Even if you don’t own a computer, you have likely seen the quickly growing references to Twitter and Facebook on TV. There is a whole domain out there called “social media” that includes this, those Youtube videos you watch and even this blog.
Businesses are trying to tap into this and casino’s are no different. Why do they want to “get social?” The fact is, we are more likely to visit a casino or hotel or city because the friends we trust recommended it than because of a fancy ad on a web page. We are also more likely to avoid it if those we consider knowledgeable have a bad experience.
This has probably always been true but now consumers have a much stronger voice. What we say is amplified by Twitter, Facebook, Toutube, Flickr and blogs. This content can sit on the Internet and be picked up by search engines causing a good or bad review to show up right next to the brand’s web page.
I think this is all very good for consumers but creates new problems for casinos. Like many brands, they can no longer talk “at” us but must now talk “to” us. They have to listen and reply ( or remain silent and let the consumers define what their brand means).
If you use twitter, you will likely see most of the casinos now have a twitter account. They have Facebook fan pages. Some casino’s are starting blogs (I added a few to my blogroll – let me know of others).
Despite this, most still don’t get this social media thing. Many are still talking “at” us with the same content they would have put on a web page or mass email. Talking to them goes unheard. However, others are taking clues from companies in other industries (Starbucks, Dell, Ford ) and actually starting to engage with the customers. (@Technosailor had a good but older post here on the Luxor Hotel) Towns with casinos are also setting up blogs and twitter accounts inviting visitors and sometimes doing a better job than the Casinos themselves (one of my personal favorite is @TunicaMS).
In my next post, I’ll talk more about how you can make use of social media to better engage with your favorite hotel, casino or destination location. If you are a casino, check out some of the links above. I put them in there for you :-)