The basic tenants of advertising, marketing and promotion are being redefined as we move into 2010 and beyond. According to advertising agencies around the country a presence on emerging social media platforms is a "top priority" for most businesses! See this fabulous article in Online Media Daily by Joe Mandese, Study Finds Social Nets 'Realistically' Near Top Of 2010 Media Buying Plans.
Funny thing is, I was told just over a year ago by someone considering himself an online expert in Mount Dora that this stuff was for 14 year old's and insomniacs! I just smiled and thought of IBM boardroom execs telling Bill Gates/Microsoft that his software was not important in comparison to the hardware! Nothing like a little closed mindedness to help your company completely "miss the boat!"
Nothing is certain in regards to Social Media except for the obvious fact that it has caught on like wildfire and many of the world's largest corporations are embracing it now and into the future. And you can bet on the continuing evolution of Social Media with changes happening almost daily. My hats off to the many Mount Dora residents and businesses that have gotten on board and taken up the challenge of Social Media.
I was recently interviewed for an article that has made it's way around the online world and kept me busy answering questions from folks who have read the article (Mount Dora man proves Twitter is powerful marketing tool by Rori Paul) and are now contacting me trying to figure this whole thing out. Rori Paul (@roritravel on Twitter), a freelance travel and travel marketing writer, found me on Twitter a few months back and began to follow me. I recall that when I first became aware of her I had less than 2,000 followers on my @MountDora Twitter account. As you can see I am now over 10,000 followers and growing steadily.
What does it all mean? For me the simple answer is "bookings" for Tremain Street Cottages and "lots of internet traffic" for WhatToDoInMountDora.com. And the cost of this style of marketing, a cup of coffee and few pennies a day of electricity and hi-speed wireless internet! But the intangible part of the equation, the stuff that money cannot buy, the connections, the public relations aspect, let me share that with you:
The Twitter connection made with on-air TV personality, Tampa Tribune columnist and top 50 food blogger (in the world), Jaden Hair, has proven to be an ongoing cornucopia of public relations with no end in sight! Jaden is a regular on the syndicated network TV program "Daytime." On September 21st our very own Janet Craig from Mt Dora Sushi Co. (@MtDoraSushi on Twitter) will be on "Daytime" with Jaden exploring the intricacies of Miso soup, and on September 22nd our very own Rachelle Lucas (@Travelblggr on Twitter) will be on "Daytime" making muffins from the recipe of one of our Mount Dora BnB's. Janet and Rachelle will be promoting Mount Dora in a big way on national TV to over 106 stations. How do you put a price on that???
Jaden has posted two blogs (Steamy Kitchen is her blog site) about Mount Dora since visiting us twice now. Her blog receives 150,000 unique visitors per month which is no small number to be sure! She did a nice story on the Uni Shooter recipe from Mt Dora Sushi Co. and a great story on Jim Tuttle's savory souffle recipe. Jim's story and recipe also ended up in the Sunday edition Life section of the Tampa Tribune last weekend in addition to their online version one week prior to that. The Uni Shooter story has an eco-friendly side that will likely get it into the prestiguous "Florida Aquarium" magazine. As I write this even more fabulous opportunities with Jaden are emerging, stay tuned for exciting details.
Freelance writer and Twitter contact Rori Paul (@roritravel on Twitter) has written a number of Mount Dora related articles that I will list below:
1. Mount Dora man is role model for using Twitter marketing.
2. Mount Dora man proves Twitter is powerful marketing tool.
3. Mount Dora's Tremain Street Cottages: In the heart of things!
Mount Dora Examiner and Twitter contact Jeff Titelius (@JeffTitelius on Twitter) has written six Mount Dora articles which you may read on his Examiner page.
Orlando Sentinel "Animal Crazy" columnist and Twitter contact Daphne Sashin (@DSashin on Twitter) wrote about "Yappy Hour" in Mount Dora after accepting our invitation on Twitter to come up and check it all out.
And these are just a few of the examples I can point to regarding the ongoing promotion for Mount Dora resulting from Twitter contacts I have made in the past six months. It is difficult to put a dollar amount on all of the above and the continuing promotion we are receiving 24/7 resulting from all of this Social Media interaction. Especially since all of the above was unknown and unintended. Now that "what is possible" is a known quantity you can bet I will ride this promotional horse as far as it will go! Stay tuned for updates and more exciting opportunities on the horizon!
Ciao from Mount Dora,