Who Uses Twitter?

Hot off the presses, the Pew Report on Who’s Using Twitter was just released today. Here’s what they found about twitter users:

• 14% are between the ages of 18-29
• 7% are between the ages of 30-39
• 18% Hispanic
• 13% Black
• 7% White
• 10% Women
• 7% Men
• 9% College educated
• 5% High school diploma
• 11% Urbanites
• 8% Suburbanites
• 36% Check twitter updates one time per day
• 25% Check twitter updates a few days per week or every few weeks
• 54% Make post humorous or philosophical observations about life
• 53% Re-tweet material posted by others
• 24% Use the service to tweet their location

Check out the Full Report

How does your Business use twitter? We’d love to know…

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Facebook 101

Most likely if you’re reading this blog you are on Facebook. Facebook has truly changed the way we keep in touch with one another mostly, to see whats happening in someone’s life. It has made the world a smaller place. The same applies for business. For any business it’s important to keep your fans up to date with what’s happening. This applies more so to certain business than others. For example, an auto body shop doesn’t need to update it’s customers with what is going on, but a TV network does it to keep their viewers informed. This applies to small business and non profits as well.  Facebook helps you reach out to your consumers/fans and hopefully create new business opportunities. Facebook is also a positive way to engage fans and get them to interact with your brand. Status updates are a great way to ask fans questions and get them thinking about how they feel about what you do. Keeping your existing fan base up to date with information they want to know is key. e.g – a sale, specials, tips, and even relevant articles.  Also, add the “like” button to website! Become friends with other businesses and most likely they will friend you back.

One thing that is a bit confusing is if you want to create a page or link it to a profile. I would recommend a page, however there are certain times that a profile will work best.  Here is a great article that explains it all.
http://searchengineland.com/facebook-101-a-simple-guide-to-understanding-when-how-to-use-basic-features-57888

Facebook 101 Business Guide – here is a great step by step on how to create a Facebook page: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-101-business-guide/

Facebook Pages – This page is direct from Facebook Help Center.  It’s a great link for any questions you have. http://www.facebook.com/#!/help/?page=175

There are tons of great Facebook apps for doing business, one that is invaluable is Static FBML.  The application allows you to create tabs on your profile that are specific to your business using html, cms, and javascript coding.  For those who can’t code, its easy to find what you need by doing a simple google search.  Static FBML also allows businesses to change their Facebook landing page.  So rather than having the Wall be the first thing people see, you can have have a page that displays your merchandise and encourages people to purchase.

Here’s a link to some helpful code:
http://www.mybusinesspresence.com/basic-html-code-for-your-static-fbml-pages-on-facebook/

Here are some how-to links:
http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=4949752878&b
http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/tutorial-facebook-pages-with-static-fbml-application/

Lastly, what do you post? Here are a few articles about what you should and should not post: http://www.123etiquette.com/business-etiquette/facebook-business-etiquette-101/ and http://gigaom.com/collaboration/32-ways-to-use-facebook-for-business/

How does your Business use Facebook? We’d love to know…

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Interview with a Fashion Designer

This is an interview with an LA based clothing designer who is a friend of Ellie’s.  We’d love reader feedback on what questions we should be asking in future interviews so please leave a comment, either with follow up questions for this interview or questions you’d like us to ask future subjects.

CSM: What kind of business do you own?

Answer: A women’s contemporary, eco-friendly clothing line sold in small boutiques, and a secondary line sold in a contemporary mass-market retailer.

CSM: Where is your business located?  Where do you do most of your sales?

A: Los Angeles. My showroom is based out of Los Angeles, but I sell primarily to boutiques on the East coast.

CSM: What is your target demographic?

A: 25-40. City-dweller. College and above. Either in a creative field or views themselves as creative.

CSM: What is your primary marketing strategy?

A: Digital: but primarily through blogs and press writing about us, through finding out about us or our press releases.  We are of the strategy that we don’t pay for press, we are interesting enough to warrant press on our own.

CSM: What social media do you use (facebook, twitter, etsy, etc.)?

A: Our own website.

Our blog (one per line).
Facebook pages (one per line).
Online shops.

CSM: How does marketing through social media impact your business?

A: The main goal at this point is to build awareness to support the stores that carry our line, and to eventually drive sales to our online sales. My blog gets only about 400 readers a day, and I keep writing for personal interest as well as so that when I post something about my line: at least 400 people see it that day.

But…I don’t really know how much it does. My product is specific, fitted and sized it’s a lot harder for me to convert to a web sale. A friend has a t-shirt line and she sells tons anytime she posts a sale on twitter or fb: but it’s simply sized and boys buy it too.

CSM: How is social media changing the sense of community around your business?

