Startup community news from Houston, Texas, USA

June Social Media Breakfast Roundup: Social Media + Tourism

June Social Media Breakfast Roundup: Social Media + Tourism

On Friday, June 13th, Social Media Breakfast returned to Canopy Restaurant, where 50+ marketing pros and entrepreneurs learned about social media and tourism from:

Ryan Draper, Interactive Marketing Coordinator, Houston Zoo
Carl Foy, Marketing Manager, Traders Village Houston
Leah Cast, Public Relations Manager, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

For the last three years, Social Media Breakfast has been a nexus for Houston entrepreneurs in PR and Marketing. They frequently feature startups and other tech companies to help Houstonians understand the nuances of social media.

Below are some of the key takeaways from each speaker.

From Ryan Draper of the Houston Zoo:

  • It is tough to talk about events that never happened.
  • Know who your audience is, and what they want when. For instance, the Houston Zoo knows that it’s target audience is 25 – 34 year old women.
  • The zoo is a naturally content-rich atmosphere, so it has that going for it.
  • Draper has a 2 hour crisis plan for dealing with a situation: 1) Be calm, 2) Draft a response, 3) Be on the same page as your team/have consistency, 4) Be personable, and 5) Keep an eye on traffic.
  • It is important to separate disapproval from dishonesty. For instance, the Houston Zoo Facebook page keeps disapproving posts on its page, but deletes ones based on false information, not grounded in facts.

“Find your baby animal,” Draper said. The Houston Zoo has found that baby animal posts are quite popular with its Facebook audience on its Facebook page. However, while it is important to find your baby animal and hold onto it, you have to make sure to spread your posts out. The Houston Zoo does not post a photo of a baby animal on a daily basis; rather, it adds in posts in between, such educational ones about different animal species.


Carl Foy of Trader’s Village Houston:

  • You need to give people reasons to engage with your business.
  • People like standing in front of professional cameras; most people are excited to have their photos taken. Traders Village Houston has taken photos of its customers and posted it on its Facebook page.
  • So… add a personal touch to your social media!
  • Sometimes, some people want hate you as some people want to like you. The people in the middle ground are not as strongly engaged on your social media.
  • Try not to take things personally. In fact, for your business to grow, you need to hear the bad things too.

Leah Cast of GICVB:

  • Pay attention to your audience and know what they want. Noticing a trend?
  • Contest giveaways related to your brand are great – for instance, designer Elaine Turner made a “Strand Tote,” which was inspired by Galveston’s historic Strand. GIT gave one of the purses away in a contest, PLUS a stay in The Tremont House and VIP attraction passes for 4. GIT also did a video feature with the designer, in which she talked about what she loves about Galveston and her inspiration for the purse.
  • A great hashtag can make a difference! GIT uses #LoveGalveston on its Facebook page.
  • If people make dishonest statements on GIT’s page, GIT doesn’t delete them – rather, it responds to them to show why those statements are not true.

Here’s what people tweeted during the event (#smbhouston):