Meet Social Media Club Pro: Carey Bennett of @HappyHourPal

Membership Monday: Meet SMCHI Pro, Carey Bennett

JUNE 24, 2013 BY  LEAVE A COMMENT

Our Pro membership is comprised of digital professionals, innovators, and leaders from a wide array of (some unexpected) disciplines. To showcase this diversity, each month we’ll introduce you to one of our Pro members and share their insights on social media. Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future month? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.

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Carey is the co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Pal (formerly Happy Hour Hawai‘i). Together with her husband Brandon, they built every aspect of the business from programming the website/apps and marketing the products, to building relationships with participating businesses.

Happy Hour Pal is a mobile and online guide to all things happy hour! The free GPS-based app provides up-to-date happy hour information straight from your (soon-to-be) favorite watering hole. Happy Hour Pal is managed by participating establishments to provide accurate happy hour menus, daily specials, maps, basic information, and rewards.

Q: How are you currently using social media in your job?

Happy Hour Pal APP LOGO

Social media plays a huge role in spreading the word about Happy Hour Pal. We receive most of our users through word of mouth. The best way to spread the word is through social media! We are active in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and WordPress, and use Hootsuite to schedule and manage all of our platforms. We currently have over 7,500 followers across our social networks.

Q: Describe a social media challenge and how you overcome it.

Platform changes have been an adjustment for us. A year ago, the “filters” for Facebook Pages were not in place. Pricing for advertising was much more affordable per click, and most of our content reached our followers organically.

Facebook has dramatically limited the reach of Page posts to entice businesses to participate in its advertising program, which now includes a “pay per post” option designed to maximize reach. Pricing can be in the $30 range per post, which is financially straining for small businesses and startups.

We have pivoted to Twitter and other means of reaching out, including Google+ and our WordPress blog. We have also re-evaluated and strengthened our Facebook content as well as optimized the number of daily posts to keep our fans’ attention.

Q: What’s one social media tool or platform you couldn’t live without?

I love different platforms for different reasons. For social media organization, my #1 is Hootsuite!

Q: Name a mistake businesses make with social media.

“White Noise Posts” Writing content-heavy posts with no visual element, especially on Facebook. As a fan of many pages, I realized that I was only reading posts with interesting images. My eyes would first see the photo and second read the content. No matter how long the content, I read it because the visual grabbed my attention. Beautiful, artistic, or fun content-relevant visuals go a long way.

Q: Can you name a local example of a successful use of social media?

Roberta Oaks is a small local boutique downtown near my home. When the owner posts, she pairs a beautiful image of her handmade products. The images are so gorgeous, that I have sent a FB message asking if she would please hold an item for me (and I have seen other fans do the same). She easily creates sales on Facebook and Instagram while keeping her beautiful designs fresh in a fan’s memory (can you tell I am a fan?). Fantastic!

I also love reading posts from @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram, she is always doing something fun! She does a great job spreading the word about local products and restaurants throughout the state in a fun way!

Q: What exciting initiatives are you working on and can share with us?

We are continuously updating our products, creating and adding new features, and expanding to more locations! Stay Tuned :)

Q: What emerging social media networks or tools are you monitoring most closely?

Vine and social magazine app Flipboard.

Q: What do you do offline to help you stay current and connected online?

Entrepreneur Magazine and Fortune Magazine are my go-to reads when I am not online. I also attend conferences, meet-ups, and events.

Q: What made you join Social Media Club Hawai‘i?

I wanted to learn from the best! I love learning tips and tricks for my current social media platforms, as well as finding out more information about platforms that I am less familiar with. A pro membership also offers excellent networking opportunities!

Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future edition of Membership Monday? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.

About Jen Barrett
Jen is a self-professed do-gooder and jane-of-all-trades. Her current focus is helping nonprofits and community-minded businesses harness the power of the social web for social good through her company Taming Tech For Good. Connect with her via about.me.

Bytemarks Cafe via Hawaii Public Radio: Episode 253: Founder Institute – June 19, 2013

Episode 253: Founder Institute – June 19, 2013

June 19th, 2013 | Podcasts

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First we’ll look at the latest tech news and happenings in Hawaii and beyond. Then joining us today is Carey & Brandon Bennett from Happy Hour Hawaii to tell us about their nation wide rollout. Finally, we find out from Russel Cheng about the Honolulu chapter of theFounder Institute and how it’s helping to build the entrepreneurial startup ecosystem.

