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What Can Las Vegas Teach You About Social Media?

I spent the past weekend in Las Vegas celebrating my birthday and somewhere amongst the fog of smoke, the glitter and lights; I found some perspective. Hey, this big fat marketing machine of hotels, casinos, and the whole gambling industry can teach us all a little something about social media.

As I was walking down the strip, it was apparent that each hotel is like its own social network. They all have a unique theme and concept and as soon as you enter one hotel, you’re not just entering a place to stay for the night. It’s an entire experience. Furthermore, once you’re inside of a hotel, all your needs can be met without ever having to leave until it’s time to depart. There is a reason why Las Vegas is nicknamed “Lost Wages” and that’s the marketing lesson that we need to capture.

Select a name that draws people in: With names like Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Paris, The Venetian, Mandalay Bay etc., one can only imagine what’s on the other side and what’s lying in wait just beyond the entry door. Once you pick a name, stake your claim across all monikors (even if you don’t end up using them), make sure your brand identity is known on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, etc. Look for a name that well represents your brand and isn’t an abbreviation that customers have to figure out.

Extend your brand into an experience: If you walk into a Vegas hotel (any hotel), you’ll notice that the name matches the theme inside. For this trip I was at Caesar’s Palace and stayed at the new Octavius Tower. The hotel is filled with Greek God statues, Greek column, painted a robust bright white and a dark brown. The rooms themselves had laurel design patterns with earthy tones and highlights of lime green. The entertainment center was appropiately named “The Colosseum.” Figure out what your brand tone is and provide users with that experience when they visit your social networks, your store, or whatever it is that your brand sells.

Reward your customers and keep them coming back for more: What makes Vegas work? You, your money, and how much of it you spend gambling. So how do they keep you there? By making it easy to gamble, by placing a gambling machine immediately in front of you, by creating a warm and inviting environment, by offering drink service, etc. Most importantly, players are rewarded via a rewards card system. If you’re a frequent gambler, you probably know what I’m talking about. The more money you spend, the more you get i.e. free rooms, free drinks, free food, etc. In Vegas, these are called comps. You can figure out your own system by rewarding frequent customers, frequent visitors of your page, and those that show the most interest in your brand online by tweeting photos of themselves with your brand. A comp system should be a part of every budget plan and provides more of a return than any form of marketing.

Create lots of entry points and be accessible: In Vegas, it’s easy to get from one hotel to another, you can access it via brigde, get to it by another hotel, enter via the front desk, enter the back way, and any other way possible. How accessible is your brand? Is there a contact number visible? Are you on the major networks and is a response plan in place? If you’re on the social networks, you also need a way to be reached in case there are questions, comment, concerns, or something you need to be paying attention to.

What’s your Vegas approach to social media? Let us know in the comments below.

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