Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blogging with #Irene

So I prepared like most of you did. I have my water, food, fuel, cooking supplies and of course coffee and as of right now 10:04 am Sunday it looks like I will be able to watch TrueBlood tonight because the power and cable is still on here at my house. I am monitoring the usage of social media to get the word out to the people who have mobile devices that are not effected by the storm. Here is what I have seen so far.
1-Everyone is a mobile newsroom now.
2-People want to help other people by posting information to assist them to know the danger areas around them.
3-Social Media is being embraced by all news platforms to help stay in communication with the world.

I hope everyone is staying safe during this storm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why We Created "Share Your Fanpage"

Why We Created:

We launched Share Your Fanpage just about 36 hours ago, and it has been growing at a steady pace. We envision that in about 30 days time it will have a couple of hundred pages posted up, and many more will come join the platform as word of this spreads, and the usefulness of it becomes apparent.

So what's the method behind the madness; why did we decide to create a place where Page owners can freely post their Page?

For a long time, Erik and I have thought about Facebook as not only a B2C platform, but a platform just on the brink of being able to be utilized just as well for B2B. The best of both worlds. That came to fruition a few months ago, when Facebook changed features on the site to enable people to "Switch" from their personal profiles and assume the personality of their Fanpage. When this happened, we were finally able to speak as our Fanpage once we left our little spot on Facebook.

What this in essence did was create the ability to now go to other Pages and post as our own Page, easily spreading the word about our businesses and organizations organically. For example, Talking Finger could now go to Subway's Page and post AS Talking Finger. Subway has 8 million fans at our disposal who would have the potential to see our post. Powerful stuff! By engaging and posting as our Page, we have attained clients we wouldn't have if we didnt have this ability of speaking as our Page. More about that later.

We watched other Pages similar to Share Your Page pop up, and fall into disarray. Spam and lack of organization lead to a jumbled mess of posts that went to everywhere from Fanpages to porn sites. Most of all, no instructions on how to actually utilize a platform where Page owners could help each other out to find prospects: NOT just "Likes". Likes are great, but they don't always equate to ROI.

We decided to try something new. Our Page includes Video Guidelines (text version available) and "How To" videos for connecting to other pages and cross marketing by simply engaging in conversation. Conversation that isn't just spam, but one which builds relationships between pages who wish to connect and partner up to "share" each other's fan base. Because the relationship you build B2B between Pages equals a huge gain in B2C. After all, If I have 1000 fans on my Talking Finger Fanpage, and you connect to it with your Fanpage and engage in conversation (rather than just coming, dropping a link and leaving), you are now not only speaking to Talking Finger, but to all of Talking Finger's 1000 fans. In the example below, Franklin Management who is just starting to get going on Facebook, has a wonderful thing to say about Talking Finger, but more importantly, they posted to 1000 of our fans.

Now if Franklin Management continues such practices, and starts connecting and sharing and building relationships on other Fan Pages, they increase their odds of finding a prospect and eventually a client.

It takes time. It takes planning. It takes consistency and it takes a dedication to allocate resources to social media marketing. Share Your Fanpage makes it easier to share your Fanpage, but ultimately it is up to you to make it work. We can't make connections for you. After all, if you went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, would you stand against the wall afraid to engage in conversation? Does this method work?

Hopefully, you would walk around, try to meet as many people as you could and engage in conversation. So why on Earth wouldn't you do this on a social network!!??

Go forth! Share, Like, Engage!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I am an Official Foursquare Creeper

Last night a friend of mine asked if I would like to grab a drink at a bar all of our friends frequent. Despite my fatigue from a long weekend I agreed.

As I pulled up to Anna Liffey's and parked my car I immediately took out my phone to check into the establishment on Foursquare (I don't get very good service downstairs). As I began to accumulate my points I saw that my friend checked into another place that we frequent, Gourmet Heaven. Wondering why he was there and not at Liffey's, I decided to take a walk down the street to see him.

I walked into Gourmet Heaven and walked down the aisles of imported food and drink searching for my friend. Confused, and slightly disappointed that I couldn't share half of whatever he bought, I walked back down the street to Anna's.

As I walked down the stairs I saw him sitting right at the end of the bar. "Jason! I totally just walked to Gourmet because you were checked in there!"

As soon as I said it I knew...I had become a Foursquare creeper.

A better definition of a Foursquare creeper would be someone who uses the app to find where people are and then go to that place. Granted, Jason and I already had plans to meet so I think my creepiness was on a lesser degree (at least, that's what I tell myself) but it was still apparent nonetheless.

After I found Jason we began chatting with the owner of the bar, Patrick. Patrick overheard us talking about checking into places and questioned us on it. We began to explain:

Me: "Checking in comes from this social media app called Foursquare. People check into places to accumulate points and it becomes a game for friends to try and get as many points as possible to beat each other. And you try to become mayors of places!"

Jason: "But it's also a really great social networking tool for businesses. A lot of places will have specials or incentives to get people to enter their business. For example, Starbucks will give the mayor a free cup of coffee as a way to keep them coming. It also is a way for other patrons to try and become mayor to get the free coffee. On the app it shows a list of specials in the area that people can browse."

Patrick at this point looks utterly confused. I take out my phone.

Me: "Here, look." I open up the Foursquare app on my phone and click "Places." At the bottom of the screen there is an orange bar that says "27 Specials Nearby." I click it. A new screen opens up and I show Patrick the businesses that are using and promoting items on Foursquare. I happen to see that Koji will give a free scorpion bowl to the mayor of it's restaurant. I make a mental note to myself.

I give Patrick my phone and he begins to scroll through the specials. He peers over his glasses and, although he still looks confused, I see him taking note of some of the other local bars in the area that are utilizing the app.

Foursquare is getting more popular especially among businesses. I know when I'm new to an area I look at the specials on Foursquare to see if I can benefit from anything. Couple that with Urbanspoon or Yelp and I'm completely covered with restaurants and other businesses.

I highly suggest that you and your business use Foursquare if you aren't already. It's a great way to retain customers and to entice new ones. And the next time you're in New Haven, check to see if you can grab a free pint at Anna Liffey's.