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|Facebook profiles help city businesses, Tombstone doesn't 'Like' social media trend|
|Written by Krystin Sorich|
|Thursday, 08 March 2012 01:23|
George Barnes, Tombstone city clerk and city manager, said the town uses basic Internet, but hasn’t used social media for promotion.
“It’s intuitive, that it’s a good thing to do, but there is no real evidence in terms of how well it works,” Barnes said, adding that it’s tough to count how many dollars you make from your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Cost is one of the reasons the town is not actively using social media. Barnes said even though one of the advantages of social media is that it’s free, but to do it correctly, you have to pay someone to stay on top of it and keep it running.
“We’re an instant gratification society now, and when you type something into a social media site, you expect a hit back immediately, and not tomorrow,” he said.
Laura Shade, a Bird Cage Theatre tour guide, said that the theater had a Facebook page under a previous manager, but now, the theater isn’t active social media.
“There just isn’t time,” Shade said. “And we don’t have anyone to run it.” She said she believes social media would be wonderful to have, if they had the time and people to manage it effectively.
Despite social media’s positive aspects, some are still wary of its’ negative ones.
If someone wants to badmouth you, they can do it very easily on these sites, Barnes said.
Hank and Jann Bengel, owners of Silver Strike Winery in Tombstone, said their business does not warrant social media outside of its website.
“Friends of ours have had major problems with social media,” Jann Bengel said. She said that some people will go on these sites and say “nasty” and “untrue” comments, and she personally doesn’t have the time to go on and edit everything others may post.
Even Twitter, which doesn’t allow people to post on users’ pages, has its own dangers.
“Twitter is now selling all your old Tweets to marketers,” Hank Bengel said. “And that is just one reason we do not use social media.”
However, other businesses in town use social media sites on a daily basis.
Tombstone’s Gunfighter and Ghost Tour’s owner Mike Jones said his business can be found on social media sites such as Facebook.
“I think it’s very effective,” Jones said. “I get most of my bookings off of Facebook and my webpage.”
Jones said he figured out a simple way to gauge how well his social media marketing tactic is working; after his ghost tour, he asks his guests to complete a survey, asking how they heard of the tour, and many guests report they learned of his tour via social media.
Jones said guests will go on the business’ Facebook site, and post discussions of their ghost tour experience, talking about what they felt and saw on the tour. Discussions like this spike more public interest in the tour.
Jones has a person who manages his social media sites and said expense is not an issue because it pays for itself in profits.
Currently, the town advertises in places such as the Phoenix Travel Journal and the Army relocation book and in other media.
“We do a lot of promotion in radio around here and to the Tucson TV market and it seems to work pretty well.,” Barnes said. “It’s affordable, and we can keep up with it.”
Tombstone may move toward more social media in the future.
Barnes mentioned that the town is talking about using social media internationally, because Tombstone has a substantial following in Europe.
“It’s a matter of how do I know I’ve got my money’s worth out of it,” Barnes said of advertising.
He said if the weather is warm, the town streets are full, but social media can’t be overlooked. “Look at what it’s done in politics,” Barnes said. “It’s a huge function."
Here are a few Tombstone business that are connected to social media (Facebook):
Tombstone’s Gunfighter & Ghost Tour - http://www.facebook.com/gunfighterandghost
O.K. Corral- http://www.facebook.com/OK.corral
Crystal Palace Saloon- http://www.facebook.com/pages/CRYSTAL-PALACE-SALOON/358991782681?ref=ts
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon- http://www.facebook.com/bignosekatessaloon
Doc Holliday’s Saloon - http://www.facebook.com/DocHollidaysSaloon
Tombstone Vigilantes- http://www.facebook.com/tombstoneVigilantes
Boothill Graveyard- http://www.facebook.com/boothilltombstone
The Haunted Tombstone Motel (Tombstone Motel- 502 E. Fremont St, Tombstone, AZ 85638)- http://www.facebook.com/HauntedMotel
Helldorado Town- http://www.facebook.com/helldoradoTown
Tombstone Gunfighters- http://www.facebook.com/tombstonegunfighters