Social Media Hub Will Promote a Fun, Exciting, and Safe Spring Break
Spring Break 2012 in Panama City Beach, Florida will be introducing something new to the half a million students who will flock to the sugar sand beaches this March. The Spring Break ‘capital of the world’ is getting its first-ever social media command center.
So what exactly does that mean?
A team is being assembled to specifically monitor the digital fan conversation primarily via Twitter and Facebook from a designated location right in the heart of Panama City Beach. The communication center will open on March 3 and will run through April 15. The team’s purpose is to act as a personal concierge service to students, in real-time, who are looking for some much needed area information and want a response in a timely manner.
“Social media is how we interact now, especially students attending Spring Break,” said Carm Giardina, a representative of Collegiate Marketing Group, the marketing firm that handles the majority of events in Panama City Beach each year, and will manage the communications hub. “We feel it is absolutely necessary to capitalize on this immediately and take Spring Break to a new level of social interaction.”
As mentioned, in upwards of 500,000 students are expected to hit one of the world’s most beautiful beach locales over a six week period – more people than any other Spring Break destination, domestic or foreign. Many students are visiting for the first time, and so, the necessity for informed communication will be front and center.
In addition to responding to general questions such as directions to the hotel or shopping areas, the team will tweet regular updates regarding Spring Break events, provide information on Panama City Beach’s best attractions (both daytime and nighttime), and will of course be on stand-by to direct people in case of an emergency situation.
“Spring Break is the most exciting week-long adventure of the year for these students, and we want to ensure that their stay is fun, safe, and informative,” said Giardina. “In a way, through doing this, we’re building customer service by keeping students informed and under control.”
Specific twitter hashtags (listed below) will help the social media team identify students in need of help. For example, saying “Where is the closest Wal Mart?” and including the hashtag #PCB2012 will automatically be picked up on and will generate a timely response. Of course, direct messaging @springbreakpcb is always going to work best as that is the official twitter handle of Spring Break in Panama City Beach.
Facebook messages will also be answered, however the team is recommending that students follow the official twitter account and communicate via tweets and direct messages to promote efficiency.
“We will be using Facebook more for posting pictures of daily events and activities, and of course, to show off this absolutely gorgeous destination to all our fans,” said Giardina. The official Facebook fan page for Spring Break in Panama City Beach has amassed nearly 70,000 ‘likes’ to this point, and is steadily increasing. “We have more Facebook fans than any other dedicated Spring Break fan page by far,” continued Giardina. “Therefore, we have a responsibility to feed our fan base the information they crave and to direct traffic to the official Panama City Beach Spring Break website, which will be visited by a record amount of students this year.”
It won’t be a simple operation. The command center will run 15-17 hours per day, seven days a week, and will utilize mobile devices and stationed computers to provide its services.
“We realize we’re entering something new here with this,” said Giardina. “We don’t know any exact numbers of what we’ll be dealing with, but we do know that there is definitely going to be a demand for this service.”
Giardina concluded by saying that “A big part of our mission is to give this idea a shot and establish a really good baseline that future Spring Breaks and (our own marketing) events and programs can learn from.”
For more information on Spring Break in Panama City Beach, please visit http://www.pcbeachspringbreak.com
What to follow and what hashtags to use:
When using Twitter, the best and most efficient way to get a response is to simply follow @springbreakpcb and send a direct message or to include the @ in your tweet.
The following hashtags that the team will pick up on are: