Archive for the 'New Media' Category


twitter isn’t only for the big guys

I think the social media revolution the industry is currently experiencing is fascinating. Companies like Ford, Starbucks, and Ebay are using Twitter as a way to communicate with consumers on a more personal level. I also think that many small to midsized companies are missing the boat by not creating an online presence via Twitter.  As the title of this post states, you don’t have to be one of the big guys to reap the rewards of social media applications.

Dave Kerpen, from Buzz Marketing Daily, recently compiled a list of 25 unique ways companies are using Twitter to improve their customer’s experience.

Below I have posted five of my favorites taken directly from Dave’s post:

1) @MarketStreetDFW is a Texas-based gourmet meals-to-go store that tweets daily menu updates.

6) @StartmySong tweets links and lyrics to new songs to promote their songwriters community.

14) @NWWeddingPlace includes a “Daily Love Tweet” to promote its wedding planning business.

16) @PawLuxury uses what they call “The Woof Factor” to provide excellent customer service to pet owners.

20) @SpudBros is a quick-serve restaurant in Colorado which tweets unique deals and discounts.

Click here for the full list of companies.


Growing business with Twitter

I’ve written several times about Twitter and its many uses in our industry, but I can’t seem to get enough of the benefits companies are garnering from it. Michael Stelzner of Copyblogger did a nice job recently of outlining a few good examples.

He explains that, according to the State of the Twittersphere report, five to 10 thousand new people join Twitter on a daily basis, and total users are currently around 5 million. That’s a lot of potentially untapped resources!

The article goes on to highlight several high profile and every day business people who use Twitter and have had success with it. Following are a few snippets of what some of those folks had to say:

1)    John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing founder – “I get great insight when I ask questions.” And, “People on Twitter spread my thoughts to new places.”
2)    Tony Hsieh, CEO – “In the long term, Twitter helps drive repeat customers and word of mouth, but we’re not looking to it as a way of driving immediate sales.”
3)    David Meerman Scott, bestselling author – “I have personally connected with hundreds of people I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I booked an interview on NPR and a big daily newspaper using Twitter.”
4)    Brian Clark, Copyblogger – “Twitter Search is an amazing way to see what people are saying about your products or services.”
5)    Terri Rylander, B2B copywriter – “I’ve been in my particular niche for over 10 years and know who the players are (though they don’t know me). When I checked who [a colleague] was following on Twitter, there they all were! It read like a ‘Who’s Who’ list.”
6)    Pam O’Neil, BreakingPoint VP of Marketing – “A writer for ZDNet wrote about us and linked to us based on something we tweeted and that resulted in a huge spike in web traffic and at least one deal with a major service provider.”

If you’re like me and you want to see how companies are using Twitter successfully, or if you’re still trying to figure out what Twitter is all about and how it can benefit your company, I encourage you to visit some of the abovementioned folks on Twitter. Read their tweets for a few weeks and note what they’re talking about. It may inspire you start Twittering or step up your Twitter game!


skittles tasting success with latest social media experiment?

skittlestwitterAs many of you already know, Skittles caused quite a stir in the social media world last week by posting real time “tweets” on their Web site. Originally, we didn’t want to write about this because it happened last week. However, I couldn’t resist commenting on this after reading what has been said since.

Marketing Pilgrim wrote a post recently stating that the Skittles Web site traffic experienced “a 1332% increase in web visitors on March 3rd.”  Pretty impressive considering only one day had passed since Skittles launched this social media experience.

Was this a complete success for Skittles? I don’t think it was because I think most of their traffic came from Twitter users. I also think it may have been a mistake for a brand of their size to expose their reputation to uncensored tweets. BusinessWeek published a recent article that highlighted some of the challenges marketers and companies will face as social media focused strategies continue to evolve.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Skittles campaign, the home page of the Web site originally showcased Twitter comments about Skittles in real time. BusinessWeek points out that, “Skittles was forced to rethink its social media strategy after users deluged the site with inane and often profane tweets.” Skittles has since had their Web address direct users to a variety of social media applications including their Facebook fan page, Wikipedia page and YouTube. I think this was a smart move because cycling the landing pages is keeping users guessing and potentially could get them coming back to the site in the weeks ahead.

