The era of Facebook likes equaling free wall space is about to officially go away. Posts from businesses will no longer appear on the walls of users that have liked your page—unless you have payed for that privilege. In a report from Will Oremus with Slate, declining organic reach along with over-crowded user feeds has Facebook looking for significant ways to ensure users stay happy and using. Branded messaging from advertisers and promotional clutter is low-hanging fruit.
“Brands are going to have to be more strategic in their use of Facebook, and think carefully about the content they are creating, when they post, and how they promote that post across Facebook’s network,” says Ewan Spence with Forbes.
The shift from free to premium is in motion, and this brief summary from Mashable is a great glimpse at how small changes to algorithms on the back-end have already been steadily decreasing organic reach.
The days of Facebook being the default, free channel are coming to an end. Great content will still be shared, liked, and passed along, but it might require a bit more thinking and paying upfront. For venues that have worked hard for those 50,000+ likes, figuring out how to stay in front of that audience is going to require some fresh thinking … and funding.
Disney’s new vacation planning system, MyMagic+ (MM+), is the latest (and most expensive?) experiment in data-driven crowd management. The system centers on waterproof, eye-catching wristbands that are loaded with all of the personal data and transaction capabilities needed to deliver an unprecedented guest experience. Guests can pre-book ride times, meet and greets with characters, dining reservations, and even VIP parade seats. The wristbands, currently only available to Disney Resort guests, also serve as room keys and payment devices throughout the parks and properties.
This new opportunity for guests to opt-in and customize their trip is the next step in Disney’s evolving guest experience. Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts commented to USA Today that, “By doing MyMagic+ we’re implicitly upping our promise to our guests. To the extent that we can have everyone who goes to the parks feel like a VIP, then I think we’ve hit a home run.”
This level of data-usage is new territory, for the venue and the guest. Imagine costumed characters greeting a guest by name and wishing them a happy birthday. Or being able to track crowd movement dynamically throughout the venue. The new opportunities created by this data, according to Douglas Quimby, vice president for research at PhoCusWright, “could radically change interaction between customers and the company.”
Financially, the anticipated benefits are significant. Again, from Business Week: “When you make [the logistics] easier, people tend to spend more time on entertainment and more time on consumables—be that food and beverage, merchandise, etc.,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said in a November investor call. “We do expect this to be a … growing positive impact on our business in the years to come.”
Venues take note. This program is a well-designed, heavily-funded experiment in better linking guest data with personal onsite experiences. If the program is trustworthy and resonates with guests, this might be a defining step forward for the future of customized guest experiences … in your venues, too.
Live music is returning to Juarez, Mexico, and this is a very visible sign of progress for “the world’s most violent city”(2010). From a recent NPR report by Steve Inskeep:
Conditions have improved enough that Intocable returned to Juarez. The Texas border band … played a concert in a Juarez baseball stadium on Saturday, March 8. To be precise, it was actually Sunday, March 9, because Intocable did not take the stage until well after midnight. While the warm-up acts were playing, Intocable lead singer Ricky Muñoz welcomed us into his tour bus. In recent years, the popular group has played in Mexico City, Central America, even Colombia and beyond, but Juarez was impossible. “As a matter of fact, they weren’t doing events,” Muñoz said. “Seven years we haven’t been here.”
Read or listen to the full NPR report.
There was a lot of news this past week. Here are some stories that caught our eyes.
Lessons in Event Planning From a Rock Concert
“Every planner wants his or her next meeting to have the same hype and entertainment value as a concert. Steal these five ideas from a recent concert to make your next event a sellout.”
Is Broadway Being Destroyed by Hollywood?
—The Daily Beast
“Yes, it’s quite possible we are only a few years away from Breaking Bad: The Musical.”
New CEIR Report Indicates Attendees Spend Nearly $45 Billion, Exhibitors Close to $25 Billion at Events
—Trade Show News Network
“The findings are based on the more than 11,000 exhibitions that CEIR tracks from 3,000 net square feet and have at least 10 exhibiting companies to the largest exhibitions in the U.S.”
Bizarre Viking food? Andrew Zimmern Working on Menu for New Stadium
“How do you think Vikings fans would like uncurdled tofu soup? Fried caiman tail? A frog smoothie?”
Happy People are More Productive—Especially if You Give Them Chocolate
“Economists at the University of Warwick have found happiness increases productivity by around 12%.”
Anyone interested in innovative ways to manage should head over to Quartz to read a great story about how Chipotle is transforming the way it hires and promotes employees.
“In 2005, the U.S. company underwent a transformation that would make its culture as distinct as its food,” Max Nisen wrote. “As more than 1,000 stores opened across the U.S., the company focused on creating a system where promoting managers from within would create a feedback loop of better, more motivated employees. That year, about 20% of the company’s managers had been promoted from within. Last year, nearly 86% of salaried managers and 96% of hourly managers were the result of internal promotions.”
The best performing stores, in fact, are ones that have managers that have risen up from crews. However, store sales aren’t what gets you a raise or promotion. It’s how well a manager mentors others.
To start off, every Chipotle employee must have these 13 characteristics before being hired:
“The idea was to come up with a list of traits you can pick up on in a relatively short meeting,” Nisen wrote. “Inexperienced managers tend to look for the person who can help right away rather than indicators of long term success, [Co-CEO Monty] Moran says.”
Please read the story to learn more about how the company is promoting a culture founded on each employee helping the people around them be better.
Do you have a similar list of traits you look for when hiring employees at your venues? How often do you promote from within? Please share your stories with us in the comments section.