John Hallet from Hyku (we saw him speak at ESTO) recently wrote an interesting case study blog about how a destination can harness the power of existing social networks. In an effort to showcase the stories and photos of its visitors, the The Georgia Aquarium recently e-mailed select Flickr users (those with awesome photos already on Flickr) and invited them to join the aquarium’s Flickr group. These “evangelists” were then asked to submit their favorite photos for inclusion in an interactive map that showcases visitor photos along with stories. >>Full Story
Thoughts// I love this story because of the sheer brilliance of the idea and the simplicity of its execution. Amateur photographers and everyday photo lovers are already congregating and “showing off” their photos on Flickr; so why create an elaborate closed system only available to the small percentage of folks who visit your website versus tapping into the amorphous social media landscape? The aquarium cleverly decided to tap into existing resources on Flickr and leverage both the content and Flickr’s public API to create a very compelling piece of content that will no doubt boost their brand cache for months, maybe years to come.
Whether it’s photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube or personalities on Facebook, consumers are already hanging out in social networks and talking to one another. A brand that is willing to “let go” and jump into the right conversation, at the right time, and for the right reason, will no doubt earn the most trust in the eyes of the consumer.
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