Last week the Triangle Social Media Club had two guest speakers, Karlie Justus (@karliej) and Jason Peck (@jasonpeck). I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both the speakers and interacting with them on Twitter over the past several months. I was glad to see Karlie speak about the NC State Fair since I had been trying to catch up with her to find out how effective social media was in promoting the State Fair. I have written two blog posts about the NC State Fair and Deep Fried Tweetup in the past few weeks so was interested to see how the campaign went for the NC Department of Agriculture (NCDA) that manages the Fair.
The goals of the social media campaign were to reach new audiences as well as reach media in a new way. The campaign started in July of 2008 and ran for a full 16 months. The team began with a new web site design and created a blog that communicated interesting facts about the Fair as well as announcing entertainment acts and other announcements. Other social media sites that were created included Facebook group, MySpace page, Twitter account, Flickr photos and YouTube channel. Some of the more interesting stats were:
- 70,000 unique blog views with 27,000 unique visitors in October
- Facebook page had 5,000 friends, 420 fans and over 1,400 photos tagged
- Twitter account had over 2,331 followers with 1,828 updates and 422 direct messages. Many of the direct messages were from local media that supplemented the PR plan.
- YouTube channel hosted 37 videos and had 58,000 unique views with 55 subscribers.
- MySpace page had 928 friends with 8,000 blog views and 99,000 page views.
Other social media tactics included having a Deep Fried Ambassador contest among local bloggers, inviting bloggers to the press conference and hosting the Deep Fried Tweetup on the Thursday night of the Fair. The Tweetup attracted over 150 attendees and further extended the Deep Fried brand. One interesting note was that Thursday traffic spiked with 2000 unique visits to the blog and average of 60 tweets per hour. The event was also streamed and attracted 43 views.
Whew, that’s a whole blog post, but wait there’s more! Jason Peck had a tough act to follow but did a fantastic job speaking about branded communities. Jason’s company eWayDirect takes features of social networks and brings them into a single platform. The goal is to bring people together while having full control of the look and fell, content, ads and metrics. I have a dream and that is what eWayDirect offers…a single platform with control, basically a branded community.
- Protection: no random Facebook ads, your community is spared from junk and spam
- Exclusivity: you may not want everyone, just certain people that are your customers and prospects
- Research: polls, metrics and other tools to gather information from your community.
- Business metrics: the ability to determine revenue per member. Mmmm, ROI is that something everyone keeps talking about regarding social media?
- 4,500 new members
- 56,000 visits
- 5,000 unique visits, increase of 75%
- 9% of members opted to received the desktop notifications and reminders
- Average revenue per member increased 270% more than non-members
- Have a purpose for your community, give people a reason to join
- Make people feel welcome, it’s important
- Establish measurable goals ahead of time will drive you towards them during execution
- Make sure the community does not exist in a silo