By marccampman, 29-Jan-2013 20:13:00
As you may know, I am partner in Love Social Media, a social media training and services company. Together with G3 Magazine we will launch a new social media training for marketing managers of landbased casinos. We will launch this with an introduction workshop on 7 February at ICE Totally Gaming. As you may know, ICE is the world's biggest online and landbaed gaming show for casinos, lotteries, betting and online gaming companies, taking place from 5 to 7 February in London. To help casino marketing people in their quest for the social media jackpot my next few blog posts are specially for them.
Recently, I saw a tweet from the The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas saying: “Perfect night for a pool party. (Not to mention serious DJs.) The best part? Totally free. Meet you at Boulevard Pool!“. Within seconds, this message was spread to their 100.000 Twitter followers and many of them retweeted the message. That same time, MGM Grand received a tweet saying: “Terrible service at the front desk.... I would expect better from such an hotel....”. MGMs 80.000 Twitter followers could have seen this message. Within minutes MGM responded: “We apologize for delays due to difficulties with our hotel registration computer system.”. Two examples of how social media is changing the way casinos communicate with their customers. On the one hand Social Media is a great opportunity to widen your reach in communicating with your customers. But on the other hand, it can be a threat when things go wrong and your customers start talking about it on social networks.
Casinos across the world have started to implement social media programmes. They use social media as an engine for driving customer engagement, referrals and service response. For most casinos, social media is a new marketing channel to reach out to current casino customers, entice new ones and spread messages virally. But many of them do not understand that social media is more than a new marketing channel. It’s a fundamental shift in the way casinos can market themselves. Here are four radical shifts:
Social Media enables casinos to connect with their customers instead of selling to them. Casinos can connect with their customers on Facebook or Twitter and start building relationships with them through sharing interesting content. Casino Austria understands this and engages actively with their nearly 10.000 Facebook friends around their gaming experiences.
Social Media enables casinos to do small effective campaigns to targeted player groups. No more expensive mass advertising campaigns to anonymous segments. But casinos can now run micro campaigns to specific player segments. By using some very clever social media campaigns, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Facebook page gained almost 91,000 “Likes”, and their Twitter following increased from zero to over 75,000. Their Foursquare is booming with more than 19,000 unique visitors and over 35,000 check-ins. Their Youtube channel saw over 250,000 views during the launch period, and is now well over one million.
Social Media enables casinos to be available everywhere. Giving them a much wider online presence and making them much easier to reach. Most US casinos web sites now have links to their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Foursquare and Flickr pages. Their customers can engage with their favourite casino on their favourite social network. European casinos are clearly lagging behind in this. Many of them still believe that their own web site is the place to connect with their customers. Missing out on the exciting opportunities of engaging with their customers on social networks.
Social Media forces casinos to be open in their communication. Players can talk online to their casino but more importantly, talk to other players online about their favourite casino or favourite games. Casinos no longer control the message, they have to be transparent and they have to listen and respond to what customers are talking about on social networks. Like MGM responded to the customer tweet in the example in the first paragraph.
So for many casinos in Europe there are exciting opportunities in using social media to connect with their customers. But how to get started? That’s a question I get asked many times. There are so many things to consider. Many casino managers simply don’t know what will give them the biggest result. Here are my first 4 tips on how to get immediate results of your social media:
Tip 1: Think strategy before you start
You need to think about why you want to use social media and how you want to measure the success. You can use social media to promote your casino’s brand, build your player community, increase traffic to your web site, improve your search engine ranking or improve customer service. Social Media thrives on sharing content like photos, posters, videos, news stories etc. What content do you already have and how are you going to create new content.
Tip 2: Fan engagement
Take your existing content in the form of events, promotions and tournaments and seed it out to social networks like Facebook and Youtube and let your fans do the rest. Outside of email and direct mailers, how often have your customers complained that they didn't receive notification of the latest games or announcement to join the Poker Club? With social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, you can quickly and easily send unlimited updates up until the hour of the event as reminders to drop by for a visit. And what’s ever better, if they like it, they will share it with their friends. A great way to build your fan base.
Tip 3: Event Marketing
For many casinos events are organised to bring in new players to experience the casino. There are many social media tools (Facebook events, Foursquare, Meetup) to promote your casino events. A good example is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. To drive traffic to their ticket vendor’s page, they created a Facebook app that promotes all their events, provides a way for customers to RSVP or let others know they’re coming, and buy tickets directly through a simple submission form. If they have questions about the event, they can even call the casino for more information.
Tip 4: Promotions
Social Networks are an ideal place to do contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, announcements etc. Promotions are a powerful way to grow and engage your audience on Facebook, Twitter and more. You can even promote user-generated content through photo or video sharing contests. Generate buzz, capture player information and monetise your casino fans with applications that can be shared across your website, landing pages and social networks.
So that's it for this week. Look out for my next 4 tips later this week.
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