NYC & Company Talks Twitter

Dear NYC is trending...

Social media moves fast.  And it makes us, as marketers respond even faster.

Gone are the days of writing a 12-month media and promotional plan, giving the agency a green light and kicking back as the consumers roll in.

Social media demands instant and often.

For @nycgo, instant and often popped up last week in the form of a Twitter trending topic…’Dear NYC.’  At the time, and as we so publicly pointed out, NYC & Company seemed happy to let the popular trend pass, but a flurry of tweets, plus a Twitter contest latter, it became clear that NYC & Co took full advantage of this truly viral topic.

Naturally, we had to know more.  How did they react?  What is the internal structure that would allow a quick contest? Was there a lot of red tape involved?

Using the power of Twitter, we finally connected with Jane Reiss, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer for NYC & Company, who was gracious enough to take time out of her day to answer some hard hitting questions.

The ‘Dear NYC’ Twitter trend, like any social trend, came about quite quickly, how did the @nycgo team handle such a fast-moving trend?

It’s rare to see such a spontaneous outpouring of goodwill, even for a destination as great as New York. We knew the clock was ticking and it’s a situation where you have to act fast or not act at all.

Because the trend was not originated from @nycgo, how did the NYCgo team join the conversation and what considerations were made to ensure the participation was authentic (instead of purely promotional)?

Our contest took the form of a “Thank You,” which we felt was the right thing to do given so many people are saying such nice things about you.

Most DMOs / CVBs would have to review or discuss a campaign tactic…potentially requiring several meetings…yet NYCgo has introduced a contest component within the trend in a matter of hours. What internal processes are in place to produce such a quick response?

We definitely had to discuss and review the tactics internally to make sure the strategy was right and that it was executed correctly. Everyone at NYC & Company understood the fleeting nature of the opportunity, so we were able to act quickly.

How was the trend first discovered? Browsing Twitter, keyword alert or other?

A NYC & Company employee spotted it, and forwarded it along to the interactive team to ask if we knew what it was all about. When we realized it was organic, that’s when we began thinking about how we could engage.

What has the reaction been to @nycgo’s participation in the trend?

It’s been great. We were able to generate local blog pickup, and of course the Dear NYC tweets have been pouring in – all overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the City. Mayor Bloomberg (@mikebloomberg) also retweeted the effort from his personal account. (And our eventual winner — @snurp_a_lurp from Kansas — is pretty excited, too.)

From an infrastructure perspective, how many people work within the NYCgo social media department?

Our interactive, marketing, editorial, and communications teams are all heavily involved in NYC & Company’s social media efforts – as is the entire company.

When a new NYC social trend, good or bad, is noticed, what is the process for determining the NYCgo response?

It’s difficult to have a process, per se. But we’re all looking at the networks all the time, and when we see something rise that requires action we act.

Finally, what is the effect of social media at NYCgo? With so many questions from our destination peers about ROI, how does NYCgo characterize the impact of social.

We’re pretty hard-nosed about it. While branding, engagement, and goodwill effects are good – and we know they’re there – we measure all social media efforts against site traffic and value them accordingly. If you get into positive ROI territory on that basis, all the other, less measurable effects become icing on the cake.

Our thanks to Jane, Jim and Emily of NYC & Company for providing their destination peers with an interesting look at instant social response.

Kudos @nycgo team, keep up the good work.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.