Here’s what we’re going to cover this morning…First a survey…Some stats, a case study of successful social media marketing, then get into the nitty gritty as to “Getting Your House in Order and Make Social Media Easy.”You might find some gems here to tweet or Facebook out – feel free, the more you talk online, the more it benefits your State, your followers, and those who couldn’t attend today. Remember to use the Hashtag ________So first the survey - Survey – who is on FB, Twitter, Instagram, anyone on Google +?
You can look at these stats from 2013 and see where you think you might need to be in 2014. A couple of other stats:*More than 34% of the world’s population has internet access*There was an average of 89 billion likes, comments and shares each month in 2013.**But what’s important for YOU is to know which networks your fans and customers care about, not just which one YOU think are important.
How many of you have won the lottery?Well I haven’t either, but feel like I have with social media When it’s done properly, not taking short cuts, you have to know your market and what drives your market and then it can be like “gold” to you. I’m here to share with you my experience SUCCESSFULLY marketing LA, Calif. over a 24 month period….Spending not one dime on paid advertising, solely using social media– this is the “How I did it” and you’ll most likely get some ideas from this.
90 miles east of Los Angeles a mile high in the mountains Unincorporated – means all tax dollars go to the county Marketing is funded by a grant from the county based on the amount of transient occupancy tax collected. Marketing dept of 1, had help of a college intern for a while. We are known for great eventsFall of 2008 - Economy was tanking Chamber members dropping and going out of business Lost every single one of our sponsors for our events We made decision to put our limited mkt. dollars towards sponsoring our events to keep them going – which left me no money at all for promotion. My only option was to get up to speed with social media6 month emersion – there wasn’t anyone to teach it really
Spring of 2009 - Lake Arrowhead Film Festival – first tweets,Lived on 3 or so more weeksSummer of 2009 - Boat Show,Summer Concert Series – Concert Series Photo,Key, asking people to spread the word via Twitter – we were crowdsourcing before that term really took hold.4th of JulyTweetsWe knew why people came to our area and we gave them reasons to come Fall of 2009 - Panic sets in – what will bed tax be? Overnight stays, my credibility and my job were on the line for sure.November 2009 –Bed tax more than previous year and that was spending money on advertising – JASTG blog, then got the news had to do it all again for 2010.
February 2010 - Social Media Examiner contacts me as someone who has proven social media ROIMay 2010 -SME story comes out, people looking for a social media expert.All along continuing my same strategy, promoting events and primarily using Twitter – never deviating from itDid that throughout the next year, problem with events though.
Fall 2010 –Now is the REAL test – what happens with bed tax in year 2?January 2011 - Had to sweat it as we didn’t get our numbers until then, still held our own, Received $300.00 less (attribute that to crummy concert series)
So how do I make sure my house is in order?This is where the Rocket Science comes in – NOT! The words “social media”…lets talk about “social.”You’re the host, you’re doing what you live for, you want people to come, enjoy what you are offering at your property. You know once they come they’ll have a fabulous time, but how are you going to let people know what you have? In this day and age, of course the answer is SM. But before we get a little deeper with social media, let’s back it up a bit and talk about your website because that is the hub, the center of your online universe. You’ve got to have that in order first as your social media, if you’re doing it well, drives back to your website. Make sure your site is telling your story, sharing the experiences your visitors can take part in when they stay with you. So with your website, as well as your social media programBe Open, Honest, Intimate, and talk about experiences that can transform your visitor.After your website is in good shape and you’re ready to start with social media:You’ve got to have a Social Media strategy. That doesn’t have to be deep, here’s an example: It starts with knowing who you are talking to, or at least envisioning who your ideal visitor would be. Then create a list of ideas for what you want to talk about – we’ll dig into that deeper in a moment. Keep talking and don’t get discouraged if at first no one seems to be listening. Keep experimenting to find out what works for you. Part of your strategy should be to figure out what your visitor’s “pain points” are. It’s not too hard, they visit you to relax, to enjoy family and friends, explore the outdoors, maybe specific recreational opportunities found in your area etc. You want to capitalize on those points. Part of your strategy needs to be your social media goals too – that’s something we’ll talk about in the next session too. One last part of your strategy needs to be – grow your online presence by contributing to your online community. Go where they go and do what they do. Research where others in your industry are hanging out and go there, be aware of what questions your friends and followers are asking and don’t be afraid to provide answers. Put yourself out there.
