As a Minnesotan, I had never visited the Sea Life Center at the Mall of America. I was determined to change that this year. I am pleased to report that I did and it was worth the visit. Before I went, I was able to learn a lot about the animals that inhabit the mall through social media. The marine wonder of the deep that is the Sea Life Center deserves this week’s #SocialSpotlight.
While the social aspects of the site don’t come across particularly well on their website, the bright and wondrous colors, animations and special local offers are fantastically welcoming and draw you in. I immediately wanted to learn more about starfish, turtles, octopi, seahorses and stingrays and the different types of fish on display throughout the aquarium.
From Follower to Customer
The website was not my first interaction with the aquarium. I was drawn in by the activity on their Twitter account (@SeaLifeMN). The team mentions just about everything, including the latest online promotions and up-and-coming special events. They even offer background details and education about some of the delightful characters under the sea. My personal experience was further inviting. When I tweeted that I was due to attend, the staff replied moments later to say they were looking forward to my visit. That’s what I call service – I would need eight legs like an Octopus to get my replies out that quickly!
Connecting on Facebook
While the Twitter account is welcoming and informative, the Facebook account is where I ‘dove deeper’ and learned a lot more. The same promotional activities that appear on Twitter are also here, illustrated with many colorful photos of the events and the animals. There is also educational content, jokes and comments about the health, lifestyles and adventures of the stars of the show! For example, I was able to follow along and find out more about my favorite turtle’s (Seemore), progress following his CAT scan at the University of Minnesota earlier this year.
The Facebook page is simply a treasure of information about the facility and its inhabitants, both in and out of the water. The exciting and colorful photos are stunning, but there are many more to see on the Flickr page. The Sea Life Flickr shows a sneak preview of what you can expect to see, plus some behind the scenes photos (which you can also pay to experience yourself during your visit if you wish). The photographs are wide and varied. They show off just how professional and exciting the whole place is, as well as some of the other attractions available within the mall. If the photographs aren’t quite ‘whetting’ your desire to attend, head on over to their dedicated YouTube channel. There, you will witness the animals and sights you will see first-hand, as well as learning a whole lot more that you ever thought there was to know.
The Social Experience
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the aquarium and it far exceeded the expectations I had after following their social media channels. I got to learn so much before I even attended! While I know not all of you will have the chance to visit Sea Life Minnesota, there are plenty of other Sea Life Centers and other aquariums across the country. They are certainly worth a visit, and I urge you to plan a trip during your next holiday or downtime! If you have already visited Sea Life or another aquarium near you worth checking out, please let us know about it in the comments below – and as always, we want to hear from you on which companies you feel deserve to be placed into our #SocialSpotlight and maybe they’ll appear soon!