6. Why Do I Care?<br />
    7. 7. Video<br />
    8. 8. Why Should I Participate?<br />
    9. 9. Why Participate?<br />Everybody's Doing It!<br />Sales/Events/Promotions<br />Conversations (Push)<br />Listening/Feedback<br />SEO Benefits<br />Search ‘Real Estate’<br />Brand Loyalty<br />Content<br />Word-of-Mouth<br />Trust<br />
    10. 10. Social Media Campaign Elements<br />
    11. 11. Social Media Campaign Elements<br />Define Your Goals<br />Research, Analysis, & Competitive Social Media Audit<br />Strategy<br />Social Media Profile Development & Management<br />Online Community Participation<br />Engaging Content Creation & Promotion<br />Tracking , Measurement & Report<br />
    12. 12. Case Studies<br />
    13. 13. Case Study: OMSI Space Gala<br />What is the Primary Goal?<br /><ul><li>Individual Event Ticket Sales</li></ul>What Else Matters?<br /><ul><li>Participation from ‘New’ Attendees
    14. 14. Communication with Donors
    15. 15. SERP Real Estate
    16. 16. Traffic to Event Page</li></ul>How Do I Measure?<br /><ul><li>Ticket Sales Report
    17. 17. Google Analytics</li></li></ul><li>OMSI Gala: Large Community Event<br />Course of Action<br /><ul><li>Facebook Strategies
    18. 18. Twitter Strategies
    19. 19. LinkedIn Strategies
    20. 20. Event/Calendar Sites</li></li></ul><li>OMSI Gala: Goals Surpassed<br />Sold Out the Event!<br /><ul><li>Record Attendance
    21. 21. Over $500,000 Raised </li></ul>Created a New Donor Base<br /><ul><li>21% New Donors</li></ul>Increase Visits to Official Gala Web Page<br /><ul><li>34% Increase in Total Visits Compared to Previous Year
    22. 22. 278% Increase in Referral Visits Compared to Previous Year</li></ul>Established Online Presence for the OMSI Gala Event<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Case Study: City of Bothell<br />What is the Primary Goal?<br /><ul><li>Sales of 300 Vintage Bothell Wine Walk Tickets</li></ul>What Else Matters?<br /><ul><li>Increase Visits to Lodging Booking Engine
    25. 25. Increase in Awareness of Other Activities and Business in the Area
    26. 26. Start to Establish Social Media Presence for the City of Bothell</li></ul>How Do I Measure?<br /><ul><li>Ticket Sales Report
    27. 27. Google Analytics</li></li></ul><li>City of Bothell: Small Community Event<br />Course of Action<br /><ul><li>Facebook Strategies
    28. 28. Twitter Strategies
    29. 29. Promotional Strategies</li></li></ul><li>City of Bothell: Goals Surpassed<br />Sold All 300 Wine Walk Tickets<br /><ul><li>Within First Hour of Availability
    30. 30. 18% of Attendees Entered Contest
    31. 31. 10% Added Photos of City</li></ul>Increase Visits to Lodging Booking Engine<br /><ul><li>152% Increase in Visitor Traffic to Booking Engine
    32. 32. Record Traffic</li></ul>Jumpstart Social Media Marketing <br /><ul><li>Established 342 Facebook Fans
    33. 33. Gained 279 Twitter Followers
    34. 34. Over 1.18 Million Impressions Through Facebook Ads</li></li></ul><li>
    35. 35. Case Study: Callaway Gardens<br />What is the Primary Goal?<br /><ul><li>Room Reservations</li></ul>What Else Matters?<br /><ul><li>Building Network
    36. 36. Creating Social Media Content</li></ul>How Do I Measure?<br /><ul><li>Booking Widget (Synxis) in Google Analytics
    37. 37. Interaction Stats</li></li></ul><li>Callaway Gardens: Resort Destination<br />Course of Action<br /><ul><li>Facebook Strategies
    38. 38. Twitter Strategies
    39. 39. Other Strategies</li></li></ul><li>Callaway Gardens: Goals Surpassed<br />Bookings Directly Attributed to Social Media<br /><ul><li>Revenue Up Over 1,000%
    40. 40. Total Bookings Up 600%
    41. 41. Average Value Up 82%
    42. 42. Visits Up 95%</li></ul>On-Site Coupon Redemption<br /><ul><li>All Available Coupon Were Issued</li></ul>Social Media Interactions<br /><ul><li>3,000+ Facebook Fans
    43. 43. Seven+ Interaction per Day
    44. 44. Minimum of 10 TripAdvisor Reviews</li></li></ul><li>How to Measure & Track?<br />
    45. 45. Measure & Tracking Tools<br />PostRank<br />Trendrr<br />Technorati<br />BlogPulse<br />WhosTalkin<br />Keotag<br />What The Trend<br />SocialMention<br />Tweetbeep<br /><br />BoardReader<br />Trackur<br />Radian6<br />
    46. 46. Measure & Tracking Tools<br />PostRank<br />Trendrr<br />Technorati<br />BlogPulse<br />WhosTalkin<br />Keotag<br />What The Trend<br />SocialMention<br />Tweetbeep<br /><br />BoardReader<br />Trackur<br />Radian6<br />
    47. 47.
    48. 48.
    49. 49. How to Measure & Track?<br />What You Can’t Measure (but is still very important)<br /><ul><li>Trust
    50. 50. ROE (Engagement)</li></li></ul><li>Final Thoughts:<br />“Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.”<br />- Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist<br />
    51. 51. Thank You!Presented by:Mike Rosenberg - Vice PresidentEngineWorks, Inc. www.engineworks.comTwitter: MikeRosenbergLinkedIn:<br />