Now, here’s the great part! You don’t have to do this by yourself!! Remember, I was and still am a department of one. Now let’s be honest…it’s going to take time – either you or someone on your staff in order to post things. But the ideas, the content that you would post, is all around you. Let’s talk a little bit about that – where can you find things to talk aboutSell the destination firstCalendar of area eventsThings you offerThe seasons/weatherAsk questionsIowatourism.com website has tons of things there that will give you ideas and that you can use.But that’s not all – have your visitors help you out by sharing their photos, their thoughts, encourage them to post or send you their special moments. Audience participation part – turn to the person next to you and each of you discuss at least one idea of other things you can promote – you get 3 minutes and I want to hear lots of chatter!!Here are just a couple more things you can add to your list – Provide advice, provide reliable info, and be inspiring.
Asked Tourism Geeks for some examples of campgrounds doing a good job at social media.
Social media buttons/tweets linking to events/entities in the area.
Traditional and new media are merging. You need to be where your visitors are. While print is not dead, it is expensive. You do need to be in your local directories, Visitor Guides, and have some regional ads if you can afford them – be in the directories for sure AND always remember to list your social site in your ad.SM costs you your time, but you can get it down to a science and in the next session I’ll show you some pretty nifty things you use to help save you time with your social media, as well as how to expand your reach and better engage. In the end it won’t take you more than 15 or 20 minutes a day.As a point of reference, here’s how I do things: Get my morning coffee, sit down at the computer, look at the news, read email, and set my social media posts for the day. Then I leave my computer, checking back throughout the day, mostly via phone as you want to make sure that you set your notification settings on your social media platforms to send you emails if people respond to what you have said or if they are asking you questions.
Getting your house in order, leads to stronger relationships. And it’s all about relationships – relationships with your website reader, your guests, your community at large. Don’t try to be something you’re not, capitalize on what sets your area, what you’re marketing apart. Remember, it’s your enthusiasm, the very thing that brought you to your business that will provide you with your own unique authentic voice.
So wrapping up Getting your house in order - The bottom line is many, many of your visitors are on social media. Social media now spans all age groups. You need to fish where the fish are, and today in 2014, the reality is that you can’t afford not to have a strong social media presence to go along with your website. Your Facebook address is just as important as your website address. Make sure your social sites are easily found on your website, your business cards, invoices, email signatures, your directory listings, any ads you do, and anything else you can think of. Social Media isn’t a waste of time, it’s simply a change in how you handle your marketing and in the long run you’ll reach people you never thought you could – way more than thru traditional media (again we’ll talk about how to do that in the next session) and it will save you cold, hard cash in the long run and you’ll forge deeper relationships with those who come to stay with you as because of your social media efforts they’ll feel they “know you” before they even arrive.If you want to dig deeper, Tourism Currents offers a 6 week online training course that I hope you’ll check out – or we also do in-person trainings. If you’re interested in taking your social media further, check us out.
Thank you and Questions
Getting your house in order - Social Media Presentation for Central Iowa Tourism Region
Getting Your House in Order ~
Make Social Media EASY
Which Social Networks Should You Care About in 2014?
*1.15 billion+ users
*500 million+ users
*130 million+ users
*500 million+ users
*23% of users check
their accounts more
than 5 times per day
*55 – 64 yr olds fastest
*More than 16 billion
*80% of users log in
once a week, 60%
*50% of smartphones
connect to Facebook
*60% of users access it
*More than 500
*adds 25,000 NEW
users every day