Download MP3 | Subscribe in iTunes

Follow Us on Twitter: @russelcheng @hawaii @bytemarks @HappyHourPal @HappyHourPalHI @carey_bennett @yarbo808

Best New App for Socialites on a Budget: Happy Hour Pal

 

Best New App for Socialites on a Budget: Happy Hour Pal

Happy Hour Pal

Fellow socialites on a budget, I have found the holy grail: Happy Hour Pal!  Happy Hour Hawaii has redirected and upgraded to a national website Happy Hour Pal, and also launched an app in May 2013.  For those like me on the go, this super-duper easy to use app has taken the guess work out of going to happy hour.

Happy Hour Pal

Instead of showing up to a restaurant with your fingers crossed that there will be more than just fries and Bud Light on tap for happy hour, this business-managed website and GPS-based mobile application will helps users find happy hour information, including menus, daily specials, basic business information, maps, GPS-based directions, check-in rewards, and more.

I am loving this new free app, especially the updated food and drink menus and detailed day of the week specials.  Happy Hour Pal even offers rewards! Each time you check into a Happy Hour Pal business you receive one reward point, and if you earn 10 points you can redeem them for a $10 discount at participating locations!

Happy Hour Pal currently has just about 100 participating businesses through out all of Hawaii, concentrated in Waikiki and Honolulu such as Bar 35, M Nightclub, and RumFire.  The website and app is quickly growing in popularity and has even entered Portland, Oregon and Long Island, New York with plans to expand to additional mainland cities.

Happy Hour Pal, Carey & Brandon Bennett

I had the pleasure of meeting co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Pal Carey Bennett.  She and her husband Brandon live in Honolulu and created Happy Hour Hawaii & Happy Hour Pal from scratch.  This power couple is young, super smart, and works tirelessly to perfect their online company.

I am not only a fan of the Happy Hour Pal app, but also an admirer of young local entrepreneurs like Carey and Brandon who follow their dreams and  really just work so damn hard! Congrats to the Bennetts on Happy Hour Pal, and you can bet you’ll see me around town at a happy hour near you!

Happy Hour at thirtyninehotel in Chinatown: Honolulu, HI

FUUD: Happy hour at thirtyninehotel in Chinatown

by  on JUNE 7, 2013 in FOOD

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When Carey Bennett of Happy Hour Pal wanted to meet for drinks, it was a no brainer.

The girl knows her happy hours!

So she suggested thirtyninehotel, a mixed-use venue-slash-bar in Chinatown that I hadn’t been to in years. Last week it launched a new happy hour menu — it’s got a new kitchen, too — that’s complete with a nightly specialty cocktail. (Last night’s cocktail was a tasty concoction with fresh watermelons.)

“I love the vibe of this place,” Bennett says. “It’s really all about the community, art and fashion, which I really appreciate. And Christian (Self) is one of the best bartenders in Hawaii.”

I’d have to agree.

This bar/venue on North Hotel Street oozes cool, with artwork on the walls — and yes, sometimes painted directly on the walls — outdoor seating, free WiFi, live music and other events that keep patrons interested and coming back.

So we went to check out the new happy hour menu last night. Here’s what our meal — and yes, it was a meal! — looked like:

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Last week thirtyninehotel launched a new happy hour menu that sounded so good, I just had to try it. Every night there’s a new specialty cocktail, too.

thirtyninehotel, 39 N. Hotel St. in Chinatown. Happy hour, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Phone: (808) 599-2552.

Amenities: Free Wifi, Live Entertainment, Private Meeting Space, Scenic Views, Outdoor Seating

Happy Hour Hawaii Now Happy Hour Pal

May 9, 2013, 10:54am HST

Happy Hour Hawaii launching Happy Hour Pal app on the Mainland

Happy Hour Hawaii is expanding its mobile app and website to the Mainland under the Happy Hour Pal brand.

Courtesy Happy Hour Pal

Happy Hour Hawaii is expanding its mobile app and website to the Mainland under the Happy Hour Pal brand.

Reporter-Pacific Business News
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A website and mobile app dedicated to providing pau hana menus and pricing of Hawaii restaurants is expanding to the Mainland.

Carey Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Hawaii, told PBN the company she launched with her husband Brandon Bennett is expanding to the Mainland via the launch of Happy Hour Pal, a national version of Happy Hour Hawaii.

“We are a fantastic resource for locals as well as tourists from all over the country to save money,” Carey Bennett told PBN in an email.

Happy Hour Pal, launched on May 1, has begun entering the Portland, Ore., and Long Island, N.Y., markets, and Bennett said she plans to start building a list in the San Diego market by summer.

Happy Hour Hawaii, which launched in 2011, is now being redirected to the upgraded and new Happy Hour Pal website and apps.

