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Dr. Dave and Casino Twitter Usage

By MikeE on Thursday, 17th June 2010 3:20am
  » filed under The Internets  comments: 3


Ah, the early(ish) days of Twitter. The days when The Admiral actually scored the brilliantly simple handle of @Hunter (he was the 903rd person to sign up for the service) and my only complication was an underscore in my account name (as opposed to signing up now and being forced with a handle like Mike_EdaQT3.14). Those were the days when people really didn't know what Twitter was for and aimlessly tweeted, "OMG, this line at Starbucks is soooo long" and @VegasConcierge was more of a service than an ad sending service for MGM Mirage Resorts International.

Since that time, casinos have gradually joined the bandwagon and we've kept an eagle eye out on how they've used the service to further promote themselves and aid guests. And now, the always brilliant, always insightful Dr. Dave Schwartz with the UNLV Center for Gaming Research has released an immensely fascinating study for those of us who have taken special interest in new marketing and customer service strategies for casino resorts. You can find the PDF file here.

The numbers tell us plenty. To me, Twitter has always been about personal interaction with the guests, addressing their problems, and welcoming them to the resort. In 4000-room monoliths, this has provided the casinos with a small, personal touch while at the same time, given guests a direct and immediate public voice. Because of this, the results under positive and negative interactions as well as informational - sections most directly related to customers labeled INT+, INT-, and INFO - were of greatest interest to me.

Totaling numbers within these sections, we find that nearly 72% of all tweets by @WynnLasVegas within the window of the time surveyed were in personal, positive reaction to twitter users and guests. @phVegas came in at 59% while @TheMirageLV came in at 57% though they were most engaging overall. A surprise contender, @ExcaliburVegas, came in fourth with 43% in personal interaction. Well done to these teams.

But Twitter's also got its major disadvantages - numerous retweets, hashtags, and follow Fridays that get annoying. Coming in at 20 retweets and 2 affiliate retweets in a total of only 25, @hardrockhotellv is almost as annoying as tag teaming tweetwhores while @LasVegasHilton and @CasinoRoyaleLV's whopping number of hashtags will train you to automatically glance over their tweets before inevitably unfollowing them. Unfortunately, @TheMirageLV is the most frequent retweeter of all which buries hidden their excellent personal interaction. One shining glimmer of light: only four "Follow Fridays" throughout the span of the study - it's about time that practice dies.

Conclusion? If you're a casino fanatic who's just signed up for Twitter or are looking to start following casinos in general, may we suggest @WynnLasVegas, @phVegas, and @TheMirageLV.

If you've found anything else interesting in these findings, leave them in the comments below! And of course, thanks to Dr. Dave for his most excellent research!

Tagged: twitter   wynn las vegas   mirage   hard rock   


Comments & Discussion:

I'd just add that interaction is good, but ads aren't necessarily bad. I'd rather find out about a sweet room deal than see a RT about the off-the-hook night someone had at a club. I'm thinking about adding another axis of data: content vs. fluff. But I don't know how to quantify this, so maybe not.

without having the numbers myself, I'd definitely agree with your choice of best twitter accounts at those three and I would have rated Excal fourth as well. Although I do think a fair number of ph's tweets were pre-Harrahs takeover, where now with all accounts run by one person, they are mindless tweets of drivel and attack ads against other resorts. My favorites are when I see 6 different tweets on the buffet of buffets.

I'll say it again: If random people I don't know aren't having a good time at your property, then you won't be in business for long, so retweets of people I will never know and don't care about mean nothing. I could see RTing a celebrity endorsement, but not the same sandwich-deprived girls and douchey dudes I see in there all the time.

Or, to be particularly British about it, "I don't care about some punter's opinion." I figured that these casinos could provide all kinds of breaking news about themselves while also personally responding to people to handle things. I heard a story about @WynnLasVegas addressing someone's bad experience while they were still in the restaurant, which was a nice touch. (Although now as a policy I never tweet about a restaurant until I'm done and have left since I don't want any special attention.)

But it rapidly became fluff years ago. I'm sure most of these people mean well enough (I cracked some jokes with the Circus-Circus rep after they suggested Mandarin Oriental to their readership, which seemed like a mighty big upsell), but it is obvious that a number of them are marketing/sales people first, and resort/casino people second.

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