New Media and Theme Park Interaction

The idea that new media is gaining traction excites me.  Here we are, early adopters, helping the segment grow and businesses are adopting now faster than ever.  But we aren't just talking about guru's selling widgets, now real companies have real presence in social media.  One company, that has led the way and set example for others to follow is Holiday World.

First theme park in the world, predating Disney, and still setting industry firsts.  Holiday World is also the first amusement park to create a blog, for use to communicate with guests and strengthen their relationship with their customers.  It's not just corporate drivel found on the many HoliPosts, but real world information and behind the scenes pictures that help tell a HoliStory.  For example, the latest blog post features a punny title and features pictures of the construction on the new water slide, The Mammoth.  This blog is designed to connect with customers, keep us interested in the off season, and ultimately bring us through the turn styles.  It works because I don't feel like I'm being sold to, I'm being introduced to what the company is proud of.

Holiday World doesn't stop at blog posts, they also are active on Twitter and Facebook.  This theme park does an amazing job at keeping all channels updated and interact directly with the public.  New media allows for easy two-way interaction, that benefits the company and the customer.  Again, Holiday World does an amazing job at this by sticking around after a tweet, responding to wall posts, and making sure blog comments are addressed.

I'm excited to share that Paula Werne will be speaking at the next Social Media Club of Evansville meeting on November 21st.  From 6:00 to 8:00 PM Paula will talk about how Holiday World has navigated the peaks and valleys of mastering the new media frontier.  Everyone is invited, so please sign up today.

[button link="http://smcevansville.org/ask-holiday-world/" color="lightblue"] Ask Holiday World A Question[/button]

Have a question to ask Holiday World about social media?  Fill out the 'Ask Holiday Word Form' and we'll make sure Paula sees your question.

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Evansville Mayoral Discussion on Social media

I've been working with the the Social Media Club of Evansville to get the word out about a new mayoral discussion event.  On October 24th, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at the Ridgway University Center in Eykamp Hall, mayoral candidates Rick Davis and Lloyd Winnecke will be discussing transparency and accountability within the Evansville Mayoral Office.  The focus will be on how social media and other new media tools can help open the doors to our local government and increase it's effectiveness.

The event will be open to the public and I would encourage everyone to attend.  It's a unique opportunity to hear what our candidates have to say about accountability within an information age.  I am personally interested in how they intend to keep it a 2-way street and encourage feedback through tools like Facebook, Twitter, and others.  I don't think that the election process ends at the polls, it continues through the elected officials term and can be shaped and molded through social media.  Accountability in office can only be attained by keeping the doors open and social media gives us that ability.

Evansville Mayoral Discussion Event - Register Now, it's FREE.

Social Media Risks and Challenges

My Thoughts About The YouTube smcEVV Meeting

I enjoyed the time spent at Ri Ra Irish Pub on Monday night for the Social Media Club of Evansville’s monthly meeting.  The beer was cold, presenter lively, and congregation was welcoming, as promised.  There are a few points I’d like to address for those who did attend and perhaps something for those that did not make it this month as well.

My first point is really a question, are all smcEVV meetings in this format?  That is, do we bring in an expert that talks about a product and/or service they are knowledgeable of and let them sell us?  No offense to Rocky Walls and in all fairness I’ve only made 2 meetings, but both times I felt like I was being sold a bill of goods and not actively participating in a learning experience.  Which leads me to my next point, legitimacy and putting things we learn into practice.

Of the 2 hours spent at the meeting I was being sold on the ability to toss out quick and easy videos for the sake of creating a buzz about my business or product.  However, every example and conversation seemed to be marketed toward prepubescent teenagers, not anyone with actual money in hand.  So what does this mean to your business?  I know it left me wanting more and any serious question seemed to turn into a, “sad subject”.  But to me it’s real, living in the real, experiencing the real, albeit online.

Maybe my view point is soured because I’m a green horn to social media?  So, I apply what i know.  In my 7 years experience with online marketing, I have learned views do not equal sales.  Furthermore, I’m reminded of my Marketing 101 class at USI, the Budweiser Frogs were a marketing failure.  In no discernible way could an increase in sales be attributed or even justified for the money spent on that specific marketing campaign.  Sales remained flat for Budweiser and they were out the sizable campaign cost.  So, how do you track success with an online video and why am I not using bullet points?

Snake Oil.  Guru’s love selling a bill of goods that can not be accurately measured.  My point is that views do not equal sales and brand visibility does not equal positive momentum.  Yeah, we all remember the frogs, but it doesn’t make me want to buy their beer.  I would love to learn what techniques and methods have been working for businesses to increase sales, not what techniques have increased page views on YouTube, thus increasing Google’s stock price.

Again, I’m not down on Rocky Walls or the smcEVV, I’m sure others took more away from the presentation than I did.  What I did enjoy was my one on one with different people attending the meeting and sharing what we had been working on and what we needed to succeed.  Which makes me wish that someone would organize an smcEVV round table event, where ideas can be shared and the ‘sad subjects’ can be addressed.

Lastly, I completely understand that time is a constraint with meetings like the one at Ri Ra’s.  Also, not everyone in the room shared my same need or want for a deeper look at YouTube’s ability to boost sales.  Much like this single blog post, there are endless tangents we could explore and still not satisfy all the questions.

Thanks again to the Social Media Club of Evansville for organizing the meeting and to Rocky Walls for spending time with us.  Next time he’s in town I’d be happy to buy him his own tray of celery. 😉

Shout Outs:

12StarMedia.com

Social Media Club of Evansville