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Social media
Social gathering

Real-time connections, increased loyalty and extending the offer are among the benefits of social media, but which platform is right for your attraction?

By Nic Ray | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 1


Businesses no longer require extensive persuasion to appreciate the benefits of using social media. By contrast, it’s widely recognised that such platforms have actually become an essential tool for engaging with the public. But just how do you go about selecting the right platform? The choice usually seems to come down to Facebook or Twitter, but these are by no means your only options.

Other platforms like Pinterest, Tout and Google+ are all worthy contenders to take on Facebook and Twitter. Not that this makes your first foray into the social realm any simpler. But luckily all it takes is a little forward thinking before just hopping on to Facebook. The first step is to clearly define your aims – what do you want to achieve by having a social media presence? Having a Facebook page just because everyone else has one isn’t a good enough reason. Next, you need to assess what each social platform can offer you, along with its strengths and weaknesses. Whichever platform best matches your business objectives is the place to start.

As an agency, we always advise brands that it’s important to have one quality presence in social media. Creating a premium user experience on multiple social media platforms is next to impossible – unless your budget is particularly generous. So, as a starting point, invest in just one platform and manage it well. Once you’ve proven the success of “social”, chances are that you’ll be able to pitch for more budget and slowly begin to expand. To get you started, we’ve collated a brief round up of some current social media platforms.

Facebook
Primary strength: Building brand loyalty. Facebook is billed as the place to engage with customers, but it’s always in danger of becoming a numbers game. Many brands become fixated on the number of Likes they’re able to gain, instead of focusing on what they really should be striving to achieve – a sense of affection towards their brand and feeling of friendship with a consumer.

Churning out generic content may gain superficial interactions. However, the real gold is in getting people to communicate with your brand and creating an affinity towards your business.

One issue with Facebook is that it’s primarily a closed hub, in the sense that it’s up to the user to allow people (or brands) to see their updates and become part of their network. Or, in the instance that they’re looking to become involved in a specific arena of discussion, they must already know what sources are likely to contain the desired content before they make the best use of Facebook’s limited search functionality.

Twitter
Primary strength: Sharing news and extending reach. The shorter format of tweets (140 characters) means that relationship building is not Twitter’s primary aim. Rather, it’s the ideal medium to keep people up to date with news and special offers and share blog content. Twitter was designed for sharing and people will naturally spread your content for you – as long as it’s worth sharing. This can amplify any activity that you’re already doing, while also acting as a real-time news feed for your brand. For example, if bad weather means you may need to close early, you could use Twitter to keep people in the loop.

This is why many believe that Twitter has the edge over Facebook, in terms of relevancy for brands. As an open channel, you can reach more people, without insisting on any investment on their part (individuals can share or retweet your news without having to follow you).

However, an effective Twitter channel requires a significant investment of time and commitment from any brand. Users will expect to be answered if they have a customer service issue or a general query, and not responding could be damaging to the brand’s reputation.

Tout
Primary strength: Creating video reviews. Tout is a lesser-known social media platform that allows users to shoot 15-second video status updates via their smartphones or webcams (think of it as similar to Twitter, but with video). Through Tout’s reply feature, users are also able to engage in conversations.

Tout has some amazing partnerships with brands already. The World Wrestling Entertainment organisation (WWE) featured some fan Touts during their tv broadcast and as a result the app skyrocketed in popularity. The media platform offers endless opportunities – individuals can be encouraged to create reviews while they visit your attraction and those reviews can then be repurposed into a bigger marketing plan or shared on YouTube.

While this would present some challenges in countries with slower internet connections or lower smart phone penetration, it’s certainly one of the more innovative options to consider.

Pinterest
Primary strength: Creating a visual brand experience. Pinterest is a social scrapbooking site that lets brands showcase themselves in a visually creative way. However, according to the Etiquette of Pinning, as defined by the users of Pinterest, this isn’t the appropriate platform for self-promotion.

