Mall of America, located in Bloomington Minnesota, is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary this year! The mall has over 520 retail stores, hosts 400 events each year, and has 40 million visitors annually*…yes, 40 million! With that amount of traffic one can only begin to imagine the amount of online chatter the MOA staff has to monitor and be a part of. The focus isn’t just the brand of Mall of America, their attention is spread across the entire portfolio. This includes their retail partners, entertainment attractions, restaurants, and property features…including the parking lot! Specific to the parking situation, they implemented a system to help aid MOA visitors in finding parking spots on the property, via Social Networking.
Lisa Grimm, Digital Brand Manager, took hold of the MOA social media efforts in 2009. I remember it being shortly after a Social Media breakfast I had attended where she was the moderator. She made a very good impression…an ideas person and a go-getter, so it doesn’t surprise me that they have flourished. Their Facebook Fan base is over 308, 000 and on Twitter they have over 12,000 Followers. It is fun to stay connected with them on Facebook & Twitter, and to watch the interaction they have with fans around the world!
1. How long have you been using Social Networking for your business?
2. Is your business using Facebook &/or Twitter?
Absolutely! In addition to Facebook and Twitter, we use WordPress for the MOA Blog (www.mallofamerica.com/blog), SMS (text) and location-based services.
3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?
We love both. Each tool is a unique vehicle to learn about the sentiment around the Mall of America brand and have conversations with guests about the things that matter to them.
4. Do you post daily?
We produce an average of two blog posts, four Facebook posts, six tweets each day.
5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?
As an individual and as someone who manages social media for a brand, I enjoy the ability to connect right now with anyone in the world. There is an incredible amount of power in this; for individuals and for brands.
6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?
There is tremendous power in the ability to have conversations in real-time with anyone in the world.
7. How do you measure Social Networking, and explain.
All of our marketing-communications efforts have KPIs (key performance indicators) and metrics behind them. We like to know what investments, whether monetary or time, work and how to improve upon those that don’t perform well. Our social media engagement is no exception, so we plan and develop strategy and tactics for outcomes we can examine, whether a campaign or an overarching long-term project.
8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?
This is hard, and I’m pretty sure if you asked our team each would struggle to highlight just one. We love when people share their memories, photos and videos of their experiences at Mall of America. We have the great fortune to manage social media at a destination where people’s eyes light up when they walk in. It’s wonderful to see it captured, shared and discussed online.
9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?
Don’t participate in social media unless you’re a customer-centric/people-centric individual or business. The point of social media and/or real-time communication mediums is to have a conversation and develop relationships with people. It cannot be automated, or I should say shouldn’t be automated, because humanity isn’t automated. If you don’t understand this, it won’t fare well.
*Mall facts: http://www.mallofamerica.com/about/moa/facts
Facebook: Mall of America
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