This is clearly a lesson on how companies have no way to control what their customers say, and I think this is the ultimate challenge of using social media to create relationships with consumers.

Now for a lesson in why you shouldn’t get a transplant from a guy named Jose.


OpenZine Evolves the Blog

As social media continues to evolve, OpenZine has found a new way to present the blog. OpenZine creates “a blog that groups your posts with a magazine style cover you design.” This lets you build themes through the use of issues, allowing bloggers the luxury of posting more content less often.

picture-1While I am enthralled by this idea, and loving all the nifty covers, I did find some room for improvement for this forward-thinking site. For instance, I would like to see the content that bloggers create uploaded into a page-flipping book so that I can flip the pages of a virtual magazine or popular underground zine. Not only would this add yet another layer to what OpenZine is trying to accomplish, but it would enhance the experiences of both the producers and the readers.

Regardless, OpenZine has done a great job expanding the blog, and I suspect this is the first step of many. The presentation of blogs will continue to progress along with the ideas of the bloggers. Let’s take it to the next level.

Have any of you used a platform like this?

Tomorrow on The Side Note: Enter a lottery that may save your life


Happy Birthday Facebook!

You’ve done it! You’ve made it five years. And you actually show no sign of slowing down. That’s truly amazing for any Web application, isn’t it? Let’s see what you’ve accomplished since your 2004 birth in a Harvard campus dorm room:

  • Originally called, “the facebook”, and only meant to be an inter-campus social site, 1200 people signed up for you in the first hour of your existence.
  • With in a year, you earned your true name, “Facebook” and it was estimated that 85% all of American college students were a part of your world.
  • Last year, the High Court of Australia ruled that you were a valid protocol to serve court notices to defendants.
  • Today, you are in 35 languages, with another 60 planned, and only half of your users are college students, with your largest growing market now being the over 30 group.
  • And now, Sony Pictures and the creator of West Wing are discussing a movie about your creation!

You’ve done a lot in your five years. If you were a human being, you’d still be taking naps in kindergarten. Hmm. A nap sounds pretty good about now…


Read the birthday blog post from Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, here.


Grow Your Business with Twitter

picture-10If you still need proof that Twitter can help grow business, read this story about The Coffee Groundz (@coffeegroundz) cafe in Houston, Texas. The owner, J.R. Cohen, almost doubled his clientele by using Twitter.

Here’s how he did it:

•    Started using Twitter and gathered more than 1,000 followers
•    Received a direct message from a regular customer for a to-go order—his first to-go order via Twitter—and filled the order in time for the customer to pick it up in the drive-thru
•    Received lots of coverage on Twitter for this to-go order—probably the first time a to-go order was ever placed via Twitter
•    Started taking regular to-go orders from clientele through Twitter

Along with Twitter to-go orders, J.R. now takes orders via Twitter from patrons who are inside the coffee house. They don’t even have to get up from their seats!

This is a great example of a business using social media well. Do you have any stories like this to share?


Twitter – Bridging a Gap

twitter_logo_sI ran across a blog posting the other day titled “Will Twitter be the platform that unites journalists and PR pros?” authored by Heidi Sullivan.

I’ll let you read the post and develop your own conclusion. But I think, for now at least, that Twitter can certainly help bridge that gap between the two parties. It does, as Heidi points out, help weed out those folks who give PR a bad name by mass emailing a story idea to journalists and hoping for a hit (the ‘spray and pray’ method!). It forces PR people to research (or follow) journalists before pitching them, which should lead to more relevant pitches.

The comments on the post are interesting, too. One reader brought up #JournChat, a weekly online discussion via Twitter where journalists, bloggers and PR people come together to discuss the media and PR industries. I haven’t participated in #JournChat yet, but I’m reading the meeting recaps and they’re quite enlightening.

So, what do you think? Is Twitter bridging the gap between journalists and PR folks? Do you use a different platform that you think does a better job? Tell us about it.

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