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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Or maybe that was an apple a day. Either way, the marketing world has been taken by storm recently with daily deal websites. From Groupon to Living Social to Deal Chicken, people are becoming obsessed with the newest daily deal. Google is at this time pondering purchasing Groupon for upwards of $6 billion. But this begs the question, should casinos get in on the “daily deal” action? I have occasionally seen casinos such as the Nugget in Reno and the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Las Vegas on these daily deal sites offering things like room deals, or room and show ticket offers for 50% or more off retail. But does it make good business sense for casinos to be offering such deals?

The first question is will this drive incremental revenue to the property or will it simply encourage existing customers to get a discount on their next trip, which likely was already planned? The answer is that it probably depends first on what kind of offer you’re putting out there. A simple dining offer will probably get you a few extra customers, however it will also probably take away from space available for your regular gaming guests. So, that’s a bust. A room offer could be a good idea, if you make sure good controls are in place. The idea behind a room offer would be to drive cash revenue on rooms that otherwise would be empty. This can be done with certain restrictions or availability periods, however, be careful of making too many rules and regulations or you could turn off potential repeat customers. If your casino has entertainment, offers on show tickets is another option for a daily deal. These offers should be released when you know that you have extra tickets that would not normally sell at full retail. Then, at least you recover a portion of ticket sales that you would not have normally collected. Finally, and obviously, are gaming deals. These deals should only be directed and redeemable by “new” customers. The whole idea of offering 50% or more off of gaming is to encourage brand new customers to come in and try out your gaming product. It does your casino absolutely no good at all to offer deep discounts to your already loyal customers through daily deal websites. This is what you use direct marketing for.

So all in all, using daily deal websites can work for your casino if used properly. These deals should be evaluated heavily prior to entering any agreements with the deal companies. Take into consideration all possible problems that could arise from executing a daily deal. What happens if you sell more than you think you can handle? What if customers find a loophole in the fine print that allows them to take advantage of you? Think and rethink the deal before issuing it. And keep in mind, you do not want to drive your regular customers in with daily deals. Use your direct marketing for this. Daily deals should be used solely to drive new business.

Have you ever used a daily deal, or launched one through your company? How did it work? Do you think they are a good idea for casinos?

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In celebration for acheiving AAA Five Diamond status for the third year running, The Venetian Las Vegas and the Palazzo Las Vegas, owned by Las Vegas Sands, are running a “Five Day Five Diamond” promotion through social media. All you have to do to join is follow @VenetianVegas and @PalazzoLasVegas on twitter and throughout the week this week they will be tweeting clues with the hashtag #5day5diamond about where on their properties you can find a “diamond.” Then, you have to snap a photo of yourself with the diamond when you find it and post it to Twitter with the hashtag and the Twitter handles of one of the properties. Prizes include high end gifts like a diamond necklace, spa getaway and free hotel stays at either property.

I think this is a pretty clever promotion. I am loving the use of social media to get cusomers involved. Yesterday, there were a series of clues posted such as, “#5day5diamond Scavenger Hunt – Hint #1 looking for this Diamond might involve water. Hope you don’t get seasick. Rules: http://t.co/wItq1Wy” Yesterday, they included 4 separate clues, and based on the posted picures I saw, the diamond was somewhere along the canal, I believe in the Venetian, on a light post. If I lived in Vegas, I’d probably take a day this week to go scope out the property and try to find the diamond. It’s also a great way to promote the fact that your company just earned such a prestigious award. It gets people through the doors that may not already be venturing there, and it’s a good way to get your name buzzing on Twitter.

Overall, a solid promotion. Who doesn’t love diamonds?