Stephanie Silverstein covers tourism, retail and money for Pacific Business News.

Six Strategies to Score Bargains in Hawaii

English: View of Kailua

English: View of Kailua (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

USA TODAY April 5, 2012

Hawaii: Get your lei without laying down a fortune

While Hawaii tourism may have taken it in the board shorts during the Great Recession, these days, the Aloha State is riding a new wave of popularity.

Nearly 8 million travelers arrived here last year, shattering the previous high-water mark set in 2006, and prices for everything from convertible rentals to luaus are rising in their wake.

According to industry tracker STR, the average cost of a Hawaii hotel room jumped to $233.30 a night in February — the highest rate in the country, up 13.1% from a year ago. Even at those prices, 85.6% of hotel rooms were occupied — a full 10 percentage points higher than rival Florida.

But you can still score bargains on a vacation in paradise if you plan carefully. Six strategies:

1. Don’t book your trip over the Christmas holidays or midsummer.

After a brief spate of price-cutting on new Mainland routes, “Hawaii airfares are generally on the rise, and seasonal variations are extreme,” notes BeatofHawaii.com‘s Jeff Tucker. “Best pricing and availability is based on pukas (holes), when airlines have small numbers of discounted seats,” particularly on weekdays during the spring and fall. But “even if you can only travel in summer, you can significantly reduce all of your Hawaii vacation costs simply by delaying until mid- to late August,” Tucker says. Case in point: Through June 6, fares from the West Coast to Honolulu start at about $230 round-trip ($420 from the East Coast), but zoom up to around $700 and $900, respectively, for peak summer travel (June 7-Aug. 11).

3. Avoid a herd mentality.

Each island has popular resort areas where affordable accommodations are challenging to find, but you don’t have to stray too far to find cheaper lodging prices. “On Kauai, look for accommodations in the Lihue and Kapaa areas, where you can easily save $100 or more per night compared to the more popular Poipu or Princeville resorts,” Beal says. On Maui, you can can save hundreds a night by picking a condo in centrally located Kihei vs. more upscale Kaanapali Beach.

6. Tap into happy hour specials.
“If you want a beer at 4 p.m. and you’re staying in Kailua, there’s an app for that,” Toth says. HappyHourHawaii.com, a searchable website and free GPS-based mobile app expanding to Mainland locales next month, lists happy hour menus and discounts for more than 200 restaurants and bars across the state.

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Full Article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/04/05/get-your-lei-without- laying-down-a-fortune/2055357/

Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Happy Hour Pal

A Hawaii-based app for finding happy hours is going national, and we met one of the founders

By Melissa Chang on April 17, 2013
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– See more at: http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/#sthash.vw46ET5V.dpuf

Many of you — about 1800, to be exact — already follow Happy Hour Hawaii (formerly known as @HappyHourHawaii) on Twitter and Facebook and enjoy the updates on where the best happy hours in town are. The people behind the account, Carey and Brandon Bennett, also created a website and free phone app to help you easily find happy hours around you when you’re on the go (or wandering aimlessly, as I might do).

Well, get ready, America. The Hawaii-based app, which has already been downloaded 30,000 times since its launch last year, is about to go national. The Bennetts have started transitioning everything called “Happy Hour Hawaii” to be “Happy Hour Pal,” a more general name she can use in other markets. By May, the website, social media channels, and app will be completely changed over, and they will have a presence in Portland, OR, as well as Long Island, NY to start, as they begin their journey to expand in markets across the country.

If you haven’t downloaded the free app yet, why not? It is a quick way for you to find happy hours, business information, the restaurant menus, maps, GPS-based directions, check-in rewards and more, plus you can share the information with friends. You can search using almost any parameter (i.e. cheeseburger, near 96814, at 4 p.m. on Thursday) to make it even easier. The app is available for iPhones, iPads, and Androids, so you have no excuse (unless you have a Blackberry, in which case you’d have to just use the website). And did I mention it’s free?

So how does this app make money if it’s free to consumers? Participating restaurants pay a flat, monthly membership fee, simple as that. It’s not just a fee to be posted on the site; the Bennetts help promote the happy hours through their social media channels and generate reports to measure results, demographics, and more.

Cat Toth and I sat with Carey recently to find out more about the app before it hits the big time. Check it out!

– See more at: http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/#sthash.vw46ET5V.dpuf

http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/

http://www.hawaiiirl.com/2013/04/happy-hour-pal-talks-story-with-catherine-toth-and-melissa-chang-happyhourpal-thedailydish-melissa808/