Not far from Indianapolis's Lucas Oil Field lies a 2,800 square foot space that will be the city's social media nerve center for all things tourism on Super Bowl weekend. Around 50 staffers and content curators will address the travel and amenity concerns of those arriving in Indy to attend the big game.
The team consists of college student volunteers and others working for Raidious, a local firm hired by the city's host committee. They will use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Flickr, and a dedicated blog to push out messages about everything from parking to hotel information to emergency safety instructions should anything go wrong.
"It's a little bit more like a broadcast newsroom than it is a call center," Taulbee Jackson, Raidious CEO, tells ClickZ News. "We have two teams. We've got an engagement and moderation team, which handles social listening and response. And then we have a content development team on the other side of the room. [The latter] is going to really bring the event to life by capturing video, photos, and stories through these channels."
Jackson and his team ran a beta test of the social media program when Indianapolis hosted the Big Ten Football Championship in early December. Because of what it learned then, Raidious has partnered with question-and-answer service ChaCha.com to help facilitate fast help for Super Bowl visitors.
"People ask the same question in different ways," the Raidious CEO said. "Cha Cha has given us access to their Q&A database. Our team will be updating the Q&A database on the fly with real-time information... So no matter how a person asks a question, we'll be able to get them the right answer."
To orchestrate the broader program, the team is using a social media management system by the Burlington, MA-based company Awareness. Additionally for the Feb. 5 event, the larger game plan involves social media enhanced kiosks situated around the downtown stadium.
Indianapolis's civic leaders have focused on sports events tourism for decades. In addition to the hugely popular Indy 500 automobile race, this Midwestern city typically hosts a bevy of major college athletics events. Now, the Circle City looks to close the real-time tourism communications loop with a healthy dose of social media.
"This is what it's like to provide a great visitor experience in 2012," Jackson explained. "You can't just be at the airport, on the street, or at the game. You have to be at every touch point, every interaction our visitors have while in Indianapolis."
Here are links to Indianapolis's social media accounts, not including Foursquare - which involves numerous pages:
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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