Online Southern Hospitality: @VisitSavannah
This whole social listening and engagement thing is becoming common place, or so it seems as I’ve just experienced my second awesome display of online community management outreach in one month’s time. Recently, I shared a social marketing case study oriented post of an interaction I had with Intercontinental Times Square. Based on the popularity of that post, I’ve concluded social media case studies are in demand, so here’s another example of a brand who’s lighting it up.
My husband and I just got back from an amazing road trip to the south. We drove from Minneapolis to Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA last week. The Sunday before we departed, I picked up and watched “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” a 90s film set in Savannah (originally a popular book) to get in the Savannah state of mind.
Much like I enjoy ‘checking in’ to places, I also like to check in to the media I consume with a nifty application called Get Glue. Get Glue hit the market in late 2010 and allows users to ‘check in’ to what they’re watching, reading, listening to, reading, thinking about, etc. You can then upload these check ins to Twitter and Facebook, and use Foursquare if you’re checking into a location and media at the same time.
I checked in to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” on Get Glue and added “In preparation for our Savannah getaway” as a status and uploaded to Twitter.
Moments later, *literally* I got a tweet from the @VisitSavannah Twitter account that said: “Watching ‘Midnight’ is a great way to get into the #Savannah state of mind.”
Bam! Sunday night and Savannah’s CVB is actively listening and engaging with people mentioning “Savannah” on Twitter. I was impressed, and thrilled as we had been investigating ghost and historical tours on Trip Advisor that day, but weren’t left with a solid conclusion on what to do based on varying user reviews. In my unexpected interaction with Amy Brock, Visit Savannah’s community manager, I was able to quickly establish what to do (some of which was consistent with Trip Advisor, and some was likely insider info, which rocks) and where to go when we arrived in Savannah – something that would not have happened had she not sought me out based on search.
Oh, the simplicity of all of this…
While I didn’t have an extensive conversation with Amy, I was able to establish that it’s a team of a few, with main community management activities falling on her and other staff here and there. We didn’t talk strategy, but my experience with them tells me that their time spend here falls under a goal that looks like this: Seek opportunities to generate awareness of Savannah and its CVB services in order to drive traffic to Savannah and its vendors. Their use of Twitter is just one of many CVB marketing functions I imagine, and one that they are utilizing extremely well.
The act of Visit Savannah monitoring social mentions of the word ‘Savannah’ online, and their subsequent action of engagement was timely, flawless and effective. My mention of Savannah was an opportunity for them to reach out and say hi and simply let me know that they were there. This could have been the extent of our interaction, but instead, I utilized the awareness to ask a few pressing questions about our travel there. In addition, I asked questions when I arrived, which I wouldn’t have known to do had this engagement not happened. This enhanced my experience before arriving in Savannah and my time there.
Freshly back from Savannah, which is my new favorite city in the U.S., I can say that their online brand is representative of the experience you have during a visit to Savannah. The culture, architecture, food, people, history, etc. are beyond hospitable, colorful, enchanting and whimsical – even the ghosts *smile*. I highly recommend you check it out sometime.