Often we have small businesses ask for assistance with their social media, but they find our one on one coaching to be to much, so we are glad to offer some group classes that will deliver quality education at an affordable price for small businesses. The first of these programs is being offered in our own backyard of south west Pasco ( Trinity, New Port Richey).
There are two options:
Option one is a two hour class where you will learn about the different types of social media and the cor principles that will help you build your following and connection with your consumers and future consumers. http://holmnpr1.eventbrite.com/
Option two is designed to follow what we deliver in our one on one coaching program, with the goal of you being self sufficient in your social media. We will train you over 4 weeks on what to do, and how to do it with each classes building on the previous weeks class. Our goal is to not overwhelm you, but share the love of social media, that so many have, and more importantly how to use it in your business. http://holmnpr4wk.eventbrite.com/
Keeping with our strong belief of giving back to the community, there are seats reserved in each class for charitable organizations, call us for details.
Coincidentally I noticed that I am not checking in as much as I once did, and i decided to reflect on this a little to figure out why. I came up with a simple answer, no incentive.Typically you choose to check in for one of several reasons;
- You want to let your friends know where you are.
- You are playing one of the games where you get points for check-ins.
- your own notes of what you’ve been up to
- and last but far from least, discounts and specials.
Some business are making smart offers like something free on your X visit. That offers everyone a reason to keep coming back. Chili’s offers free chips and salsa just for checking in, and they added another smart special “
Another up and comer in the LBCs that I really like is SCVNGR. They offer a series of challenges that you can do at a business. These challenges offer the business free promotion in the social media that their customers push out, but also offers the opportunity for the business to reward such interaction. While I pick on Buffalo Wild Wings above in the Foursquare example, they are one of the few taking advantage of SCVNGR in my area.
There are several other LBCs and I recommend any business list themselves on as many as they can, and offer true discounts, as this is what the customers/players are looking for. If you take care of your customers, they will tell their friends, and you will benefit. We at Head of Lettuce Media teach businesses how to integrate different types of Social media into their business as well as how to participate in the conversation around their brand. Contact us today for your Social Media needs.
As many of you know, Amber and I were part of the original Foursquare day team here in Tampa with several others from the Tampa Tech and Social Media communities. Here is a great interview we had Foursquare Day after spending some time with the Mayor of Tampa. Here are some of the Picts we took this year.
For a few weeks now I have obsessed over the applications of Swarm, herd and Mob behavior and how they might apply to social media, and I believe there is something there worth striving to understand. I believe that how people behave online might follow these theories.
Swarm behaviour or Swarm Intelligence discusses how working together the group is smarter and stronger than the individual. This is demonstrated by insect swarms, where the individual insect is not intelligent, but collectively they can carry out some pretty amazing/destructive things. I believe that swarming can be one of the causes of topics trending on twitter.
In April of this year we saw a swarm with the creation of #4SQDAY. Consider only 3 weeks before 4/16/2010 no one ever thought of a “Foursquare Day” see the story here. With 4SQDAY we saw an idea’s inception that was shared with a core group via twitter, that group then then focused their attention on getting this idea “out there” and the collective bit on it. We then saw this idea grow in 3 weeks to 250 cities throwing parties in at least 35 countries. Don’t find this impressive, try planning just 10 parties in ten cities in 3 weeks.
Herd behavior discusses how individuals act in a similar pattern to those around them, much like a flock of birds. This Herd behavior can be seen in the stock market where individuals look to see how others are acting, and without thinking about it, mimic their behavior. On Twitter, herd behavior would be one probable cause of people re-tweeting trending topics, causing them to continue to trend. “It’s what everyone is doing”.
Mob behavior however discusses people being motivated to act in a fashion outside of their character, because they are swept up in the moment with others demonstrating that behavior, this is accountable for why people buy impulse items when they see others buying those items, even if they never intended to buy those items. On Twitter, mob behavior may be an explanation for people who jump on board attacking a company or brand online. Today while researching a company that I am meeting with next week I noticed that they were promoting a “big announcement”; after the announcement I noticed a quick mob joined in after the first negative remark, people jumped in on the company, and my guess is that some of those people only jumped in, because they saw others doing it.
The question now, which I hope to investigate and find out, is can behaviors such as these be artificially created, can they be focused, once focused, can they be dispersed or redirected in a new direction. I am looking for any and all ideas on this, so please chime in. If you have any examples of any of these behaviors, add them as a comment. I hope to have a follow-up to this article, including what I learn.
