Tony Clark, Digital Communications Manager for Cedar Point Amusement Park, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss handling many followers and creating content with a small team, dealing with thousands of guests armed with mobile devices at all times, and using social to manage expectations for visitors.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“Social media reaches farther than we can physically reach with advertising.” -@TonyClarkCP (tweet this)
Small Team, Big Roller Coasters
Tony’s team at Cedar Point is small – just him and an intern – especially considering their nearly 1.3 million Facebook fans. They not only monitor the social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) but also create digital content for the park. This includes a video podcast on YouTube, text for digital signage around the park, footage the PR department needs for news shows, and video interviews for special event attractions.
Originally a strongly regional park, Cedar Point is now garnering more and more international attention. “Social media it makes it so much easier to communicate with people from far away,” Tony says. Between their strong social presence and being featured on the Travel Channel’s Insane Coaster Wars, Cedar Point’s publicity has really taken off.
Tony’s team also uses digital communication to manage expectations for visitors of the park. A family in Cleveland might see rain in the forecast for their city and choose not to go to Cedar Point that day, when actually the weather up at Cedar Point is great! In those cases, they try to keep the potential guests informed, especially because those days tend to be the best in terms of lines (since everyone else assumes it’s raining, too).
Digital signage around the park keeps guests apprised of maintenance or weather conditions that could affect their experience. This helps immensely with turning a sour situation into a positive one.
Social Media Stat of the Week: 62% of devices send traffic to Google’s servers daily
Google now averages 25% of all American traffic, and 62% of devices with internet capability send traffic to Google’s servers every single day. This is an impressive, and terrifying, number.
“I think what’s most stunning for me is that growth has come at a time when competition has never been higher,” Jeff says. “It’s not like people aren’t trying to capture more attention and more of that traffic, but Google has built the ultimate mouse trap.”
It’s not just that everyone is using Google’s powerful search engine. “You don’t even realize, as a user, how you’re weaving in and out of different Google products,” Zena points out. “It’s that integration element that I think others in the space have missed.”
Google used to be considered to have a very silo’d approach to development, with individual teams working separately from one another. Their ability to turn that corporate culture around into such seamless integration is commendable to say the least.
Scottish brewery BrewDog is has created a crowdsourced microbrew called #Mashtag (mashing is the first step in the beer brewing process). “#Mashtag is a 7.5% American brown ale, loaded with New Zealand hops, and aged on hazelnuts and oak chips,” Zena says. “All of that was decided by the crowd.”
BrewDog claims that #Mashtag is the first alcoholic beverage inspired and created by the users of social media. The idea was that they really wanted to educate their fan base on the brewing process.
Four Your Information
How did you get involved in social media?
Tony started out in television and news broadcasting. He joined social media toward the beginning, in 2005, and so learned along with everyone else the ins and outs.
What do you like best about social media?
He loves the instant feedback because they used to have to wait for letters to come in the mail to know what people thought of their experience at the park. The immediacy of addressing concerns is really helpful.
What do you like least about social media?
Sometimes people aren’t comfortable confronting someone at the park about a negative experience, so they wait to vent their frustrations until they’ve already left. “They’re bigger and bolder online,” but it’s mainly at the park that Tony can address or solve the problems.
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who might that be and why?
He admits this might sound bizarre, but he’d like to Skype with music artist Pink. He interviewed her in his radio days, and “she was honestly the most engaging, normal artist I’ve ever met.”
See you next week!