by Sophie Rich
I have chosen to interview EnterTRAINment Junction’s Marketing Manager, Michelle Oeters. Michelle has been one of my managers and co-workers for almost the last four years. She has always been very energetic and enthusiastic about EnterTRAINment and their involvement with their customers. She is in charge of handling the EJ Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account and often helps out with the main website.
EnterTRAINment Junction is the world’s largest indoor train display featuring over 25,000 square feet of track (and they are always making new additions and displays)! It is a very family friendly environment and completely interactive for all ages. The marketing for EJ is mostly done during a time when they are putting on new specials or displays for pass-holders or even first time guests! Michelle has been very successful with interacting with customers via the Facebook page, and has many years experience in doing so. I was very glad she had the time to answer some questions for me.
SR: Why do you think social media is important in building consumer engagement?
Michelle Oeters: Social media is important because it gives the consumer “instant access” to the company. They can ask questions and engage with the company which allows for a more personable experience. The more they feel like they know the company, the more engaged they will be and vice versa.
SR: What companies/organizations do you think are “doing it right” when it comes to social media? Why?
MO: I’ve always admired Scene 75 in Dayton, OH. They’re an entertainment facility and they built up such a huge following before even opening their doors. They were personable in their posts and built up the support and community before even opening which is a powerful thing.
SR: Would you please explain a recent social media campaign conducted by EnterTRAINment Junction?
MO: We’ve spent very, very little on actual campaigns, but we have done an ad/promoted post here and there. The easiest and cheapest way we’ve promoted our brand is through contests. We’ll have people share, tag, like, etc. which is of no cost to us and we get a lot of marketing out of it. If people can get FREE anything, they will respond instantly and promote it.
SR: What people/organizations do you follow to stay up-to-date on social media trends and why?
MO: Some of the pages EnterTRAINment follows and compares to are other area attractions–Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium, Scene 75, Pump it Up, etc. We know we can never compete with the zoo or aquarium, but it gives us something to aspire to and to see what they’re doing. We still like to see what other small places are up to and see if they have any good ideas… check out what the competition is doing.
SR: What would you say is the first step in successfully gaining followers and attention when creating a social media account for a business/organization?
MO: It’s all about HYPE and getting people excited about it! The easiest way in the beginning is to invite your friends and family and have other coworkers invite their friends and family. If you can get people excited about it and sharing it with others, it’s like a ripple effect and more people will know about it.
SR: What social media platform is most useful in regards to EJ?
MO: My personal favorite and most successful is our Facebook page. I like it because there is no limit on content (unlike Twitter) and you can easily engage with consumers privately or publicly if they have questions. You can post anything– blogs, photos, videos, reviews, etc. and it’s great!
SR: What is one piece of advice you would give to a budding social media specialist?
MO: Try to work a cute bunny into your posts. Just kidding. Seriously though, you would be surprised at what things are popular. Sometimes I spend a good deal of time on a post and put in the effort to do a video or something and no one likes it or shares it. If I take a picture of a cute bunny outside on the train tracks, people “like” it and share it like crazy! Get to know your audience and make it personable. People will be more engaged if they feel like they know you and can get behind the business or cause.
(See Fresh Perspective’s 15 Ways to Get to Know Your Target Audience)
It is very important to get people excited about whatever you are promoting. Even more than that, it is important to make an effort to get to know your audience (so you can successfully interact and promote)! If you are more personable and appear to be a real person, and not just a robot behind a screen, you will be more successful in social media promotions and campaigns. Along with this, it is also good to keep up with other accounts and have goals and aspirations of what you want your success to look like one day.
It is important for an aspiring social media specialist such as myself to hear all of this and realize sometimes the things I put the most time into, won’t always be the things everyone else wants to put their time into. One day, I’ll find what my audience likes and it will all begin to click and make more sense after that! It is important for me to be excited and passionate about whatever I am promoting–because if it makes me hyped, it will make the type of audience I want to attract hyped as well.