This post is officially the last one that I am posting as a requirement of my Personal Branding class with Dr. Bret Simmons. But fear not fellow readers! I fully intend on continuing on this blogging journey! So, here it goes…

Get ready for yet another great example of rewards done right! I stumbled upon a social media promotion run by the Palms Resort in Las Vegas that I think is a great direction to go in terms of casino marketing. I have talked a bit about Caesars Entertainment and how they are rewarding guests for spending money outside of gambling. This Palms promotion is very similar. Guests who sign up on their website earn rewards for retweeting deals that are posted on the Palms twitter account. You earn 10 points for each offer you tweet and 250 points for each offer that one of your friends/followers purchase. You can use your points towards the following:

This is a fantastic way to drive new traffic without having to directly attract gamblers. There are so many people on Facebook and Twitter these days, and by offering them rewards to tweet your offers and encourage their friends to purchase your offers, you are in the process of creating brand evangelists…almost for FREE! We love free!

So, I decided I better sign up for this promotion since I’m raving so much about it. Then I can report back to you and let you know if it’s all it cracks up to be! The first step is to tweet the offer of the day. Today there are two opportunities to tweet. The first is:

PalmsLasVegas

Come join our Social Rewards Loyalty Program! Earn points towards free rooms, drinks, dinners, more while in #Vegas http://bit.ly/fukEv9

What are some other ways you can attract new business without attracting gamblers? Do you think this is a good way to increase business?

There is a “tweet” button that makes it easy to use. You get 10 points just for tweeting. Check!

The next opportunity is:

Be a playboy! Rates @ Palms Las Vegas starting @ $99, access to club, $25 match play & Comedy tickets! #vegas

Once again, an easy to use “tweet” button and 10 more points. Check!

You can also post on Facebook and encourage your friends to buy the deals you share. That would be 250 points! Double check! Then I can take all my points, just for being a brand evangelist for Palms, and get free stuff. And I never even have to spend a dollar at the Palms, but you can bet when I redeem for my free hotel room, I will be spending those dollars at the Palms.

So, what do you think about this promotion?

I think I’ll take a short break from talking about all this Internet Poker mumbo jumbo and go off topic for a minute. Social Media strategies are becoming very important for casinos. The population is becoming more and more technologically savvy and they are going to the Internet to find information and deals. Based on an article that cites a study from retrevo.com, 56% of social media users check Facebook once a day, and 12% check Facebook once every couple of hours. That is a huge pool of traffic that the casino companies should definitely be dipping into. Below are 5 tips for a successful social media strategy by Frank Marquardt:

1. Know Your Voice: Your brand needs to be consistent. The readers should have a sense that they are reading your post even before noticing your name or logo. For example, the kind of Twitter posts you’d see from Hard Rock Las Vegas versus The Mirage Las Vegas to be very different. The audiences are different and therefore the voice should be different. Hard Rock’s tweets are mostly in response to people who post a question or comment about them, while the Mirage does much more marketing through their Twitter account. Posting offers is a great way to attract customers!

2. Time Your Content: People respond to content that is timed well. Your organization should have a calendar and a schedule for when your posts are going out. You do not want to overwhelm your audience with too much content. The content you do put out there should be well thought out and timed appropriately. In the example of Hard Rock and The Mirage above, if Hard Rock did release an offer, it would probably get swallowed up by all the “We miss you too” type comments. It’s nice to let your audience know you’re listening when they talk to you, but knowing the limits is also important.

3. Know Your Audience: This is a very important point, as not all customers are created equally. In the case of a casino, there are probably multiple business units within the property: gaming, restaurants, nightclubs, etc… You can bet your customers are coming for one or all of these outlets, and therefore it is important to talk to all of your customers. Take Wynn Las Vegas for example:

These are two separate posts directed at two obviously separate audiences, but Wynn knows how to target both customers by posting information that they know their audience would be interested in.

4. Solve Problems:Social media is a great place to solve problems for your customers. Many times, social media would be the first place a customer would go to either complain or rave about a previous experience. Check out the tweets from Caesars LV which I think are a great example of how to solve problems using social media:

They do such a good job of responding and directing their customers on how to proceed with their question or problem. One of them even goes so far as to confirm a reservation through Twitter! I think Caesars does a great job in this aspect.