A: That’s a good question: it amazes me that people I’ve never heard of “like” my line on facebook, so in some ways I’m more connected to people that are a part of my company’s community. But how many of those “likes” are as important as someone who bought a dress of mine three years ago, then again last year, then found my secondary line, bought two pieces, and then gave another piece as a gift and talks up my line whenever possible, and hates facebook?

CSM:  How would your marketing strategy be different if you didn’t have social media as a tool?

A: I view social media more as a display case for what our brand is doing than an outreach tool.  So, I wouldn’t be able to tell as many people what we are up to or I would need another outlet.  I think that the internet and social media is invaluable to young and independent designers, that having been said, it’s also a bit of a time suck. 🙂

CSM: Is there any instance in todays world where you would NOT recommend social media as part of a business strategy?

A: OMG.

The other day I heard on the radio a chapstick ad where they extolled you to “learn more about us on facebook” and my aunt’s company (a science/tech/but only to the industry company) had her do a facebook page and the other day Tide told me that like 40 of my friends were fans of Tide. First of all, unless you have a full marketing plan to roll out with your FB or twitter or whatever, or if you are a big mainstream company it’s pretty pointless. Secondly, anyone who “likes” a big mainstream brand unless it’s Obama, is a nerd and not a social innovator and their FB status aren’t even coming up on my home page and I don’t really care what they think anyway. Thirdly, if your company doesn’t interact with individual consumers: I would skip the social networking unless you are in tech.

CSM: What advice do you have to offer other people entering your industry as they contemplate where to put their efforts online?

A: One has to figure out what type of social media is best in relation to their line and in relation to them as the spokesperson for their line, if they are one.

Blogging makes sense for me because it fills in the holes of the inspiration and interest in my line—if you think my line/blog is cool—maybe you think my blog/line is cool. Facebook is to connect on a more direct level for people. I don’t do twitter because I don’t want my Self to be too closely aligned to my brand, my Self is worth more than my line. We can all smell the cheese when someone tweets or FB for their job or whatever—horrible. I also don’t value the idea of twitter: I think it’s a waste of time unless there is a crime on my street or an attack in Mumbai.

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Interview with a Massage Therapist

This is an interview with an NY based Massage Therapist who’s business La Dolce Vita Massage is based in Long Island City.  We would love reader feedback on what questions we should be asking in future interviews so please leave a comment, either with follow up questions for this interview or questions you would like us to ask future subjects.

CSM: What kind of business do you own?

Answer: Massage Therapy Business

CSM: Where is your business located?  Where do you do most of your sales?

Answer: 4712 Vernon Blvd, Hunters Point (Long Island City). From street traffic or by word of mouth.

CSM: What is your target demographic (age, location, socio-economic status)?

Answer: Men & Woman between 18-80. I also focus on pregnant woman of any age.

CSM: What is your primary marketing strategy (is it traditional, like print/TV or is it mainly digital). If both, how does the approach to each differ?  How do the results differ?

Answer: Primarily my website is my main marketing strategy, but I haven’t tried the print approach yet. I’m sure print advertising will work for me, I just have not have placed an add in a publication yet. I’m looking to place an add in next month’s LIC/Astoria free magazine Boro.  I’m excited to see the results of local adverting.

CSM: What social media do you use (facebook, twitter, etsy, etc.)

Answer: Right now I’m on Facebook, Yelp, Google and LinkedIn.  I’m still a little uneducated about  social media, so I’m not as familiar with twitter and even facebook buisness pages as I would like to be.

CSM: How does marketing through social media impact your business (if it does not impact your business please explain why)? Please discuss the primary impact as well… is it sharing information, actual sales, building a fan base, etc.

Answer: I’m not sure how much of an impact social media will have on my business as I am relatively new. I believe that google ads and yelp will help tremendously.  I plan to steer more of my current customers there to post reviews, in order to acquire new clients and increase awareness in LIC.

CSM: How is social media changing the sense of community around your business?

Answer: I believe social media is imperative to the success of any business and while I work in a large city people search locally.  I think social media makes finding places easier, and reviews help either drive people or ward them away.  I’m excited in the way the community comes together in sites like Astorians.com.  It makes this big city feel much smaller.

CSM: How would your marketing strategy be different if you didn’t have social media as a tool?

Answer: I would do more print ads and handing out of flyers (which I don’t think really work)

CSM: Is there any instance in today’s world where you would NOT recommend social media as part of a business strategy?

Answer: Absolutely not, isn’t social media just an extension of word of mouth adverting? Maybe if your running a bad business.

CSM: What advice do you have to offer other people entering your industry as they contemplate where to put their efforts online?

Answer: Know your market and use online resources that are geared towards those individuals. Targeting is key, use internet searches to your advantage.  Sometime even a little homework goes a long way.  Also, understand your client, if you get a negative review reach out and contact that person and see if you can resolve the situation.

