The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a Non-profit group that is focused on getting community involvement to make the parks better and more accessible. The goal was to present their work to the public and gain volunteer support and financial support. The slogan of the Charleston Parks Conservancy is “Connecting People with their Parks”.
Random Buzzers.com is a site for writers. This website goal is to connect with a younger demographic and encourage these readers to get excited about books. It is also a place for writers to be exposed to new readers without the constraints of conventional publishing.
Seaworld wanted to build relationships with the roller coaster enthusiasts, build awareness of their new coaster, and increase park attendance.
How are they successful?
The Charleston Parks Conservancy has successfully started community gardens, thrown fund rising parties, renovated parks and has even gotten the public involved in park maintenance. They have also included people on their park blog sites as well as some community adoption of local parks. The Charleston Parks Conservancy’s website is full of photos, showing volunteers and others enjoying the parks.
Random House appears to have an active community utilizing their site. User-generated content fills the site using tools such as Twitter and Facebook. They are able to write reviews of new/hot books as well as comment on writing trends and story ideas. Writers are also able to talk/chat/blog with other writers to exchange notes and tips of the craft of writing.
Seaworld conducted surveys of park visitors, and found that a number of attendees came to ride the Journey to Atlantis coaster after hearing about it online. They were able to establish credibility with coaster enthusiasts, by attending meetings.
How could they Improve?
Charleston utilized a number of tools in their efforts: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs, Google Maps, etc. I didn’t notice any YouTube videos. They may have a little too much info, the site could be overwhelming to some.
Random House should expand to include a link to pages for illustrators. This would allow artists to collaborate with writers on books/stories. This would add value for site users. The site could improve by increasing the appeal to the male audience. My impression is that many of the contributors were primarily female.
Similar to Random House, the folks at Seaworld should now expand their demographic. They initially targeted coaster enthusiasts, but don’t they have other attractions at these parks? Use their coaster enthusiast endorsement to provide evaluations of the overall park and other attractions as well. Was there a gender gap in visitors from this effort? Should they target younger or older groups?
What SM Platforms Were Used? How Were They Utilized?
All three utilized various SM tools. Most of these were mentioned in previous answers, but basically they used: websites, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Google Maps, Veoh, and blogs.
These tools promoted their products and services, while engaging their audience. These should allow users to share their opinions, both positive and negative, not only the companies, but with others as well. User-generated content could then be used to promote the current service and provide feedback that would allow the organization to see where improvements could be made.
Was Social Media Use Effective?
The Charleston site was image heavy and user-friendly, encouraging web visitors to explore their site and, ultimately, the parks themselves. They have postings of many of their public events. These events look well populated, and there are people that were drawn there and invited by the different social media outlets. This is consistent with their mission.
Facebook and twitter seem to be good enough for Random House. The effectiveness of the tools was seen in the amount of content contributed by visitors to the Random Buzzers website.
Overall, it appears that SM was effectively utilized. This was measured through surveys conducted by Seaworld to analyze their promotion costs versus traditional means.
Specific Elements Shared by Campaigns That Could Translate to Other Efforts?
These three sites had varied goals, but through the engagement of people, no doubt created by the social media use, they were able to be involved with many more people (who are likely to act) than by using other means. They all created connections with users that made them feel as though they were a part of an experience. This falls in line with the idea of sustainability, where one should consider a cradle-to-cradle approach.