Thanks to everyone that voted in this (first) week's poll question about what type of content you wanted to see on The Viral Garden. You said that you want to see more social media case studies, and advanced social media strategies. Here's the final results:
Social Media case studies - 42.9%
Advanced social media strategies - 28.6%
Social media 101, help! - 14.3%
Blogging 101, help! - 7.1%
Less social media, more marketing - 7.1%
So taking these results into consideration, I'll try to put more of a focus on case studies and advanced strategies from this point forward, starting with the results of Sea World San Antonio's social media campaign to create excitement for their new roller-coaster.
And here is this week's poll question:
"Which social media site/tool is the best for conversations?"
And your options are:
1 - Twitter
2 - Friendfeed
3 - Plurk
4 - Blogs
I'll run this question till next Sunday, and post the results then. Thanks again to everyone that voted in last week's poll!
Now, for the promised social media case study:
Sea World San Antonio worked with Kami Huyse to create a campaign to boost awareness for the water park's Journey to Atlantis roller coaster. Kami utilized social media to create buzz for the ride, including reaching out to bloggers in the coaster community (yes, apparently there is a group of bloggers that are passionate about roller coasters), as well as creating videos and pictures of the ride. In the comments section here, Kami claims the campaign (entirely social media) drove 200,000 visitors to the park in 2 months, and had a cost of 22 cents per impression, vs $1.00 per for an advertising.
Three things I love about this campaign:
1 - Sea World and Kami got the coaster evangelists involved. And more specifically, the blogging coaster evangelists. They brought them in and let them see the ride, ride the coaster, and created content specifically for them. This is an excellent example of targetting your influencers.
2 - They did #1 as a way to get a relationship STARTED with the coaster community. How many times have I said that companies need to find their evangelists online, and reach out to them? This is exactly what Sea World did, and by reaching out to these fans, they have now created the foundation for a relationship that can benefit both groups from now on.
3 - It got a very prominent blogger, Shel Israel, and Fast Company TV involved. Shel came down to Sea World San Antonio to interview the park as well as Kami about the campaign. This was a very smart move, because it gives social media bloggers a reason to get excited about the campaign. And yes, I am a bit embarassed to admit that I hadn't heard of this earlier.
Here's where Kami gives an overview of the campaign last year, and here's her recap from a couple of months ago. Also, here's the interview that Shel did with Kami for Fast Company TV, a recap from Jeremiah, and a post containing some (misguided?) criticism of the campaign's reported results. Great stuff and a great example of utilizing social media in an awareness campaign.
Pic via PRNewswire.com