But this doesn’t mean that brands can’t get involved. The idea behind the platform is to showcase the things you love and to show appreciation for other people’s creativity. This gives brands the ideal opportunity to get involved with a community and reward brand loyalty.

Repinning user-generated imagery from your attraction could produce a visually inspiring Pinterest presence. As well as this, it could also help create long-term brand advocates.

Foursquare
Primary strength: Real-time connection to users. Foursquare allows people to check in to places so that they can show their friends where they are and what they’re doing. This is a great opportunity to reach people while they’re actually at your attraction and offer them extra value. For instance, Foursquare will let you offer vouchers or incentives to users who check in – linking your online activities to your real-time offline business.

Google+
Primary strength: Search benefits. Google+ is one of those platforms that we all love to hate, mainly because it’s just not quite Facebook.

Although its user numbers are questionable, and it’s less familiar to us than other social platforms, it shouldn’t be discounted as a medium.

As a platform, it’s meant to be used alongside all the other Google products – especially search. Google is renowned for favouring its own assets within search engine results pages meaning that Google+ is an extremely powerful tool to add to your search strategy. But this doesn’t mean that is isn’t social too. The platform is designed for sharing and will assist in amplifying blog posts, promoting news or even just sharing industry-related content.

What’s more, there are far fewer brands on Google+, meaning that there’s less competition and, therefore, ample opportunity to become one of the platform’s pioneering brands.

Summary
To wrap up, we feel it’s important to point out that this list is by no means complete. There are almost too many platforms to mention – especially as social networks vary from country to country. When starting a social media strategy, it will be important to take locale into account. For example, Twitter might perfectly meet your global business objectives.
However, if targeting the under-25s in Russia, Vkontakte would be your better option.

Try to think beyond Facebook and Twitter and align your choice of platform with your business aims. Then, simply put in as much effort as you can afford, always remembering one key thing – social media is about being social.

As long as you offer value to your followers or fans and continually engage with them in an authentic manner, you won’t go wrong.

Nic Ray is the managing director of Quirk London, a digitally-focused agency of brave, curious minds

Followers expect you to be active and up-to-date on your social media sites
Visitors may post video reviews of your attraction on Tout
Images on Pinterest can highlight your creativity
Compared to Facebook, there are currently far fewer brands on Google+, allowing those using it to establish a greater presence
Compared to Facebook, there are currently far fewer brands on Google+, allowing those using it to establish a greater presence
COMPANY PROFILES
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
IDEATTACK

IDEATTACK is a full-service planning and design company with headquarters in Los Angeles. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) - IAAPA Expo Europe Promo
A celebration of the industry, IAAPA Expo Europe is where thousands of leisure professionals gather to learn what’s new and trending. With hundreds of exhibitors set to showcase their innovations, an education conference packed with insights on sustainability, guest experience, technology combined with Special Events and EDUTours, this year’s expo promises to be one of our best. Find out more...
More videos:
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World – Red Raion
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
+ More diary  
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©Cybertrek 2022
Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
Social media
Social gathering

Real-time connections, increased loyalty and extending the offer are among the benefits of social media, but which platform is right for your attraction?

By Nic Ray | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 1


Businesses no longer require extensive persuasion to appreciate the benefits of using social media. By contrast, it’s widely recognised that such platforms have actually become an essential tool for engaging with the public. But just how do you go about selecting the right platform? The choice usually seems to come down to Facebook or Twitter, but these are by no means your only options.

Other platforms like Pinterest, Tout and Google+ are all worthy contenders to take on Facebook and Twitter. Not that this makes your first foray into the social realm any simpler. But luckily all it takes is a little forward thinking before just hopping on to Facebook. The first step is to clearly define your aims – what do you want to achieve by having a social media presence? Having a Facebook page just because everyone else has one isn’t a good enough reason. Next, you need to assess what each social platform can offer you, along with its strengths and weaknesses. Whichever platform best matches your business objectives is the place to start.

