Last night we went to the opening of Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera. The restaurant employed various means to let the public know when their doors would open, including old school measures like hanging a banner outside of the premises with a countdown to the opening day, as well as new school tactics like a Facebook fan page, Twitter account from the owner/chef @chefscotthoward and email blasts from lifestyle/fashion mavens such as Thrillist. The restaurant was completely packed, with a constant stream of locals, VIPs and foodies curious to see, taste and explore the new Marin hot spot.
In addition to social media controlled by the restaurant, they’ve also benefitted by the public voice, courtesy of services such as DeHood, Yelp, Foursquare, and others.
It was also gratifying to see the chef personally meet and greet customers while keeping an eye over the open kitchen. While technology-enabled social media tools are helping businesses take control of their brand on connected devices, it’s important to deliver on the “last mile” which is extending the care and attention allocated on your online social media to simply being social… in person.
Here are 12 reasons compiled by MyVenturePad to use social media:
1. Own your brand’s social presence: If you don’t create official channels online, it’s only a matter of time before your fans do it for you and create their own profiles and communities around your brand. It’s important to claim your brand name across all the major social media platforms. Here are two sites that will help you do this:
2. Look like you “get it”: Your target audience is becoming more shrewd about leveraging social media sites as an integral part of their daily lives. If you want to appear relevant and in-step with the latest advances in technology, your potential customers will want to see you on these sites as well. If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.
3. Brand recognition: You need to go where your customers are, and they are increasingly spending a great deal of time on social networking sites. Using social media enables your company to reach a huge number of potential customers. Getting your name out there is incredibly important — studies suggest that people need to hear a company’s name at least seven times before they trust and respect it enough to become a customer.
4. Take your message directly to consumers: Social media tools enable you to directly engage consumers in conversation. Be sure to build trust by adding value to the community consistently over time.
5. Increase your search engine rankings: Social media profiles (especially those on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) frequently rank highly with major search engines. Creating keyword-rich profiles around your brand name can help generate traffic for your both your social-networking sites and your company’s Web site.
6. SEO benefits: Many social media bookmarking sites use NOFOLLOW tags that limit the outbound link value of posts made on their sites, but there are still many leading sites that allow DOFOLLOW tags — including Friendfeed, Digg, and Mixx. You can also benefit from posting to bookmarking sites that use NOFOLLOW tags if people read your posts and link back to your Web site.
7. Social media content is now integrated with search results: Search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly indexing and ranking posts and other information from social networks. Videos from popular sites like YouTube can also be optimized for indexing by the major search engines.
8. Brand monitoring: Having a social media presence gives you a better understanding of what current and potential customers are saying about your products and services. If you actively monitor social conversations, you have the opportunity to correct false or inaccurate information about your brand and address negative comments before they take on a life of their own.
9. Generate site traffic: You can create additional traffic if you regularly post updates on social networks that link back to your Web site. Social media bookmarking tools like Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon can also generate additional traffic to your site if you create frequent articles and blog posts.
10. Find new customers through your friends: You shouldn’t neglect your personal social media accounts as potential avenues to promote the activities of your business. Posting regular updates relating to your business and activities can remind your friends about what your company does and influence them to use your services or make referrals.
11. Find new customers through your company profile: Your company profile is a great opportunity for you to post regular updates on your activities and about important news and trends in your industry. This will attract the attention of new customers interested in your industry and increase your reputation as an expert in your field. It’s important to post regularly if you want to increase your followers or fans and convert them to potential leads.
12. Niche marketing: Social media enables you to reach very specific subsets of people based on their personal preferences and interests. You can create unique social media profiles to target these audiences or create strategies based on addressing individual interests.
It may be odd to say, but I confess it did make me feel better to receive messages of assurance from people I didn’t know. And while the outlets for social media are becoming more a channel for marketing and pyramid schemes, there remains the ability to connect to humankind in meaningful ways that aren’t anchored in “get rich quick” or “work from home and make $1500 a day” pitches.
So, as for my predictions for 2010… I think there’s something to be said about the massive popularity of the Wedding Dance video and the pure, authentic joy that was palpable when we watched it. The vulnerability of Susan Boyle as she shyly walked on stage and then belted out with the voice of an angel. We’ve been living in hard times, burdened by joblessness, recession, foreclosures, and furloughs. We are reminded of our failures and flaws. And at the same time, we see how sometimes unadulterated greed and ambition actually nets monetary riches (but we always feel better when the “bad guy” gets nabbed!). When we see people dancing with love and spirit, or we see the underdog succeed, we cheer and smile. 2010 will help us cheer and smile even more as we return back to the basics of human contact and passionate pursuits (art, food, music), enabled and empowered by technology.
Everyone is an artist. You might not agree, but it’s probably because your teacher in second grade didn’t confirm your doodles were original, inspired art forms and they likely didn’t encourage you to continue doodling – everywhere and anywhere (okay, there was probably some merit to that admonition). Now, while we’re not all artists at the level of Picasso or Warhol, there are many who have made fame and fortunes in galleries. And with the popularity of websites like Etsy, ArtistaDay, TalentHouse and others, amateur and semi-pro artists have a wider forum to share and sell their creations – with or without gallery representation. With more to express, more people will find different forms of art as outlets, leading to more communities of painters, poets, sculptors and sketchers. There are even fantastic applications like Brushes on the iPhone that allows anyone to finger-paint a masterpiece, even while stuck in the middle of a packed bus.
