Now, I am so done with school you would not believe it. I will probably never enter a classroom again as anything but a teacher, thank you very much. I spent way too much time on the other side of that fence, and the grass is stamped down and dry. Despite my aversion to classroom experiences, I always attend at least six or seven of the education sessions at IAAPA, and in general they are great. At least two or three turn out to be “gems” that make the whole conference worthwhile. Of course I cherry pick the ones that look best and most interesting to me, but isn’t that the point?
This year I get my first chance to organize a session with the intimidating title of Viral Marketing through Social Networks. That is a lot to cover in 90 minutes, but I think I have found just the guys to do it. The speaker we are shooting for is Peter Shankman of Geek Factory in New York. Hey, in our line of work, the word “geek” is a badge of honor. The equally geeky moderator will be Jeff Putz of CoasterBuzz, who will make sure Mr. Shankman doesn’t go over our heads and gives advice practical to the amusement industry.
Not many of us can create the buzz of a Wizarding World of Harry Potter online announcement, or the pass along value of the “Will It Blend” campaign on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of this new media where consumers interact with our brand. The sharing and community building that happens in social networks can be leveraged by anyone who dares to participate.
Linked In, MySpace, Twitter, Penguin (above right), YouTube are all websites like towns you can visit and find your niche. People thrive on finding common interests and often that common interest revolves around how they spend their leisure time. Information is shared in a very friendly and conversational way between friends and isn’t good “word of mouth” the best advertising you can get?