5. Be True: Finally, be true. False information is so transparent. Your customers know when you’re lying or posting false information and they don’t appreciate it. Being true to your customers and your brand will only make your customers want to recommend you in the future, and hey, they may even become a brand evangelist!

What social media strategies do you think work best?

Clearly I am very new at this whole blogging phenomenon, so I’m always looking for advice and helpful hints on how to be a better blogger and how to drive more traffic to my blog. After all, I’m not just writing a blog so I can read it, I’m hoping that I provide good enough content and fresh enough ideas to drive traffic to my blog. So, I found an interesting article posted on Problogger.net, written by guest blogger Jeremy Myers that includes five helpful tips on how to be a better blogger.

1. Read your own blog – When you are done posting your blog, you should always re-read it to make sure everything flows and makes sense. Also, make sure to always read and respond to all comments by your readers. People comment on blogs because they have something to say. You should read and respond to every comment, regardless of how many comments you generate.

2. Read your readers’ blogs – When people comment on your blog, you should always click over to their blogs and read and comment on them. By reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, you can generate more traffic and comments to your own blogs, as well as you can find out what other people are writing about.

3. Comment on other blogs – In addition to reading and commenting on your readers’ blogs, you should go out and comment on other blogs. Problogger suggests commenting on at least 5 other blogs per day, but I find that to be a little excessive. At this point in time, I have been regularly commenting on 3 or more blog posts per week. I have seen some increase in traffic on my website, but I need to start branching out and finding new blogs. If you comment enough on someone’s blog, they might end up adding you to their blogroll, which can generate even more traffic in the future.

4. Repost excerpts from the blogs of others – When you read a good post, you should always post at least an excerpt and link back to that person’s blog. Pretty much exactly what I’m doing right now! I enjoyed this post by Problogger, so I’m summarizing and I linked back to the homepage and the blog post page. By doing this, you open the door for bloggers to post guest posts on your blog and might mention in their own blogs that you re-posted, which again, will drive more traffic to your blog.

5. Repost the comments of others – If you happen to find a good comment thread on a blog, write a post about it and include the actual comments. People who comment want to be read, and will appreciate the fact that someone is reading and replying to their comments.

In summary, it seems that blogging is a game of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Of course you need the content to back it up, but if you are a courteous blogger and commenter, you can in turn drive traffic and comments to your own blog. I know I always appreciate it when I post a comment on someone’s blog and I receive a response. Even a simple “thank you” lets your readers/commenters know that you appreciate and care enough to acknowledge the time they took to comment.

In a blog post by Social Media Explorer, I found some very interesting information about how to empower your employees when creating

a digital media campaign that I think would be very useful to apply in casino marketing:

1. Training is Overrated: Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, have long been blocked in office internet filters. When launching a digital media campaign, it is important for the company to trust the employees they hire for this position, and allow them to do what they do best: post on Facebook and “tweet” on Twitter. Trying to “train” them to use these social media platforms properly will only hinder the creativity and block the useful content that they would otherwise provide for you. Getting out of the mindset that your employees are “playing on Facebook” will greatly increase the quality of work you are getting from your social media employees.

2. Permission to Try Things: Your social media team should be posting multiple times daily on Facebook and Twitter as well as they should be blogging regularly. These are all ways to improve your online presence. This is especially important in a time in which people are going to the internet for nearly all of their information. If your company or casino is the only competitor in the market that has an online presence, it is likely to drive business to your property.

3. Stop Doing Something You Have Always Done: It is very easy to stick to the basics of what has “always worked.” Trying something new, especially when it comes to building an online presence can be very challenging and possibly very expensive. At first, while your online presence is growing, it might seem like other proven methods should be used. But trust me, once your online presence starts to take off, your value will grow exponentially as well as the priority for social media marketing will increase.

The Internet Revolution took place over 10 years ago, but the social media revolution is just now taking off. Many companies are hesitant to take on a social media marketing campaign because it is so new. That means that your company can capitalize on this new form of marketing before many of your competitors do. Does your company have a social media marketing strategy? If so, what kind of social media platforms are you using and do you find successful?


About Me

This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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