Tag Archives: Twitter

American Idol 2011

I have had one crazy week so far. It began with running into Scotty McCreery (American Idol winner of the 2011 season), on the streets of Portland, Maine. At the time of our connection I was on the phone with my wife and Scotty cheerfully agreed to say “Good Morning” to her.

My wife Erin, and I, with Scotty McCreery.

He’s a great guy. From there the week got even crazier when I found out that a friend of mine had left me comp tickets for the American Idol show and backstage passes for my wife and I! Jealous yet?

Last night my wife and I picked up the tickets and from the very beginning we were impressed with the social marketing that was happening right from the start. Out front was a skinny guy, hooting out for folks to sign his petition for something political that I won’t address here. Yelling in a crowd of people…now that’s good old fashioned street marketing.  In fact, yelling in a crowd is many large business’s approach to Social Media also. :0)

While walking into the Cumberland County Civic Center we checked in on FourSquare. We were greeted with a screen that said “Here for an event?” We promptly told the app that we were and pressed our finger on the “American Idol” option. Very cool. The next screen showed me a list of other FourSquare users who had checked in – I didn’t see anyone I knew, but thought it was neat to know other addicts were in the same building.

Shortly after taking our seats (in the friends and family section!!!! woot woot!!), we were greeted with a screen at the front of the hall that said “Want to win backstage passes? Text #### to #### and win!” This ad was sponsored by Coke. Interesting I thought, around me hundreds of people ripped their cell phones out of their pocket and began texting.

Around 7:15 the show started with another video commercial sponsored by Coke. This time it was asking us to tell them what our favorite American Idol commercial was. “Cast your vote by texting #### to #### and win a chance to meet the Idols.” The crowd erupted with participation.

Then the show started. James Durbin rocked the house, Haley sexed things up, and Scotty McCreery was, well, Scotty McCreery. I’m jealous that his voice can make seats vibrate as it slides low into those basement tones. Ironic that James’ voice can shatter the helicopter glass on your iPhone 4.

From there things got even better as the whole cast sounded 100% better than I expected and even though those poor kids had been singing for almost two months now…they sounded fresh.

During the show my wife was quick to snap photo’s and immediately upload them to Facebook, anxious to make her friends jealous. More mobile.

The end of show reluctantly came and my wife and slipped on our backstage passes. Soon we were hugging and chatting with the contestants, all had such class. I had a quick chat with Haley who claims she is not dating Casey…I disagree and thing there’s something going on their with her and the bearded wonder.

Casey Abrhams...just as nice in person as on TV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a chance to see Paul’s super-white teeth up close and personal…and let me tell you, they are white!

While talking with Paul I asked him if he has a ton of endorsement deals lined up with Crest – he said he didn’t. Being the salesman I am I gave him my card and said I can help with that. He seemed excited at the idea and placed my card in his wallet, we said we’ll connect on Twitter. – More Mobile. –

Overall, the American Idol concert was amazing…we had such a blast thanks to my generous friend and it really capped of last season for us quite nicely. While driving home I tweeted to Paul (more mobile) about our conversation, and then tweeted to Scotty (more mobile) telling him it was great to meet him and was glad he could put my wife’s face to the voice he spoke with Monday. I have high hopes I’ll hear back and soon be hooking up my famous friends with a comp bean factory tour with B&M.

My major take away from the night was – More Mobile. Everywhere I turned was something asking me to text, or tweet about the event – and guess what? I did! Is your mobile marketing up to snuff? What are you doing to get a hold of your prospective customer’s phone numbers?

As of 8pm I have not heard from any of my Idol buddies, but I am believing that I made some new friends at the event. I’m sure when Paul is looking for some marketing advice he will reach out to me…on his mobile.

 

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Facebook is bad for business…

Facebook is bad for business – when your business doesn’t allow interactivity. Let me introduce you to a recent negative experience and let’s see what could have happend.

Meet the As Seen on TV Eggie. You know what I’m talking about. They appear on TV around

An eggie with an egg inside

11pm right when your munchies are kicking in and you’re really thinking about eating something fairly healthy before bed. BUT WAIT, there’s more – they will double your order if you buy right now! So, my loving wife – did. My wife is pretty awesome – did your wife buy you a set of eggies? Didn’t think so.

Anyhow, we were really pumped when our Eggies arrived. So much so that we started taking pictures of the Eggie process and posting them on Facebook. We even Liked Eggies on Facebook and had every intention of tagging them on our Facebook Page so our Friend’s could go and Like Eggies too. BUT WAIT, there’s more – Eggies wouldn’t let us tag them…or write on their wall. Apparently they can’t manage the comments they might get so instead of all 600+ of my Facebook friends being able to check out Eggies page, they only got to see my page.

Facebook is bad for business when a business doesn’t believe enough in it’s product and won’t allow their customer’s to brag about how great the product is.

The question you are all wondering – are Eggies as cool As Seen on TV? YEP! They sure are! I will include a few more picture of them and would love to include a link to their Facebook page but I am not going to…I don’t think Eggie really cares about me, or you.

Facebook is bad for business when a company launches a page and sets their permissions to make the page totally unreachable by it’s clients. Eggies, I am so disappointed in you. I wonder if you have a key word alert so that at least you can thank me for endorsing your product? We shall soon see.

There's my shell-less hardboiled egg.

