Over the past year I have hooked up our Campground, Tall Pines Campground ( @tallpines_del ), to Facebook then to Twitter.  I noticed toward the end of the 2009 season that if I tweeted something about the campground, the phones would ring off the hook.  Most times it was simply that we had tent or RV sites available for a particular weekend.   

NO it couldn’t be so.  Twitter didn’t do that.  But yet the pattern was consistent. This year we added cabins to our campground and I wanted to get the word out.  So this winter, in the middle of the blizzards, I created our cabins web page, then sent the word out on Twitter, BAM!  Within a half hour of tweeting that we now had cabins, the phone started to ring with enquiries about our cabins.  In fact I took 3 calls before the office even opened.  Every person I spoke to said they got the info from Twitter.  NO it couldn’t be so !

So this time I did a little experiment.  I intentionally didn’t tweet anything for several days, then yesterday morning, I tweeted it up, in fact, lots of our followers re-tweeted for me, Thank You very much !  Using carefully chosen hashtags I sent out several tweets about our cabins, about camping in general and also, very important I used #NetDe.  

BAM !  The phone rang off the hook yesterday like crazy.  Our online reservations were coming in like crazy and my middle of the week staff of ONE plus the manager was hopping all day.  Reservations and inquiries about our cabins and overnight sites came in like crazy.

Was this just a fluke ?  Maybe.  Was it because the weather was so nice, Maybe.  Our web stats show that we get the most hits on Sunday and Monday, most likely people are planning for the next weekend on these days, but never in the middle of the week do we get that many hits or phone calls.  Our cabins are booking up.  Our Deluxe cabins are almost totally rented for July and August and now the primitive cabins are booking up.

Toward the end of the day, I read Ken Grant’s ( @kengrantde ) blog piece on Laurie Gelb’s Brilliant Plan To Promote Delaware  http://ow.ly/1vI4w .  It seems that I’ve done most of the things suggested in the article, and if my little experiment actually proved something, using social media in various forms can be an asset not only to a business trying to attract new people, but also, it should work at attracting people to Delaware.

Dream, Believe, Dare and DO