As an agency, we always advise brands that it’s important to have one quality presence in social media. Creating a premium user experience on multiple social media platforms is next to impossible – unless your budget is particularly generous. So, as a starting point, invest in just one platform and manage it well. Once you’ve proven the success of “social”, chances are that you’ll be able to pitch for more budget and slowly begin to expand. To get you started, we’ve collated a brief round up of some current social media platforms.

Facebook
Primary strength: Building brand loyalty. Facebook is billed as the place to engage with customers, but it’s always in danger of becoming a numbers game. Many brands become fixated on the number of Likes they’re able to gain, instead of focusing on what they really should be striving to achieve – a sense of affection towards their brand and feeling of friendship with a consumer.

Churning out generic content may gain superficial interactions. However, the real gold is in getting people to communicate with your brand and creating an affinity towards your business.

One issue with Facebook is that it’s primarily a closed hub, in the sense that it’s up to the user to allow people (or brands) to see their updates and become part of their network. Or, in the instance that they’re looking to become involved in a specific arena of discussion, they must already know what sources are likely to contain the desired content before they make the best use of Facebook’s limited search functionality.

Twitter
Primary strength: Sharing news and extending reach. The shorter format of tweets (140 characters) means that relationship building is not Twitter’s primary aim. Rather, it’s the ideal medium to keep people up to date with news and special offers and share blog content. Twitter was designed for sharing and people will naturally spread your content for you – as long as it’s worth sharing. This can amplify any activity that you’re already doing, while also acting as a real-time news feed for your brand. For example, if bad weather means you may need to close early, you could use Twitter to keep people in the loop.

This is why many believe that Twitter has the edge over Facebook, in terms of relevancy for brands. As an open channel, you can reach more people, without insisting on any investment on their part (individuals can share or retweet your news without having to follow you).

However, an effective Twitter channel requires a significant investment of time and commitment from any brand. Users will expect to be answered if they have a customer service issue or a general query, and not responding could be damaging to the brand’s reputation.

Tout
Primary strength: Creating video reviews. Tout is a lesser-known social media platform that allows users to shoot 15-second video status updates via their smartphones or webcams (think of it as similar to Twitter, but with video). Through Tout’s reply feature, users are also able to engage in conversations.

Tout has some amazing partnerships with brands already. The World Wrestling Entertainment organisation (WWE) featured some fan Touts during their tv broadcast and as a result the app skyrocketed in popularity. The media platform offers endless opportunities – individuals can be encouraged to create reviews while they visit your attraction and those reviews can then be repurposed into a bigger marketing plan or shared on YouTube.

While this would present some challenges in countries with slower internet connections or lower smart phone penetration, it’s certainly one of the more innovative options to consider.

Pinterest
Primary strength: Creating a visual brand experience. Pinterest is a social scrapbooking site that lets brands showcase themselves in a visually creative way. However, according to the Etiquette of Pinning, as defined by the users of Pinterest, this isn’t the appropriate platform for self-promotion.

But this doesn’t mean that brands can’t get involved. The idea behind the platform is to showcase the things you love and to show appreciation for other people’s creativity. This gives brands the ideal opportunity to get involved with a community and reward brand loyalty.

Repinning user-generated imagery from your attraction could produce a visually inspiring Pinterest presence. As well as this, it could also help create long-term brand advocates.

Foursquare
Primary strength: Real-time connection to users. Foursquare allows people to check in to places so that they can show their friends where they are and what they’re doing. This is a great opportunity to reach people while they’re actually at your attraction and offer them extra value. For instance, Foursquare will let you offer vouchers or incentives to users who check in – linking your online activities to your real-time offline business.

Google+
Primary strength: Search benefits. Google+ is one of those platforms that we all love to hate, mainly because it’s just not quite Facebook.

Although its user numbers are questionable, and it’s less familiar to us than other social platforms, it shouldn’t be discounted as a medium.