Last week when working with a new client that I am coaching in social media integration, we focused on Twitter, and I was reminded of my first home buying experience. I was in real estate for a few years, but always worked on the seller side, and never went to a closing (in NY the attorneys handle the closing details). Everyone involved seemed to forget it was my first time buying a house, and going through the buyer side to closing, as a result assumptions were made and I was frustrated and made uncomfortable. I realized the need for a buyer training program that assumed they knew nothing and that held their hand through the process and created one that was very popular…flash forward.
This week I read three good twitter articles (see below) that made me want to share my experiance.
Many of us who use Twitter regularly have a hard time remembering what it was like to not have an idea. People new to twitter don’t know what we know, and we need to assume they know even less then we did, or they would have jumped in sooner. With that in mind I wanted to share a few things we discussed after setting up the initial account. First, Do fill in your profile, as more experienced tweeters will not follow you if they can’t tell what you are about. Now mind you newbies who might be reading this, this is not an all inclusive, but instead, the tip of the iceberg of things to consider.
You need to figure out who you want to follow, and you should keep in mind why you want to follow them, and why they might want to follow you back. Check and see who you might already know on Twitter; Twitter makes this easy as it will search your Gmail, Yahoo, Linkedin and AOL accounts to see who you might already know using twitter.
You can also search by interests on Twitter or search by names. After adding the easy to find, your friends, now it is time to look to other resources. TweepML is a great tool to look for lists that might already have groups assembled that you might wish to follow, I was introduced to this by @WhoisGregg back when we were working on the first Foursquare day and it was new to me, I did learn that when you sign in at the bottom of a list the app will automatically follow everyone who is checked on the list, so read carefully before you accidentally follow a list of several hundred. In addition to the importance of a profile filled in, it is helpful to announce yourself, and let people know you are new, seasoned tweeters are much more forgiving of blunders when you are new, and will even offer advice when asked…ok sometimes when not asked also:)
Search on Twitter Search for keywords that will guide you to people tweeting on topics that you like. I also like to use Twellow as it gives you the ability to search for businesses and individuals that you might wish to develop a relationship with by categories or area. Last week we were searching for doctors in Florida, and guess what, we found them. Keep in mind most people will look at you following them and wonder why, answer that in your initial tweets and in your profile. i.e. I focus on new technologies and social media, so it should not be rocket science to individuals who study social media why I am following them. The bonus is that hopefully they will follow you back. Do create lists within Twitter to help you better manage the people you follow. I recommend: Friends, People I’ve met, prospects (might want to make this or other lists private) and what ever other groups you might need. You can add people to a list without following them, you might choose to demote those with thousands of followers who don’t follow you back to a list, I have a Media list of people I don’t expect to follow me back. BTW you can follow other people’s public lists, so look and see what lists your friends have.
When you start out, if people see you following a bunch of people and only a few following you back, not to mention very few tweets, they are going to look at you a little skeptical as this could easily look like a spam account, so try to be active showing your real, and discuss being new and wanting to learn from others in the medium the proper etiquette as well as what to do and not do.
When someone follows you, follow them back, you could dm (direct message) if you wish, but it is not a big deal if you don’t. Just make sure if you do, it looks authentic from you to them, and DO NOT PLUG your business. If people think you are only their to sell them, they will un-follow you fast. My favorite is when real estate agents ask if the can help me with my housing needs on their first DM, Unfollow.
Make sure you look at these articles; The Lemonade Stand Approach…Twitter for Home Based Business, 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business, and Treat Your Social Media Contacts Like You Would A Third Date.
Recently Izea unveiled their Android version of their location based App WeReward, so of course I had to jump on board and do my diligent research. Like Gowalla and Foursquare, WeReward is location based, offering you a choice of locations near you. The difference is where Gowalla and Foursquare offer a focus on the social aspect of where your friends are, and non-tangible rewards, WeReward actually tries to monetize your reward, much like cash back on a credit card.
With WeReward you receive points for your visits to different locations, or for trying certain products. Here is a simple video from their site that highlights the product.
