A Chat with Elaine of Yehey.com

Monday, January 28, 2008

Interaction outside the usual blog channels should always be a part of your development as a blogger. It is through interaction that you learn not only how your blog fares along with other bloggers', but also far more importantly, gives you a chance to develop friendly, working relationships with other bloggers like yourself.

I see it as this blog's mission to somehow paint a picture of the blogosphere- both local and global. And as a naturally chummy person, I like tossing ideas around with fellow bloggers, clients and industry partners.

The guys of Yehey.com have been rather active in the New Media scene lately- and they have to! After all, the bulk of their business is pretty much online.

They've just wrapped up a very successful Bloggers' Food Tour (the one at TriNoma, some three weeks ago), and now they're inviting another one hundred bloggers to come hang with the brains and talent behind the HappySlip vlog series on YouTube- Christine Gambito herself.

(Which, incidentally is Thursday next week, 07 Feb 2008, at the Mag:net Cafe in Bonifacio High Street. The fun starts at 11 AM, so make sure you register with Yehey here so you don't miss out on all the HappySlip Gambito goodness!)

Anyway, I was able to catch up with Elaine Uy, Marketing Manager of Yehey (who was nice enough to invite me to the HappySlip event! Yay!), and I asked her how the Bloggers' Food Tour worked out for Yehey.com.

First off, I asked her whose idea it was to make use of blogs and bloggers to promote the TriNoma restaurants. Here's what Elaine said:

Yehey! has been in contact with TriNoma even before they opened their mall, trying to cook up a partnership on how to create a buzz online. Then the Taste Asia in MOA (The SM Mall of Asia) happened. Since Yehey! has been supporting the blogger community and because of the obvious success of the Taste Asia event, we thought of organizing our own for TriNoma.
I also wondered if Yehey! would be tapping blogs and bloggers for their upcoming promotional activities. Elaine gives us a rather interesting tip:
We will try to incorporate the blogging medium in most of our campaigns. Just like in our second event of the year, the Happy Slip Meet-and-Greet (done) in coordination with the Department of Tourism.
We’ve been also receiving inquiries from other companies such as Chowing, P&G, among others in organizing a blogger event for them. I guess most major companies now see the benefits of blogs and how it could greatly influence other people in patronizing their products or service.
Sounds interesting, doesn't it? But who's to say an event is an actual success? Take for example the last Bloggers' Found Tour at TriNoma, what would be Yehey's tangible measures to say, "Yeah, that event was a success"? Elaine says Yehey! keeps tabs on the results in the search engines and other community-based sites and the whole viral marketing effect.

So just how successful was it?
The result of the food tour is phenomenal that in just one week, there are 19 results for “Trinoma food tour” at Technorati, and a thousand plus results for Trinoma at Technorati. In Google, first page alone (of keyword "Trinoma food tour") is all about the event – first result is the Trinoma co-branded site. There are over 10,000 search results. And in Multiply, there are more than 400 blog results for "Trinoma Food Tour" and 750+ photo album results for the same keyword.
And so was TriNoma and Ayala Malls happy with the outcome of the event?
Yup, very much and better expect more events hosted by Trinoma. Given the results, TriNoma is planning on making succeeding events for their mall and possibly extend it to the rest of the Ayala malls.
What about the various participating food merchants of TriNoma? What sort of feedback has Yehey! received from them? Elaine shares this:
The best example would be the La Maison (hope you were able to meet the most accommodating manger, Mr. Robi Caguiat) that hosted an appreciation dinner for teamyehey the following week, thanking us for the exposure and raves they got from the tour. Even the band – Sound got in touch with us to see what bloggers got to say about their music.

Of course, who can forget Cabalen? I heard they offered AJ (of Bakla ako blog) for a free dinner for 5 or something like that. As you can see, these establishments- whether aware or unaware of what blogs are and what the internet is all about- have identified the promotional effect it could do to their brands.
Now there are a lot of other bloggers that have heard about the last Food Tour, and want to join the next event for bloggers. If Yehey! plans to mount more promotional activities with blogs and bloggers thrown in the media mix, and if there are other bloggers out there who would want to get in on the action, I asked Elaine what her advice would be for those who missed out on the last Bloggers' Food Tour.
Be more proactive and join the fast growing blogging community. More and more companies are sponsoring events for the bloggers. And who wouldn’t want free food, entertainment or what-have-you in exchange of your opinion and influence which you freely give out anyway?
Who wouldn't indeed? As for me, well, as long as there's free food, I'm there. I even have pictures to prove it :)

Cheers, everyone!

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