Forum: How important are social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and mobile phone applications becoming to your casino's slot floor success?
Warren Davidson, director of slots operations, Coushatta Casino Resort, Kinder, La.:
Social media has become a very important tool in connecting to our slot customers and building a positive relationship with them. We only went on Facebook a few months ago, but by last February we had 600 friends, which by June grew to 6,000 friends. Facebook has become a popular conduit of news to our customers. We provide updates on new slots games as we add them, but we also use it to promote other products and services around the casino from food and beverage to entertainment. A recent contest offered only to our Facebook adherents awarded pairs of concert tickets to Martina McBride. Maintaining our Facebook page doesn’t take a lot of time, maybe 10 minutes daily. I kind of enjoy it. Much of that time is spent answering questions about our games and other promotions, or responding to comments like ‘Save some jackpots for me!’ Customer response to our Facebook page has been 99 percent positive.
Brian Cahill, public relations manager, Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, N.J.:
We started using Facebook in early 2009 and it has since become an essential part of our marketing effort. We also now use Twitter and have created our own social media website at MyResortsCasino.com. We use these media to promote new slot games, special slots events, and to alert followers when celebrities may be on premises. Social media is a very nice way to go one-on-one with the customer. Through these sites, we find out what their likes are and promote them according. And the feedback has been very intuitive. We get many ideas for future promotions and the types of prizes we offer with them from our online followers. For the time and money invested, we find social media a much better way to promote customer visits than newspaper ads.
Nick Dillon, assistant general manager, Barona Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.:
We use social media quite a bit to communicate with our customers. Among other things we promote on Facebook include our Friday night Party Pits, where we offer games, cash prizes and music. Each party has a theme like Star Wars, Toga Party and Pajama Party, to name a few. Those getting the word often come dressed for the theme, and they are very likely to play slots and other games coming in and going out. But we also use Twitter to offer special dealers for playing slots at specific times. For instance, if you play during the specified time and give the password provided on our Twitter feed, any winnings are doubled. We currently have more than 4,000 followers on Twitter. We even use YouTube to humanize our employees, making them seem like old friends as the videos show them getting ready for a Party Pit or other event.
Ryan Rogers, public relations manager, Seminole Hard Rock Casino, Hollywood, Fla.:
We use YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to connect with our customers, not only to get them on the slots floor, but also to partake in the other products and services we offer. We report upcoming events, like a June slot tournament with a $150,000 top prize. But we also promote special invitation player parties. And we promote our 25 shops and 18 restaurants, noting special pricing at certain times. Followers can check Facebook for a calendar of events, including all our latest slots and gaming promotions – everything for Hot Seat events where random slot players can win $200 to $1,000 just for being there, to big giveaway events. Overall our use of social media – especially Facebook – has been a big success and well worth the time it takes to maintain our online presence.