Bam! Market Research Made Easy

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Social media changes on a daily basis.  So much so, it’s hard to keep up with the newest shiny toy that shows up to solve all our marketing problems.  It’s great to experiment and try new things, but sometimes we forget about the fundamentals as we chase after the brass ring.   That’s why I get so excited when I see brands that still do the simple – and often overlooked – things in social media marketing.  Take today for instance …  Continue reading

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Smart Businesses Watch Conference Hashtags

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]For the last couple of days, Texas CVBs have converged on San Marcos TX for the 2011 Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Annual Conference.  I am fortunate to have joined them for the first time in several years.  The educational content has been first-rate and the San Marcos CVB and Embassy Suites San Marcos have done a terrific job hosting us.

But they weren’t the only ones who provided excellent customer service and hospitality.  There’s a local Twitter account called TwitBiz San Marcos (@TwitBizSM) that helps shine a light on some of the great local businesses and restaurants located in San Marcos.  They do a hell of a job. Continue reading

Social Media and Simple Acts of Kindness

KINDNESS[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]This isn’t a cheesy post about how happiness makes the world go ’round.  Instead, it’s a true story about three people who just wanted to help each other out.  This story does have a happy ending, but there’s a twist.  Read on.

A couple of weeks ago I got a DM from David Kaufman with DK Worldwide.  David and I have never met IRL, but have chatted with each other via Twitter on several different occasions.  His DM said that he had a friend living in Austin, TX who was interested in getting into marketing.  He asked if I would mind sitting down with her for a few minutes to see if I could offer her any insight into marketing, and just do some networking with her.

To some of you, this might seem like an unusual request.  To meet with someone I didn’t know?!  On the recommendation of  someone else I didn’t know?!  Crazy, right?  Not to me.  I have first-hand experience with the incredible power of social media – mainly Twitter.  There are several people who I consider to be trusted friends and colleagues who I initially “met” through exchanges on Twitter.  I’ve been fortunate to actually meet some of them in person, but many still remain as mainly online relationships.

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Creative Uses of Twitter Lists

Just the Grocery List [tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Ahh, lists.  We all use them – probably daily – to make life a little easier.  For those of us over 40, they are a staple tool to help get us the job done.  But lists are simply just utilitarian and functional.  Institutional even.  Or are they?

Enter the Twitter List.  According to Wikipedia, “In late 2009, the “Twitter Lists” feature was added, making it possible for users to follow (as well as mention and reply to) lists of authors instead of individual authors.”  Mashable wrote a great piece about 10 Ways You Can Use Twitter lists which covered most of the basics.  Many DMOs took the ball and ran with it, creating Twitter lists to help visitors and potential visitors find information about their destinations quickly.  If you were to look, you’d find that most social media-savvy DMOs have at least a few Twitter Lists at the ready.

But sometimes even a list can be a helpful tool and still have a little fun.  Not satisfied with simply being helpful, the examples below help to highlight the unique personality of the destination or of the creator.

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#tourismchat – Q&A with Its Creators Anne Hornyak and Betsy Decillis

tourismchat logo[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”] Social media is a two-way street.  It’s about the give and take.  The conversation.  It’s about sharing what you know, and knowing that others will reciprocate when they can.

In the tourism industry, I think this comes naturally.  We’re all a pretty friendly bunch, with he sole goal of helping people have a good time in our destinations.

It works the same way with fellow tourism industry professionals.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard one DMO person say to another, “I’m gonna steal that idea!”  To me, that’s the highest form of flattery.  Someone else thinks your idea is good enough to use in their own efforts.  Why re-invent the wheel, right?  If there’s an idea you can use, modify for your situation, and put to good use, then why the hell not?

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The Darlington Experiment 2.0: Croudsourcing an Image

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I ran across an interesting article back in early December that caught my attention.  At the time I thought it had the makings of a great Tourism Tech post, but I wasn’t sure what the context would be.  Now I think I have it.

According to their website, the Darlington Experiment 2.0 is “a fun web-based experiment to increase the positive perceptions of Darlington using social media sites.”  The goal is to get locals talking about why they love Darlington on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites for all the world to see.  It’s crowdsourcing for tourism.

The article that caught my eye described how Darlington named a “twitterer in residence”.  His name is Mike McTimoney and his “day job” is a school teacher, but his job for the Darlington Experiment 2.0 (or Dx2, as they say in Darlington) is to promote local events and inform people about local news.

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