Posted in SocialMedia

Turn Marketing into a Game!

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A few examples about how to use the power of social media to restructure and engineer a shift from the boring marketing and advertising standards to something that will really bring a younger more talkative audience to your business!

Below are just three categories so you can get ideas for outside-the-box thinking.   My suggestions are merely seeds, you add the passion, energy, and brainstorming with your staff and see how far you can take it.

Museums & Art Galleries

Does your business rely upon membership fees or wealthy investors?  See much traffic?  If your museum or art gallery could use a boost in customer volume to keep those customers coming back and keep your investors interested try infusing a bit of gaming into your strategy.  If you haven’t read the book Chasing Vermeer, you’re missing out!  Its a great story about Petra and Calder, two sixth graders who unravel a mystery about a stolen work of art.  The book creatively blended fiction and Art with a splash of history.  This book created an interest revival in Art history for children.  My wife read this book to our family and we were enthralled.  The best part is it encourages young people to learn research techniques, and involve their minds and hands in a wonderful set of shapes called Pentominos (mathematical puzzle pieces).  The idea generated sales in the Pentominos game and an increase in Art gallery visitations.  My son had to have a set of Pentominos and we ended up renewing our membership to the Josyln Art Museum.

Take a thoughtful pause about your museum or gallery and ask yourself, what ways can we incite a revival in (you fill in the blank?)  Use your Facebook Fan page and your Twitter account to kick off your new initiative.  Have your local newspaper write an article and engage a local college student to assist for academic credit.  There are lots of ways to spread your advertising budget and your time without spending a ton of money!

Bed & Breakfast

The winter months are sometimes hard on the tourism industry, especially with the economy in its current state.  So, what are you doing about it?  Don’t just shrug your shoulders and continue staring at the phone, email inbox and entrance to your establishment!  Create an exciting game to encourage local people to book a short stay-cation!  With the price of gasoline and road conditions you should be able to attract a steady clientele.   The popularity of 3G and 4G wireless technology has created great opportunities for everybody to get into the geocaching game!

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One book to help you and your family learn about it in more detail is The Joy of Geocaching by Paul and Dana Gillin.  Once again, think about creating a contest for your stay-cation customers.  Drop a piece of paper with a sentence (number each one so the finder can put sentences in order when all six are found) in each of six Easter Eggs hidden throughout your town/city.  Make the finder of all six post the completed paragraph on your Facebook Fan page in order to win the prize.  You’ll find many of your local business will get excited and want to jump on the bandwagon–especially if you drop one of the eggs off at their business office.  The idea is to encourage your customers not only to patronize your business for its products and services, but to get your customers to help build your brand and establish a reputation as a local community leader. You’ll definitely increase your market share.


According to the New York Times article “Tables Turn” restaurants were hard hit during the recession.  A fair share of them noticed the reservation books with quite a few open tables!  Why not create a shift in your staffing?  Add a rotating position that allows you to invite a recent cooking school graduate or bring a guest chef on staff from one of the cooking shows like those hosted on The Food Network to come and work at your restaurant for a couple of weeks.  A small billboard in your restaurant window, an announcement and picture on your Facebook Fan page, a few Tweets and a point system on Foursquare and you’ve created an attraction few other restaurants offer.

I wish success and the best in your exciting business ventures for 2011!



Eternal Optimist, Writer, Music Lover, Avid Gardener, Science & Tech Admirer, Cook, Baker and Social Networking Encourager

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