Video: Sea World’s Social Media Program and Measurement (7:10)

If you’re in need of a vacation, take this roller coaster ride with Shel Israel, who’s on a mission to explore social media when it comes to companies, a topic I’m focused on as a researcher. Sea World worked with Kami Huyse to “move the needle” to reach out to an influence community called “American Coaster Enthusiasts” to reach them using social media tools.

They used YouTube, Flickr to publish their media and encouraged the community to use the videos (creative commons rights) and were encouraging content to be created. You’ll learn that this six week campaign reaches specific downloads and activity, some were downloaded 100,000 times.

What about this makes a good strategy? Sea World found their passion community (many brands have one) figured out how to have a discussion with them using their tools, let go of their own content for it to spread and be used by that community, and resulted in positive increase in product (park visits) usage.

What could they do better? Sea World should involve the coaster enthusiasts to help design, build, and promote the next generation coaster. Sea World could also sponsor their site, hold and event for them, and figure out other ways to make them brand ambassadors.

Towards the end of the video, they make some pretty incredible findings on how people found out about the real-world park through the web.

Also, I recommend you follow Shel’s Israel’s blog, or his Twitter account to learn more the impact of social media on culture.

Is it just me, or did the opening remind you of an older (ok a lot older) version of Johnny Knoxville?

Update: Kami gives an summation of the whole campaign, over a year later. For counterpoint, econsultancy raises important questions about metrics and measurement.