Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tweets and notes from the tourism conference in Idaho Falls

Idaho Tourism is the first destination marketing organization to team up with PixFusion, a leader in personalized entertainment and composite imagery, to utilize its photo-personalized technology. The My ID campaign invites visitors to place themselves, family, and friends in any of seven Idaho online adventure videos. Check it out at http://www.visitidaho.org/my-id/
I did a mess of live tweeting today at the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism, which is being held this year in Idaho Falls at the Shilo Inn, ending Thursday.

Why live tweeting? Because this is the 21st century, for heaven's sake, and the speakers were experts on social media. Also, I'd only done it once before and figured I could use the practice.

I have no idea whether my tweets reached a lot of people, or whether I was just making a nuisance of myself on Facebook where they appeared one after the other. You'll have to pardon me if it was the latter, but for everyone who might have missed out on the fun, here's a compilation. Let's see if there's any cohesion when compiled in one place.

The first take comes from William Bakker and Ben Vadasz of Think! Social Media:

  • "The whole point of social media is to get people talking."
  • Five levels of social media sophistication.
  • Level 1: Listen first, then respond.
  • Level 2: Somebody is doing something, but I'm not sure what. (Share remarkable content).
  • Level 3: Social media supports our marketing campaigns. User generated content benefits both parties.
  • Passionate communities share content. Work with them & they'll do the marketing for you
  • Level 4: Before you do any marketing, ask will it be shared?
  • Level 5: Set up a dialogue instead of doing a monologue.

And here are a few of Bakker's observations scribbled in my notebook and not posted online (until now):

  • "A brand is not a logo and a slogan. A brand lives in somebody's heart."
  • "If you get people talking, they'll do the marketing for you. The whole point of social media is to get people talking."

For destination marketing organizations, Vadasz offered the example of Vulcan, a small farming community in Alberta, Canada, that put itself on the map by embracing Mr. Spock (a logical thing to do.)

"It's become a Disneyland for 'Star Trek' fans," he said. "They made their destination remarkable."

"Be remarkable" when you post on the Web, he said. It's not enough to say "Like us on Facebook."
"Why should I join your page?" Vadasz said. "Am I going to get cool information? Am I going to be able to post content? Take the person to a call to action or a value add."

The lunchtime speaker was John Thornton of Google. Here are my tweets from his talk.

  • People are 1. Online 2. Hyper-informed 3. Constantly connected
  • On average, people visit 18.2 unique online sources before buying a car, 7.0 before buying dish soap.
  • Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): Google-ese for research period before buying decision
  • Mobile devices have become our "second brain"
  • Every day, 8 years of content is uploaded on YouTube. Richest source of content for your brand
  • 24 percent of time spent online is spent watching video. Video ad spending is only 7 percent of online ad spending
  • Social is the new water cooler. Be a part of the conversation
  • Your brand is defined by the people who are interacting with it. You don't own your brand. 77% of brand content is created by consumers

I also learned from Thornton that if I hope to regain Google's good graces I need to call 1-866-2GOOGLE and repent for suggesting (in a roundabout, satirical way, but apparently they don't have my sense of humor in Palo Alto) that people do online that which ought not to be done. I will provide no more detail, because obviously they look at everything I write and are quite willing to administer a smack-down if I get too smart-alecky.