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2012 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards


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2012 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards

  1. 1. Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  2. 2. NNUAL THE 3rd A // And the winners are… For this year’s Sherpie Awards, we sent out a call for nominees so that marketers like you could tell us which casinos have raised the bar in social media. For the third year running, our SocialSherpa™ team has partnered with Global Gaming Business magazine to narrow down the very best social media marketing from over a hundred casinos across the country across ten prestigious categories. Without further ado, we present to you the winners of the 2012 Sherpie Awards. Congratulations to everyone mentioned in the following pages – you’ve truly embraced social media as an ever-changing platform and created integrated strategies to adapt to these social shifts. Keep up the excellent work. 2013 is going to be an even bigger year for social media – and we’re always here to help. If you think your social efforts could use a boost, feel free to drop us a line: For the sake of full disclosure and fairness, we did not include any of our own clients as nominees. P R E S E N T E D B Y &Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  3. 3. BEST OF 2012 Best App / Interactive Game: Monte Carlo Resort and Casino – What’s Your VIP? In March, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino launched a month-long celebration entitled “National VIP Month,” which gave guests of the resort an opportunity to live like Vegas VIPs throughout the month with surprise rewards. To go along with this campaign, Monte Carlo created an interactive Facebook application in which fans could upload and customize a photo with a VIP phrase and an eclectic selection of props, and then submit it for the opportunity to join Monte Carlo as an official VIP. This not only engaged Monte Carlo’s Facebook community in a fun way, it also reinforced their “We’re all VIPs” brand and helped to spread word about the culminating VIP Pool Party at the end of the month. The user-friendly app still lives on their Facebook page, offering fans a continual interactive and unique experience.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  4. 4. BEST OF 2012 Best Facebook Promotion: Foxwoods Resort Casino - “Anything But Ordinary” Foxwoods Resort Casino turned 20 this past February, creating an ideal opportunity for them to reinvigorate their brand and show off the extraordinary experiences their customers could have at the casino. To support their fully integrated “Anything But Ordinary” campaign, Foxwoods developed a Facebook sweepstakes to activate their largest social audience. The promotion used gaming-inspired messaging and encouraged fans to discover their inner King, Queen, Jack, Ace or Joker. The twist? Fans could enter to win one of five different packages, each of which corresponded with a different card. Each package promised luxury hotel stays, gift cards, entertainment tickets and exclusive dining experiences, but was crafted to suit different tastes. This impressive and in-depth promotion was leveraged to a viral level, reaching over 10,000 unique entries, a 46 percent growth in Facebook fans and nearly 143 million Facebook impressions.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  5. 5. BEST OF 2012 Best Use of Social for Public Relations: Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville – Farmer’s Pick Buffet Beginning last October, Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville successfully produced an integrated campaign to promote the grand opening of their Farmer’s Pick Buffet, a farm- to-fork style restaurant. From recipe and food blogger contests to well-received YouTube time-lapse construction videos, Isle of Capri’s customers were kept engaged and excited from start to finish. The casino featured chef how-to videos on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. They also highlighted local vendors and corresponding blog posts each month, all of which generated significant buzz about the buffet. The buffet’s Twitter campaign reached nearly 3,000 accounts and made almost 5,000 impressions, and engagement on their Facebook page increased 59 percent. Traffic to the buffet section on their website also increased by 64 percent. This all translated into notable results upon the buffet’s opening, with a nine percent increase in covers at the restaurant and a 16 percent increase in revenue.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  6. 6. BEST OF 2012 Best Use of Video: Pechanga Resort & Casino If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video must be worth much more. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s overall use of video has continually broken through casino promotional clutter and delivered a human experience that their customers have grown to love and trust. Ryan, Pechanga’s humorous, personable community manager, often appears in the videos and shows viewers that the casino isn’t just a faceless corporation, but a fun, welcoming atmosphere. From slot debuts to celebrity interviews and event coverage, Pechanga’s collection of videos is as entertaining as it is engaging. Not to mention, the production quality of their videos is tremendous. With over 100 uploads, 200 subscribers and 650,000 video views, along with frequent shares to their other social networks, Pechanga knows that producing memorable, sticky content is the fuel of social media.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  7. 7. BEST OF 2012 Best Use of Twitter: River City Casino River City Casino embraces Twitter for what it is truly meant to be: a two-way conversation and a customer service channel. As opposed to tweeting an endless stream of promotional content, River City uses a strategic blend of humor, wit and personality to bring a human element to their tweets. The casino frequently mentions, replies to and retweets their tight-knit community of 1,200+ followers, which shows how much they value the opinions of their brand advocates. They also engage this audience by running hashtag contests, asking interesting questions, tweeting photos of mouth-watering cuisine and posting teasers about their new hotel. River City has truly added a personal touch to their social endeavors that makes followers feel appreciated and understood.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  8. 8. BEST OF 2012 Best Use of Instagram: Revel Resorts, Atlantic City – Revel Nightlife In the last year, photo sharing has become a very popular and engaging method of social sharing. Instagram, which acquires a new user every second, represents a great opportunity for casinos to participate in this thriving community, and many are already jumping on board. Revel Nightlife, which opened early this year, is an early adopter of the network, but they’re already seeing much success. With almost 3,000 followers and over 100 “Likes” on any given upload, Revel Nightlife manages to effectively appeal to a younger demographic by posting appealing photos of their nightlife, concerts and entertainers, or just light-hearted quotes. And Instagram users are interacting – their #revel hashtag currently houses over 20,000 photos.