Social Marketing: Social Media Meets Up With Feet-on-the-Ground Sociability in New Savannah Georgia Travel Video

SAVANNAH Georgia (April 6, 2012) — Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah takes social marketing to a refreshing level. The Swinging Sixties, retro hotel weaves real world sociability into win-win relationships with its neighbors. The result is a lively video that introduce to new and less-publicized attractions near the pop culture traveler’s favorite lodging.

Titled Meet Up on the Boulevard, downtown Savannah, the YouTube-hosted travel short delivers a one-minute teaser focusing on the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah. “It just makes good marketing sense to tap video and social media [like Twitter and Facebook] to get out a bolder, more far-reaching message to the public!” Mark Thomas adds. “By sharing the spotlight, we truly get across our message to create win-win relationships.” The marketing team is collecting Twitter and Facebook addresses, too, as they broaden the inn’s social marketing reach.


“I control the biggest neon sign in Chatham County, Georgia. I have put Thunderbird’s marquee into overdrive talking about nine pubs and restaurants, eight museums, three trolley companies, two historic cemeteries, one welcome center, plus churches, art galleries and the Civic Center in our immediate area,” Thomas adds.

“I’m a team player interested in pointing to unique things to do near Thunderbird Inn — retro, pop culture, nightlife, one-of-a-kind restaurants, historic spots, and only-in-Savannah attractions that entertain. Tourists and locals never tire of exploring the beautiful Bull Street Corridor, River Street, and Broughton Street [downtown Savannah’s Main Street],” adds Thomas. “Off the beaten tourist path in the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah, there are character-rich, entertaining places that are truly worth the trip, too.”

Even the daisy flowers have special significance. They are a nod to Savannah-born Girl Scouts founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, who is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, just off MLK Jr. Boulevard near Gwinnett Street. Thunderbird Inn participates in the “Daisieis for Daisy” grassroots initiative to pay tribute to Mrs. Low during the organization’s 100th Anniversary year. “Anyone can do it. Just plant or use daisies somehow.” Thunderbird has been actively championing that initiative as well.


Mark Thomas is known as a neighborhood team player. He’s Thunderbird Inn’s general manager and a 2012 NEXTGeneration award winner. He set out two years ago to enliven the buzz about the often overlooked treasures that visitors and locals alike will find west of Barnard Street to Boundary Street, and along the MLK Jr. corridor downtown.

“In 2012, there are many wonderful and new tourism points of interest close by that make this the perfect time to ratchet up the conversation,” Thomas says. “What we’ve learned using social marketing tools is that ‘social’ is a key word that requires spirited interaction — listening for great information, asking and answering questions. With improved information we can do a better job of passing along Savannah travel tips to the inn’s visitors, especially about our downtown neighbors,” says Thomas.

“Through the process of making this video, we are now more sociable with our neighbors. We know more of them by name, and we better understand more of the unique offerings now, too. That equates to Thunderbird Inn being a valuable go-to source. We want to do ‘social’ very well in person and through social media.”


Dubbed ‘The Boulevard’ in the Thunderbird Inn’s latest marketing campaign, the name is shorthand for the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, plus a few blocks east and west — Barnard to Boundary streets. If Thomas and his neighbor businesses have their way, “The Boulevard” [Twitter hashtag #TheBlvd] will soon be among the top-of-mind answers to ‘What are some new things to do in downtown Savannah?’

More than a dozen businesses, including Ships of the Sea Museum, SCAD Museum of Art, and the Georgia State Railroad Museum participated in the first of a series of videos that Thunderbird Inn plans to produce. The collaborative video project was developed by Thomas, local marketing consultant Sandy Traub, and Guy Smith’s Popcorn Octane LLC digital production firm based in Hilton Head Island, SC.

“Stay tuned. We’ve only scratched the surface,” Thomas concludes.