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Twitter 101

With 2010 coming to a close and 2011 knocking on the door, social media is all the buzz.  It has emerged as a viable advertising medium and something that can be applied to almost any business.  The best part is that it’s free. With Twitter and Facebook emerging as the clear winners there are lots of other social media outlets as well that could help you. Unless you use these tools everyday this social world may seem scary.  Some questions that might come to mind, are how do I use these social tools to increase my business?  What helps me get customers to come back again and again to my page or following my business?  There are most likely several other questions that come to mind as well.  Hopefully, this will help you get started on social media and understanding it.  Lets start with Twitter.

Twitter:

101 – Introduction
http://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/215585-twitter-101-how-should-i-get-started-using-twitter
I like this site, it explains Twitter and how it works in ways you will understand.  It also is a great starting point if you have a question about Twitter.  If you are a newbie, this is the first place you want to go.

101 – Business
http://support.twitter.com/articles/218635-business-101-getting-started-on-twitter
http://support.twitter.com/groups/35-business
Plain and simple, businesses are one of the key reason Twitter is an effective tool. The link above gives the 101 on how as a business you can use Twitter.

FAQ
http://support.twitter.com/entries/13920-frequently-asked-questions
Who doesn’t have questions?  This page will help you find answers.

Follow these blogs:
http://blog.twitter.com/
http://twitter.com/search?q=%23TwitterTip

Engage your consumer – JetBlue does this really well.
http://twitter.com/jetblue

Example:
When your promoting your business, remember to give your “fans” a reason to subscribe or follow you.  Do fun promotions on twitter.  A great example of this is JetBlue

http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/5579-jetblue-gives-away-1-000-tickets-on-twitter-3

Tip: Remember that EVERYONE can see your twitter, your followers get updates when they log in on the dashboard.

Tip # 2:  Twitter also shows up on google when you search however, only when it’s a highly tweetted item.  Try typing JetBlue twitter into google and you will see a Real Time Results section in your google search.

How does your Business use Twitter? We’d love to know…

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Social Media for Food-Related Businesses

Whenever I’m in Manhattan I marvel at the fabulous food trucks. That got me to thinking when I happened to notice one parked on 7th Ave and 18th St. How could I find them again if I wanted to? Kim Ima, food truck operator and owner of The Treats Truck in New York City uses the Internet and social media to let her customers know of her whereabouts on a daily basis. There are a number of ways that a restaurant or small food business owner can also grow their business by using social media.

Twitter presents a great opportunity to post up to 140 characters of information in one “tweet” and distribute it to many with one mouse click. Business users like Kim can enter messages from their computer or mobile phone and have them transmitted to people who have chosen to “follow” them. Users get updates through email or as a text messages to their mobile phone.

Kim provides updates on a weekly basis on her website, but she also uses twitter, and tweets several times every day to let her customers know she’s arrived at a particular location. Presently Kim has 5,967 twitter followers, and when she gets into a traffic jam, which can certainly happen nowadays with holiday gridlock, she just calls her staff and asks, “Can you guys tweet for me? I’m running a few minutes late, stuck in traffic. Cookies on the way.”

Another small take-out business, which also happens to be a food truck, The Cinnamon Snail sells organic gourmet food and uses both twitter and Facebook to connect with customers in Red Bank and Hoboken NJ. They started their Facebook page in February 2010 and since then have 2,273 Facebook fans. Actually, I just liked them myself, so that makes 2,274 and growing. The Cinnamon Snail reports their specials and let’s potential customers know what they’re serving up each week.

You’re probably thinking twitter and Facebook for a food truck seems like a no brainer, but what about using social media for a small restaurant or fast food business? I know, social media tools have been somewhat controversial since some think they’re used to spread information about mundane things, but if used properly these tools provide another form of marketing and they’re completely FREE. No design, printing or distribution charges, and you can see your fan base growing right in front of your eyes.

I looked up a local restaurant on Facebook and they have 765 people who like them, one who also happens to be a friend of mine. The restaurant runs a special promotion for Facebook fans, offering one free entree with the purchase of another. The restaurant also advertises in quite a few other places, including local newspapers and coupon books. But, with traditional advertising it’s not possible to see what other diners have to say about them. The reason this restaurant can run a special promotion on Facebook is because they aren’t paying for the advertising, so the consumer benefits, and the restaurant not only gets free advertising, but referrals from fans right on their page. In fact, fans can also post photographs, videos, comments and shout-outs. That’s a  definite win-win.

Take a look at your competitors and see if they have social media strategies. Then consider some strategies of your own.

Watch for an upcoming video interview with Adam Sobel on how he uses social media for The Cinnamon Snail.

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What is Second Life?

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