We all have our favorite memories from when we were young. Some sentiments may include visiting a favorite amusement park and if you were like me, you visited Knott’s Berry Farm multiple times throughout the year. To this day, Knott’s carries the same historical touch that gives you the sense of being transported into the times of the old west.
While the look of the Knott’s park remains the same, they have been very busy behind the scenes actively applying social media to their marketing plan. They recently opened their doors for a private event, Knott’s Photo Walk, as a way of expanding their brand awareness online. A select group of professional photographers and social media practitioners were given the opportunity to explore the park before hours. During the private event, attendees separated into groups and toured seasonal decor behind the scenes, visited the bakery and sampled boysenberry pies, took a ride on the train and/or learned about the history of Knott’s. The small group of people captured their day with smart phones and shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few.
Previous social media-driven events have had a reach in the millions, said Joel Tanner, Co-Founder and Principal at Gigasavvy. “Social media is a great way to reach out to people. It’s natural, not harsh advertising. It’s not pushy.” Joel went on to say, ” You are just reminding people that there is something great here. And the reality is if people didn’t like it, they are not going to share it, so it’s very authentic and true to form.” GigaSavvy, an Orange County based marketing firm, has successfully helped Knott’s build their brand online using social media. Since June of 2011, the Knott’s Facebook fan base has increased from 30k to 170k and is still rising in numbers.
Joel explained, “A lot of brands are scared to engage and personify their brand, because it’s real time and real time is scary for most companies. The reality is in today’s world, not just social, but the entire company has to be real time. If someone is criticizing you or praising you, you want to be able to respond right away. Whether it is a fan or unhappy person, if you respond right away and show them love you can turn them around. You will likely turn them into your best brand ambassador. It’s about customer service. Everything about social, is customer service.”
You can enjoy photos from the private event by clicking here or take a look at a few below. I was able to interview Knott’s Historian, Eric Lynxwiler and he shared the most common misconception about Knott’s Berry Farm.
Knott’s is currently working on events that are open to the public. To learn more about an upcoming Mother’s Day Brunch, visit their website at Knotts.com.