Reach the Gay & Lesbian Community
SAS Hosts LGBT Workshop|
As a prelude to their Love Flight celebrating the first gay and lesbian weddings in the air, SAS hosted an LGBT workshop at their flagship Business Class lounge in Stockholm's Arlanda Airport. SAS PR Director Anders LindstrÃ¶m, along with several members of the SAS marketing and product team presented the ideas and elements behind the hugely successful social networking campaign that drew more than 540,000 visitors to the SAS "Love is in the Air" website page. LindstrÃ¶m believes that their efforts, which were picked-up by mainstream media worldwide, makes SAS the "first airline to launch an LGBT social marketing campaign into mainstream media." Christina Guggenberger, Project Manager of the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network at the Stockholm Visitor Board, presented an overview of Stockholm's LGBT marketing efforts, underscoring the importance that social media plays in today's market and highlighting Stockholm's award-winning LGBT blog.
European Parliament Member Christofer Fjellner distributed his "27 Pictures of Pride" album to workshop participants, stating that he believes that "travel promotes openness" and that "airlines have probably done more for promoting cultural exchange in the EU than most European Cultural Exchanges".
I wanted to let you know that we have all been very impressed with the work that your firm has been doing for us. As a matter of fact you have surpassed our expectations on the number of posts, Tweets, Followers etc. that you have been able to acquire. In addition, you and your team have been extremely accommodating with the release and scheduling issues / hurdles that we faced early on in the project. Furthermore, we are very pleased with all of the updates that you have done to the various sites.
How do you define "over the top success"? For LBCBN it was having the best attended mixer in its history. Seventy-two members and guests turned out Wednesday, March 4th, at The Hilton of Long Beach for the luncheon mixer... Our guest speaker, Matt Skallerud, owner of Pink Banana Media, gave an interesting & informative talk on the newest techniques in marketing your business on line.
After attending Matt Skallerud's excellent seminars on the use of social networking as a marketing tool, HX Media began a test using the Facebook website. We began experimenting with the "fan page" aspect of Facebook when they changed their format - Fan pages now functioned like profiles which enabled us to reach out to our expo attendees in a new, more exciting way. What I didn't expect was how it would change the way I interact with potential clients.
One of the things that I learned from Matt's seminar is that the companies that use these social networking sites is that, generally, there is someone whose job is to monitor the page, check for feedback, and, of course, weed out the nasties who may come and leave derogatory messages. I didn't fully believe, however, that it would lead to any sales leads for our travel expos. After seeing an update from Virgin America Airlines, a client I had been unsuccessfully pursuing for almost 2 years, I decided that I needed to challenge what Matt had been teaching and see if I could use social networking to my favor. I read through the page and saw that they had done a "shout out" message to someone that had posted on their "wall" about applying for a job at Virgin America but he had not received a response of any kind.
"Hmmmm okay...so clearly SOMEONE is reading this stuff. But who?" I pondered as I typed out my message asking the airline to take part in my company's series of expos that targeted the LGBT market. I made note of the key things I needed to get across and kept it brief so as not to be considered spam. I wondered if I would really hear anything back as I headed home that night.
Now, Facebook, as we all know is rather addictive. Even though i had just been on about an hour earlier, I had to log back in and see what I had missed during that time.
One new message.
From the Vice President of Marketing for Virgin America.
They were interested. Would I send them more information about the expos?
Jaw met floor. YES! ABSOLUTELY!
I shot a quick message back promising information to be delivered the following day and was somewhat amazed at the expediency of the response.
Flash forward three weeks later - Virgin America has signed in to appear in five of my travel expos.
One small message on Facebook led to a great sale and a great new business relationship. Yes, I will admit I had some doubts about reaching out to potential clients using this method. But, for me, in this scenario, it worked.
When Matt tells you that people legitimately read the comments you post on their company's fan page, believe it. Without taking his knowledge and challenging it by putting it to use, I probably would have spent my third year spinning my wheels trying to get someone to talk to me about my trade shows.
From Brian Devinney, HX Media and Gay Travel Expo
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