Declaring itself The hippest hotel in Savannah™, the delightfully quirky, Thunderbird Inn (42 rooms) is where the historic downtown Savannah location and hip motel eccentricities meet up. Featured in New York Times, Southern Living,,, Dog Friendly magazine, the downtown inn-motel recaptures the southern retro spirit of the Swinging Sixties. The youthful General Manager, Mark Thomas, has directed the much-touted marketing toward a bold, free-spirited and young again approach, making the most of the popular resurgence of retro in the United States. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Ask about discount local coupons, Staff Picks, MoonPie® on your pillow, and dog friendly / pet-friendly vacation accommodations. 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Toll Free Reservations (866) 324-2661; International +1/912-232-2661; Fax 912-233-5551. Twitter: @TBirdInn; E-mail; Web:

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn / Sandy Traub


Spring has Sprung – Savannah Style

Thunderbird Inn's garden historic Savannah GA USA

Refreshed Spring Garden at Thunderbird Inn, Savannah GA USA

Written by “Landscapes by Rick”

There’s no place on Earth quite like beautiful downtown Savannah, also known as the ‘First City in Georgia’. From the stately historic homes and businesses to the 22 beautiful squares, signs of spring are everywhere. Mother Nature has been very kind to us this year. Temps have been in the 80’s this week. What beautiful weather for ‘playing in the dirt’. Yes, I refer to my job as ‘playing’ because landscaping is my passion. When I’m planting, all the problems and cares in life just seem to take a back burner. I like to think of it as therapy.

One of my favorite places to ‘play’ is the historic Thunderbird Inn located on West Oglethorpe Avenue, just a short walk away from the heart of downtown Savannah. The moment you arrive, the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re right at home. Hats off to Mark Thomas, General Manager, and all his staff for their hard work! Continue reading

Americana, Bold and Old in Savannah, Part of “What’s New”, says retro Thunderbird Inn

Savannah, Georgia, is an old town with a new spirit! Thunderbird Inn is thrilled to be a celebrant of what’s new about the old, and champion of retro Savannah!

In November 2011, a guest wrote, “Feel new in the old” in a TripAdvisor review, talking about Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah, Georgia. The inn boasts new interior paint (inspired by authentic historic Savannah colors and Thunderbird’s original paint), and a/c and heat units with popular remote controls, plus hot popcorn on arrival. Those updates are not all that is inspiring guests.

Vintage Savannah Neon sign at Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah GA

Retro Savannah Sign


Not only a nostalgic thought, “old is new again” is on-trend. Continue reading

Dog Living Magazine Points to Pet-Friendly Savannah GA and Thunderbird Inn

“When we arrived it was obvious this place [The Thunderbird Inn, downtown Savannah GA] caters to the dog-loving crowd.
Even the house keepers made a point to say hello to the dogs.”

– Suzanne Jalot, Dog Living Magazine

What a thrilled for our pet-friendly Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah to be featured in “Dog Friendly Magazine”, September 2011! We were happy to champion and host this publisher’s visit, and to showcase the many ways that Savannah is wonderfully inviting and welcoming to pet-lovers their four-legged, family pals.

We have found a niche here at The Thunderbird inn in downtown Savannah as a pet-friendly hotel. We think the success comes, in part, because we make and keep rules, and guests like that! Pet-loving travelers are attentive to their traveling pets needs, behavior, readiness to travel. They appreciate that our hotel staff and management dedicate a lot of attention to making the pet(s) and all our human guests happy and comfortable.

Here’s a link to the article, “Sniffing Around Savannah” (September 2011), an Adobe PDF file. Thank you again, Suzanne, for taking time to explore Savannah and share you great finds with your Dog Living Magazine readers!

For more information, contact Thunderbird inn General Manager, Mark Thomas, telephone 912/232-2661, email; 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, Georgia USA 31041.

# # #

Savannah Fun Facts from Fun-Loving Thunderbird Inn Retro Hotel

Beer on the Street in Savannah GA | Hidleborg / Flickr Common Use License | Open Container Law

To-go cup required to drink beer on Savannah historic district streets

In the Savannah, Georgia, the “to-go” cup is legendary. The open container laws prohibit the existence of open containers of alcohol in public (on the streets) [Savannah City Code Section 6-1215]. In the Savannah Historic District downtown, city law allows possession and consumption on the street of one alcoholic beverage in an open plastic container of not more than 16 ounces — the “to-go” cup!

Over time we will bring you more story ideas and Savannah fun facts! Continue reading