Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Live From Mexico: It's Twitter Time!

If you're skeptical about the rainmaking prowess of well-followed bloggers and Twitter-hosted social virtual events, consider the investment made by one high-end luxury resort along Mexico's Pacific coast, as reported by travel writer Harvey Chipkin. Earlier this month, the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Puerto Vallarta invited the hosts of weekly Twitter party #TNI (Travelers Night Inn) from Ohio to an all-expenses paid tweetup where the three young women who go under the name "The GoGirls" at a website called conducted their weekly tweetup from the comforts of the posh resort. #TNI includes about 400 participants every Thursday afternoon, producing more than 4,000 tweets per session about travel-related topics and issues. The resort tweetup included commentary about the resort destination and highlights of resort executive interviews. The resort was the first to host #TNI, hoping to generate more honeymoon, girls getaways and other Gen Y excursions. The tweetup was announced on three weeks prior, with special "Girls Getaway" packages created for #TNI attendees. As a way to document and further leverage the tweetup, the resort also invited traditional travel media such as National Geographic Traveler and Travel Girl Magazine. In addition, many travel bloggers also included posts about the event. Based on follow up metrics, the #TNI Tweetup saw a total of 3,361 tweets during the 90-minute session, representing 405 unique users and a whopping one million unique impressions. After the tweetup event, the GoGirls posted their experiences on blogs, published photo essays and video interviews from the hotel and the destination on their Facebook and Twitter social networks. Props to the resort's Miami-based public relations firm, KWE & Partners, for their innovative digital rainmaker mindset and effective use of social media marketing.

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