Twitter became a game of collecting followers. Best illustrated by Ashton Kutcher’s campaign to get 1M followers, we secretly smiled whenever we got another 5 in one day. We had fun exchanges with strangers who sometimes even became either virtual or real-life friends. And now that many of us have a few followers, we’re looking for the connection with these folks. Can I talk to them about my interest in growing kabocha squash? Or will that automatically result in 200 less followers? I know there’s a wealth of information out there in the group of Twitterers, but I don’t always want to spam the group with myNike+ running results and likewise don’t want to hear about somebody’s Mafia Wars score every 5 minutes either. How do we cultivate relationships online and bring these masses into more bite-sized morsels to get greater satisfaction? I don’t know how it will be achieved, but I’m sure somebody is on it.
In addition to services like Last.FM, Rhapsody, MOG, Napster, Pandora and more, 2010 will finally see the US launch of Spotify, as well as the global launch of Rdio from the founders of Skype. Music has always been a way for people to connect – sharing tastes and preferences for artists, genres, and hits. It illuminates a side of one’s personality that isn’t evident on first glance. Are you a progressive house fan? A rocker? Country, blues or jazz aficionado? The questions on how to make cloud-based music work (i.e. profitable) for all constituents involved is a complicated matter, but consumers are ready to take tunes on the go – and not just the tunes they’ve purchased on the walled garden of iTunes.
My general prediction for 2010 is a celebration of creativity. Technologies that enable us to consume, create, and connect will surpass those that allow us to simply collect.
2010 will be the year of: Creativity. Connection. Authenticity. Trust. Sharing.
The idea for the project [LendAround] came about when Tim returned home to London after visiting a network of community groups helping vulnerable children in Africa. Looking around his home, Tim noticed how much stuff we all seem to have that doesn’t get used very much — at a time when there are a billion people in the world who have not very much at all, and when it would be good to use a bit less of the earth’s resources.
Last week, Strobe lit up the social media airwaves when news broke they were giving away a limited number of access codes to their highly anticipated app delivery network, a one-stop shop that allows developers to create and manage HTML5-based web apps for smartphones, desktops and tablets from a single interface. The Twitter-sphere in particular was aglow with requests to @Strobe for the access code, as developers quickly recognized the benefit of using Strobe’s platform to regain control over the way apps are built, published, monetized and managed. Now the question of whether to go web app or native is dramatically simplified. Just go Strobe.
Last Friday, I flew from San Francisco to Seattle to celebrate my mom’s 85th birthday with her. She’s got quite a sweet tooth and a distinct fondness for chocolate cake, but packing a cake into your carry-on isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do so I decided instead to rely on her favorite restaurant to insert a candle in her dessert.
I had not heard of Celebrity Cake Studio before and wasn’t planning on buying a birthday cake in Tacoma, but Odette’s Tweet made me realize that Twitter can serendipitously answer your requests – even when you weren’t really expecting an answer.
I ended up tweeting with her and arrived at her studio the next day to purchase my mom’s cake. My mom was chuffed at the delicious three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and I was thrilled to support a local Tacoma business. With a simple Tweet, Odette alerted me to her business, lured me in with her concise and enthusiastic messages, and got a new customer for life. New business was as easy as writing about a piece of cake!
I use TweetDeck to monitor various key phrases and our client names so I always know when they are subjects of discussion. It keeps me posted on sentiments, news and rumors in real-time. For anyone conducting business on Twitter, I recommend you search for key phrases relevant to your business and monitor these search queries for messages of praise, concern and/or need. It provides a direct line to current and future customers and provides a wonderful channel of dialogue.
And if you’re in Tacoma and need a great cake, please do visit Odette and say hi.
We’re very excited to welcome our brand new and super smart intern, Kyle Lemle, to our team this week. One of his jobs will be updating our new Consort Partners Twitter account which you can follow below (I know, I know… took me long enough… but heck, I’ve personally been on Twitter since 2006, so please forgive me).
I also wanted to give a shout out to two new contributors to this blog (because I know you were dying for a fresh perspective and not just my personal take on things). Mark De la Viña and Dominic Johnson have both quietly debuted on the blog, but look for more of their posts in the future. Mark is an incredible writer – no surprise as he’s a former journalist with the San Jose Mercury News, the LA Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Arizona Republic, among others. Dominic is the co-founder of Consort and has a natural talent for messaging, sound bites and positioning.
Finally, here’s a line-up of some of the Consorts on Twitter:
Now I feel better… Mike Elgan’s blog cites research from the University of Melbourne that those who can’t help checking in on their Twitter account during the work day are more productive than those who keep their nose to the grindstone all day. Don’t you feel better now too 😉
I just read a fascinating article in London’s Times newspaper, which has some quite intriguing quotes. First, is from a clinical psychologist – Oliver James – about his concerns about Twitter.
“Twittering stems from a lack of identity. It’s a constant update of who you are, what you are, where you are. Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity.”
I guess while we’re at it, he should probably add blogging to that too, since Twitter is simply a micro-blogging service.
The article also had another great quote from Dr David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist and director of research based at the University of Sussex.
“We are the most narcissistic age ever. Using Twitter suggests a level of insecurity whereby, unless people recognise you, you cease to exist. It may stave off insecurity in the short term, but it won’t cure it.”
Eek, I’m now having an identity crisis (although, contradictory, I do have a big narcissistic head), and am utterly lost and insecure. Gotta go back to Twitter and tell everyone about it…