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Kevin McNulty is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of iaapa.org/iaapaexpo, an agency that works with multiple industries, including attractions, to amplify their marketing through effective social media. Based in Southwest Florida, Netweave found its way into the attractions industry through an aviation museum that connected the company with the Florida Attractions Association. In this interview, Kevin talks about social media strategy, connecting with people vs. logos, and using social media to drive culture.
Social media strategy
“The number one strategy of social media is to be the kind of company people want to say good things about.”
Regardless of the industry, the most important aspect of social media marketing is building a relationship with your audience. Part of this is ensuring that the messaging is not only specific and relevant, but also speaks the language of that segment of the industry. For example, attractions with animals under their care should ensure to say “habitat” instead of “cage” and “pool” instead “tank,” otherwise it may misalign from the organization’s mission.
Social media is a two-way street, and attractions must balance their outbound messaging with their inbound posts from their guests, and you don’t get to decide what your guests are talking about online. Instead, it is critical to regularly be monitoring your social media channels so that you can respond quickly, rather than limiting your strategy to one-way communication with your audience.
Connecting with people vs. logos
“People want to connect with people. They don’t want to connect with logos.”
If you had a celebrity spokesperson, who would it be? This is the question that Netweave asks new clients during the onboarding process to define the brand voice that will weave its way into social media marketing. By unifying the brand voice, the messaging becomes consistent, whether it is done through a third party like Netweave or a team of people on your staff.
People follow you on social media to connect with the brand in ways that they aren’t able to in traditional marketing. If your images are all professional photos that are perfectly posed and your posts are always carefully crafted ad copy, it doesn’t have the same appeal as a more humanized voice that enables conversation with your audience.
Using social media to drive culture
“One of the great things about social media is that it can convert fans into evangelists… and it can do the same thing for employees.”
At the 2023 Florida Attractions Association conference, Kevin and Matt presented a breakout session that introduced a concept that they developed together that ties into both social media and employee retention. They suggested that frontline employees be given a 15-minute “brand ambassador” shift that allowed them to leave their positions and capture photos that can be used for social media content. This would enable them to approach guests and take pictures of families, while also amplifying the amount of content that the social media team can use online.
In addition to the marketing-related benefit, it also is intended to make employees feel more valued in the organization, knowing that they are contributing to a goal that extends beyond their immediate job duties. And in addition to social media, they would also be encouraged to document anything that they see out of place, such as paint chipping or a landscaping issue that needs to be reported.
Kevin and Matt both look forward to learning how operators implement this within their organization and seeing the results that can come from it.
This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:
- Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
- A/V editing by Abby Giganan