While I like the fact that WeReward tackles head on the question of Wiifm, what’s in it for me, I found it annoying having to photograph every visit at a location. This novelty wore off real fast, considering that I averaged 5 points per visit. Taking a picture took more of my time then I am willing to spend on a check in. I imagine that down the road they might come up with easier ways to check in, maybe via a code on your receipt, something that does not require you waiting on your camera opening up.
Another app that I am in the process of checking out is Face2Face let me know if you have played with it yet and what you think. I will post my thoughts on it after I have played with it a few weeks. I usually try any app for 3 weeks before passing my judgment.
While there are many entertaining and social reasons to use location based checkin services like Foursquare and Gowalla, there are also some strong benefits that you might be missing out on if you are in a business that calls on others businesses, whether it is for service, deliveries or just sales calls.
I have a friend who owns a discount toner and ink company that delivers their products to many local businesses in the Trinity area. Imagine if every time she delivered, she checked in via a Location Based Checkin app. This would be like a plug for every delivery…did you know “xyz” buys from us, how about “abc”, in fact, everyday there would be reinforcement of who her customers are, and how active she is. There is an adage that “activity breads success” Well as more and more people notice on Facebook and Twitter that so many people in the area are using her services, what do you think that would do for her business? Best of all, guess what this simple campaign would cost her to run? nothing but her time. In this economically challenging time, social media is a low cost option that can deliver much better results then some traditional advertising campaigns that might cost a lot more.
As a Real Estate agent I use Foursquare to checkin to different neighborhoods when showing homes, and this message shows people that I am being active in their area. If the business you are calling on is not in Foursquare (or other app) you can enter them, then let the business owner know what you did and what it might mean to their business to be findable in this location based app. You are going to earn some respect from them for being on top of opportunities and more importantly for showing them an inexpensive way that they to can promote their business.
here are two great blog posts that discuss case studies with Foursquare, one from research and one from one persons experience. Both are good reads.
and Foursquare Check-ins: The Low-Hanging Fruit From Kevin Lyons
I had a great experience this past week in my other Business, Real Estate, which is funding the growth and development of the Head of Lettuce for now.
As many of you know I was involved in the planning and development of Foursquare Day (#4sqday), a social media holiday that was born here in Tampa, well on Foursquare day I was meeting a young would be home owner at a property in a neighborhood which just happened to be entered in Foursquare as a location and their Club house was in there also, so in my true geek spirit, I checked in on Foursquare, which in turn sent that notice to Facebook and Twitter and ultimately set wheels in motion. 4 Hours later I received a comment on my post from a local builder sales rep who happened to friend me asking me to consider their products for the buyer. Well I did take the buyer over to look at the specific house that the Rep. told me about, well to make a long story short, they ended up buying the house.
So what’s the moral of this tale, well you truly never know who if following you and how you may benefit from that fact. Even something that is viewed by many as silly, like Foursquare has many business applications that we have yet to discover. So if you are one of those who believes that social media is not a big deal, I can only say that you will be like the Real Estate agents I talked to when I was with Realtor.com in the late 90′s, either a late adopter working to catch the bus you missed, or soon out of business.
okay, okay, I know many are sick of hearing about Foursquare day, but there is something so much bigger that you need to consider. Just a few weeks ago an idea was thrown out there by an Optometrist, Dr. Nate, on Twitter and his Blog, and with in 3-4 weeks it has spiraled into a global movement on Twitter, Facebook & mainstream news, Take a look at this Google News Timeline . Unfortunately getting numbers from Foursquare is like pulling teeth, so quantifying what this has done for their user count, since the idea started, is an unknown at this time. Hopefully we will soon know where they were March 22 (when I believe the idea hatched) to April 22nd just 1 month later. There are not many chances to measure and track such an obscure idea and it offers a great opportunity to study the spread and flow of information in the social media platforms to those like me that want to know!
This idea started in Tampa, and has spread to over 100 cities including cities in China, Australia, and throughout Europe. Bing Maps has added a great App Foursquare Everywhere that shows check-ins as they happen in your area. Website SocialGreat has a tool for some cities that give a glimpse of activity over longer periods of time, and 4squareoffers designed by @Ramanean shows regular Foursquare offers by businesses outside of Foursquare day. As I have discussed on my Fan Page, I have been playing with Yahoo Pipes to keep track of Offers being offered in my area. Now we just need Foursquare to step up and help us understand this amazing phenomenon which is not just about them, but about social media in general.