Calgary Stampede Turns Up Social

FBatarse    November 18, 2015

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Organization Name: Calgary Stampede

Industry:Hospitality & Tourism

Web reference: CS Blog, #SafeStampede,  Cowboys Tent, MarketingLand, CS Eats,

Social Media and Stampede Business Performance

The CS (Calgary Stampede) has been at the heart of the wild west in Calgary, AB, for over 100 years. The 10 day event includes food truck vendors, “as seen on tv” products for sale, rodeo, farm animals and carnival rides. The challenge? How do you run a volunteer supported non-profit organization? Well CS has already wrangled up that challenge, harnessing the power of the internet the event staff have taken up the future of social media, the extended hand of communication.

During the stampede and after the stampede the events and communication do not cease. The most popular site for attendees is the Calgary Stampede blog.The blog is a preview of events, music concerts and fun events available on the stampede grounds and BMO centre. CS also urges questions, comments and suggestions via many options:

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Social media can effectively be used to market products, ideas and gather feedback. The advantage for businesses?

1.Reduced cost on customer acquisition – Instead of paying PR firms or 3rd party firms to market your product and showcase to customers, CS can market to who they want, when they want and how they want.

2.Extended Reach – Customers can be contacted no matter where in the world they reside, no matter what the email domain may be, and reached via mouse click anytime. Long gone are the days of door to door flyers and comment cards.

3.Customer Loyalty – When consumers feel they have voiced their concern, communicated to a higher power, it empowers the customer to remain loyal to the brand/product. When customers are part of the moment and discussion, it validates that their opinion matters.

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In fact the CS social team has been so active with stampede events and concerts that others are catching on. The “Cowboys Tent”, hosted at the CS for summer time music line ups and drinks, knocked on the CS door. Together they teamed up and created a Social event to rattle up some party-goers. This article has more about the Cowboys stampede tent and CS working together.

When CS wanted to bring attention to sexist behaviour at the stampede, they launched the famous #SafeStampede hashtag. There was a CBC article based on the creation of #SafeStampede, it can be found here. This was followed by over whelming applause from the city mayor (Naheed Nenshi) and Calgary Sexual Health.

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The Calgary Stampede can also be followed on twitter for the most recent news and events. Using the power of social media has allowed this non-profit to remain competitive, uphold brand equity and acquire new international customers to the visit stampede ground. According to the webpage Marketingland, 4 important benefits of using social media versus print, radio or TV, are:

1.Interest targeting – Reach clients by reviewing activities, skills and interests.

2.Behavioral/connection targeting: Allows firms to reach clients based on purchasing behavior and device usage.

3. Custom targeting – Using email contacts, phone numbers, username to reach out to clients and potentials.

4. Lookalike targeting – Allows firms to reach clients who are similar to the audience you are targeting originally.

Lessons for the Competition 

1.Using social media will not only extend your reach, but lower acquisition and client retention cost.

2. A firm can start a positive business ethic and have the city mayor support the cause, even re-tweeting on his profile. #SafeStampede was also supported by locals in the city and became a popular search/re-tweet term.

3. Social media provides, fast and reliable information if properly monitored by admins to even social media disasters.

Submitted By: Fadi Batarseh, University of Waterloo

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If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.