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  9. 9. BEST OF 2012 Best Use of Pinterest: Barona Resort & Casino Casinos are beginning to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon, the fastest-growing social media network ever. Barona Casino in San Diego, California, is at the top of our leader“board” for being one of the first casinos to take advantage of the increasingly popular network. Not only do they use Pinterest to show off their beautiful property and the depth and breadth of amenities, they also use it to show what’s happening in the surrounding area and to give their followers fun casino-themed party ideas. The variety of their boards – which visualize their delectable cuisine, weddings, golf and the like – give users all the more reason to consider Barona as their next escape. With over 100 followers and almost 400 pins, Barona has shown that Pinterest is another way to target their older, primarily female demographic.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  10. 10. BEST OF 2012 Best Online-Meets-Offline Promotion: Pechanga Resort & Casino – Grease Slot Machine World Debut Grease is the word—and Pechanga Resort & Casino knew it best. As the first casino in the world to debut the movie-themed slot machine, Pechanga used both traditional and new media to transport fans from their living rooms to the casino floor. With a wildly successful YouTube teaser video that reached over 14,000 views without any paid advertising, and a Facebook promotion unlocking Grease-related social deals just for their fans, Pechanga made certain to excite their customers to be first to play the new slot. To level up their social interaction, Pechanga also planned a launch party exclusively for Facebook fans and special invitees. At the event, models dressed as Grease characters to snap photos and give away Grease-themed prizes. As a result of the integrated media mix, Pechanga saw an increase in hotel occupancy days prior to the slot’s official launch, and reach on their Facebook page grew to 2.4 million.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  11. 11. BEST OF 2012 Best Multi-Property Branding Initiative: Boyd Gaming – B Connected Social Boyd Gaming and their nationwide network of casino entertainment properties implemented an innovative customer loyalty program entitled BConnected Social. BConnected rewards players for actively engaging in social activities that directly benefit the corporation, such as booking a room online versus calling in to make a reservation. With over 600,000 registered users, customers can earn Social Points simply by using the BConnected online and mobile platforms, sharing offers and events on their favorite social networks or checking in to any Boyd Gaming casino using Facebook Places or Foursquare. Along the way, users can unlock badges for various achievements, which can also be shared. After accumulating enough points, players can use them to enter giveaways, win trips, slot dollars, gift cards and more. What’s more, they can keep track of their points and prize eligibility and leaderboard ranking on a personalized online dashboard. Since the program’s launch in April, Boyd Gaming has collectively received an 83 percent increase in “Likes,” 70 percent increase in engagement and 93 percent increase in overall impressions on Facebook. Not to mention, the website saw the highest traffic in its history, with over 700,000 visits in the beginning month alone.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  12. 12. BEST OF 2012 Best in Show: Caesars Entertainment - Total Rewards Caesars Entertainment really gets the power of social media. In preparation for the launch of Escape to Total Rewards, their biggest-ever company promotion, they planned an integrated 90-day plan, in which they relied heavily on social media as a central hub to expand the reach and awareness of their efforts. Kicked off with simultaneous concert events all across the country featuring chart-topping artists, the campaign encouraged their customers to escape from the mundane and create their own totally rewarding experiences. In addition to a tremendous amount of traditional support, Caesars strategized their approach across Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, video livestreams and online games to spread the word. They also generated buzz via influencer and blogger outreach, and they garnered endorsements from several influential celebrities on their social networks. Their Picture Your Escape Facebook Photo Contest was another way they engaged consumers by showing the breadth of Caesars’ properties. The promotion asked fans to upload a photo, which was placed into an outlandish photomontage that documented their “escape.” The contest received over 1,800 entries.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  13. 13. BEST OF 2012 Caesars also awarded more than 90,000 prizes worth more than $2 million through the Escape to Total Rewards interactive online game. Users could log in to the game every day using their Total Rewards card, giving them access to reward points for a variety of offerings such as hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment, retail and spa amenities. They could also earn additional entries by visiting each Caesars property Facebook page and finding a new fan-gated secret code each day. Reaching more than 23 million plays, this added a layer of social gamification that kept customers engaged throughout the entirety of the campaign. As a result of this campaign, Total Rewards membership increased 20 percent. Collectively, Caesars’ Facebook fan base increased by 93 percent. The @Total_Rewards Twitter handle received a 101 percent increase in followers, with the #PlotYourEscape hashtag reaching over 70 million impressions. Event livestreams accumulated over 150,000 views. Most importantly, though, Caesars strengthened their relationship with customers by showing they cared what their players wanted at a time when casino- goers were seeking more from loyalty programs. Overall, Caesars Entertainment built an extremely successful integrated social media campaign surrounding their Total Rewards program, and deserves our “Best In Show” Sherpie of the year.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012
  14. 14. BEST OF 2012// Honorable Mentions Let’s face it, there are a lot of casinos out there – most of whom are active on social platforms, and doing a nice job at it so far. We haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s a list of some rising stars that almost made the Sherpie cut. Mardi Gras Casino Hallendale Beach, FL Casino Rama Resort Orillia, ON Belterra Casino Resort Florence, IN We’re looking forward to seeing bigger and better things come from these properties and other casinos in the months to come. And as always, if you’d like some help, drop us a line.// Don’t Forget Sign up for our Casino Buzz Report to see how other casinos are using social media. Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds © MASTERMINDS 2012