In closing I encourage every business owner out there to make your page and your company accessible to folks like me, who love to brag about great products. I take pictures of my food, free stuff from Klout (that’s a future blog), and even the random soda can or dog in the park. Us humans love to share with our friends, that’s why Social Media is…social. Please, come be social with us. If you would like to see more of the photo’s you’re welcome to friend me on Facebook. My Facebook

Not boobies...Eggies.

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Social Media and Hospitality

 

Would you like to increase customer loyalty, customer connection and brand recognition? If not, you need to find a new job. If you would like to do these things then understanding, utilizing and capitalizing on social media for your property is a must.

As many general managers are finding out, gaining fans and followers isn’t as easy as just posting a sales pitch onto their Facebook page and sitting around waiting for the “likes” and “shares” to come barreling in. There is an art to social media and it does not consist of the same old techniques you used for your most recent magazine or newspaper advertisement.

Social media marketing consists of three main components that eventually branch off into infinium. The first thing you must do is to decide on your brand’s voice. Are you a large 4-star full-service hotel who has a brand already? Or are you a small boutique property who can make changes fast and reply with the freedom of not running it by corporate officers? Either way, a decision must be made.

Let’s start with this piece of advice: No matter what voice you choose to use, don’t be a salesman. No one likes to be sold, especially on Facebook and Twitter. If a client or potential guest has taken the time to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook take that as a sign that they already know what you do. There is no need to try and sell them on your services again.

Think of it like this: When you get home from a long day at work and your significant other is waiting for you do you walk in and re-introduce yourself again? Do you tell your significant other all about who you are, why you’re the best choice and why they should be glad they didn’t choose someone else? The better question is this: What would happen if you did?! I’m fairly certain your partner would either slap you, ask you to leave, or tell you to get lost!

Why then would you start a Facebook page, gather a decent following and then abuse everyone by stroking your ego and telling them about your amazing pool, beds or workout center? Guess what, they already know!!

Am I saying that you should never share your property’s features and benefits? No. I am saying to do it in a fun way. Instead of saying, “Come stay at XYZ Hotel and enjoy our amazing salt water pool.” Why not say, “While staying with XYZ Hotel take a dip in our salt water pool; we promise, there won’t be any sharks!”

Your objective is to gain attention, trust and conversation. If you pitch your followers in the same way you pitch a client you will loose the people you worked so hard to gain. By deciding on the voice of your hotel you will know how to say the cute things to the prospects you want to say it to.

Your second task is a very important one. Decide who will speak for your property. For instance, if you have decided your voice is going to be a fun loving 4-star property who enjoys teasing and playing with your followers you must decide who will do the typing.

I am a huge fan of having just one social media expert on staff. This guarantees having a solitary voice that never changes. If your hotel is too large and has so much activity on your networks that you need to have more than one staff member man the gates, just be sure they are on the same page and work out a system to reply to ALL comments.

I do not recommend farming-out your social media commitments to an available intern or just any available front desk employee. One of the many reasons why people love social media is to hear the many voices of the various companies they follow. If you allow your intern to do it, (who may do it well) you could be setting yourself up for failure. How long is your intern supposed to be with your property? Is social media the best thing they can be doing for your hotel? This all comes back to deciding on your voice – the voice of your property must be steadfast and friendly. Choose wisely.

Once you have decided on a voice, and who is going to be that voice, you must also decide on what your social media policy is going to be. It is important to meet weekly with the employee who is doing your tweets, Facebook and whatever other mediums you decide to use. Talk about what the week ahead holds, who interacted with your property, and who your new followers are. Remember that social media is not just about “likes” and “followers,” it is about interaction and eventually turning those interactions into profit!

Facebook offers a great tool to measure your interactions and see where in the world your followers are interacting with you from. This tool is called “Insights.” It is easy to convert the statistics into an Excel sheet and definitely worth going over every week with your social media manager.

A common concern is what to do if an unhappy guest posts something negative on your page for all your other guests to see. The easy answer to this is a fun phrase commonly tossed about on the Internet: “Do not feed the trolls.” A troll is someone who posts negative comments on your website or Facebook wall just to get a reaction from you. I recommend one of two simple solutions:

First ask yourself is this negative criticism possible? Perhaps the comment has some validity and you may even have a record of it from your night auditor or security personnel. If the negative comment is valid, I recommend responding on your page publicly with a simple apology and asking the guest to call you on your office phone or to email you, and let them know you will fix the issue if at all possible. Do not take time to react, rebut or pass the blame. Remember, all of the other people who follow your page will see your response. The best response they can see is your confident and competent ability to handle the issue and fix it.

The second case scenario is someone is posting inflammatory remarks on your page that are totally unfounded. If this is on Facebook it is quite easy to delete a comment before many people have seen it. You have the option on Twitter to mark a tweet as SPAM. Only do these types of actions when you are certain the poster is leaving untrue statements about your property.

In some cases a post may be trying to raise controversy about an event at your hotel. If this is the case, do not feed the troll. Let the post stand but do not add gasoline to the fire. In some cases, the best response is no response. Use your best judgment and, again, cover these situations with your social media manager so that he or she knows how to react.

The final step to having a successful social media marketing push is to never stop learning, and be prepared for change. The Internet changes every minute, and it was not too long ago that everyone was raving about MySpace and AIM. As of right now the newest technology is Google+ (which does not allow business accounts yet).

Change is inevitable and that is why it is vital to have a member of your team with open eyes and an open mind to the new changes coming to your property. The fact is, social media will not go away — it is only going to change. Be ready for the changes, embrace them, and above all else, have fun.

This article was written by David A. Pride, owner of this blog and originally published on hotelsmag.com.

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