As a platform, it’s meant to be used alongside all the other Google products – especially search. Google is renowned for favouring its own assets within search engine results pages meaning that Google+ is an extremely powerful tool to add to your search strategy. But this doesn’t mean that is isn’t social too. The platform is designed for sharing and will assist in amplifying blog posts, promoting news or even just sharing industry-related content.

What’s more, there are far fewer brands on Google+, meaning that there’s less competition and, therefore, ample opportunity to become one of the platform’s pioneering brands.

Summary
To wrap up, we feel it’s important to point out that this list is by no means complete. There are almost too many platforms to mention – especially as social networks vary from country to country. When starting a social media strategy, it will be important to take locale into account. For example, Twitter might perfectly meet your global business objectives.
However, if targeting the under-25s in Russia, Vkontakte would be your better option.

Try to think beyond Facebook and Twitter and align your choice of platform with your business aims. Then, simply put in as much effort as you can afford, always remembering one key thing – social media is about being social.

As long as you offer value to your followers or fans and continually engage with them in an authentic manner, you won’t go wrong.

Nic Ray is the managing director of Quirk London, a digitally-focused agency of brave, curious minds

Followers expect you to be active and up-to-date on your social media sites
Visitors may post video reviews of your attraction on Tout
Images on Pinterest can highlight your creativity
Compared to Facebook, there are currently far fewer brands on Google+, allowing those using it to establish a greater presence
Compared to Facebook, there are currently far fewer brands on Google+, allowing those using it to establish a greater presence
LATEST NEWS
Universal's Epic Universe set to open in 2025
Building work on Universal's Epic Universe – a new theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, US – is advancing and the park is set to open to visitors in 2025.
Seventh International Museum Construction Congress to be held in Norway this year
The International Museum Construction Congress (IMCC) will take place in the Norwegian capital city, Oslo, from 6 to 8 November 2022.
The 'world's most anticipated museum' to finally open this year
The Grand Egyptian Museum is set to finally open its doors after a design and construction project which has taken more than 20 years to complete.
Horniman Museum to return 72 looted artefacts to Nigeria
Decommissioned oil rig transformed into See Monster art installation
An oil rig that spent three decades in the North Sea before it was retired last year is being transformed into an interactive art installation in Weston-super-Mare, UK.
Jake McCoy joins Ted leadership team as director of operations
The Experience Department (Ted) has expanded its European-based leadership team, appointing Jake McCoy to the new position of director of operations.
Fabland Valley Resort launces new walkthrough attraction designed by Triotech
Fabland Valley Resort in Xiangyang in the Province of Hubei, China has opened its new "double walkthrough" attraction.
Aussie World launches Dingo Racer coaster
The Aussie World theme park on Australia’s Sunshine Coast has launched its first rollercoaster.
Wake The Tiger - dubbed the first-ever 'amazement park' - opens in Bristol, UK
Wake The Tiger - described as the world's first 'amazement park' - has opened its doors to the public in Bristol, UK.
Turkish resort opens first Rift waterslide, designed by Polin
The Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek resort in Antalya, Turkey, has launched the world’s first Rift waterslide.
Avengers Campus opens at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris has hosted a soft opening of its new Avengers Campus Paris, ahead of its opening to the public on 20 July.
Industry mourns death of Meow Wolf co-founder, Matt King
Meow Wolf, the immersive arts and entertainment company, has announced the death of its co– founder, Matt King.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
IDEATTACK

IDEATTACK is a full-service planning and design company with headquarters in Los Angeles. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) - IAAPA Expo Europe Promo
A celebration of the industry, IAAPA Expo Europe is where thousands of leisure professionals gather to learn what’s new and trending. With hundreds of exhibitors set to showcase their innovations, an education conference packed with insights on sustainability, guest experience, technology combined with Special Events and EDUTours, this year’s expo promises to be one of our best. Find out more...
More videos:
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World – Red Raion
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS