Don’t forget about text messaging

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At The Bridge Restaurant tonight a local guitarist, James Harris, was playing. Before I dive in James is a damn good guitarist and the bartenders know what they’re doing. So, back to James Harris and his great acoustic covers. On the back of his music stand he taped/tied an 8×10 piece of paper that reads “James Harris Request Hotline Text! (860) 235-xxxx send your song requests or just happy comments!”. My marketing professor at Plymouth State, Peter Yunich, said that, “Marketing is an in depth study of the obvious”. Don’t over think your social media strategy too much. Go back to basics. Now is the time to embrace social media and for the small business owner this means utilizing text messaging. While enjoying my beverages James received several texts requesting a variety of music. I’ve seen James play at the Daniel Packer Inn (DPI) in Mystic, CT and he hasn’t displayed the sign. Maybe it’s a new idea, or he has recognized his audience varies from place to place. The crowd at DPI is definitely younger, ranging between the ages of 21 and 30. The Bridge is certainly a more upscale restaurant catering to an older crowd. At DPI the setting (a colonial NE Inn w/ pub in the basement) and crowd are more apt to shout requests, however, I would assume texting to be rampant too. At The Bridge 99% of the crowd has a phone and 75-85% probably owns a smartphone. James is doing a wonderful job using social media (text messaging) to connect with current and attract new fans.


How do I link my Social Media accounts?

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Tired of opening three browsers to post the same update to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts? Here’s a FREE and simple solution: TweetDeck. TweetDeck is very easy to use. First, I recommend downloading TweetDeck Desktop. Now you can start TweetDeck from your Start menu, dock, or desktop. TweetDeck is compatible with PCs and Mac’s.

My two favorite features (feel free to share yours in the comment section below) are the automatic URL shortener and the scheduled update feature. While the URL shortener allows you to be quick and efficient, scheduled updates help you implement your updates according to plan. I’m currently managing four different company accounts and scheduled updates makes my life so much easier!

You can schedule the following day, days, week, or month of updates!
With TweetDeck open click the little icon that looks like a clock on the right side of the update box to schedule the time and date you want the update to be posted to the account of your choice.

Not only is TweetDeck a must have tool for small businesses to efficiently manage their social media efforts, but its also wonderful for personal uses too.

You can follow trending topics worldwide or in the US and you can also add additional columns to follow along with #hashtags relevant to you or your industry.

TweetDeck is the best FREE attention dashboard out there. However, you don’t have the analytics package that you pay for with HootSuite. I recommend TweetDeck for small and local businesses who are just entering this world of new media. If you’re the only person responsible for managing social media at your organization TweetDeck will be your new best friend.

Social Media @ Plymouth State University


While browsing Facebook I found myself checking up on my a recent post in which I tagged my alma mater Plymouth State University. Looking at the PSU Facebook Fan Page it is clear Plymouth State does not have any social media strategy. I would like to know the purpose of having a fan page that you dedicate time updating daily, but don’t respond to comments or suggestions posted on its wall. So, Plymouth State has 3,390 fans at the time of this post, what purpose – how is Plymouth State University (PSU) benefitting from this fan page at all? It’s not.

Before Plymouth continues with their social media efforts the University needs to understand that social media requires use and cooperation of social media sites and platforms internally across the institution. Simply designating one person to monitor all of your social media efforts is ridiculous (unless you’re a small business).

This is an opportunity for PSU to connect with Alumni and current students, including parents. Using their Facebook Fan Page PSU needs to start by replying to comments people make on the page’s wall. This is critical to building a community because it helps you to establish trust and will naturally (over time) lead to more traffic and more ‘likes’ and ultimately down the road increased admissions and overall enrollment! However, before I get ahead of myself remember this takes time.

Plymouth State University is not the only NPO, business, or government that needs guidance. Failing to have a strategy leads to no results. Designing a strategy is specific to your mission or vision. If your organization is serious about optimizing its social presence it must consider, accept, and understand the following:

1) Social media won’t lead to overnight sales success. Success will take time and will come in increased buzz, referrals, traffic, and yes, sales.

2) Social media can’t be totally outsourced. You have to be involved to make this a success.

3) Social media’s not completely free. It’ll take time and/or money to achieve sustained growth.

Still having second thoughts? Click on any of the following social media businesses or industry experts and they will educate you using a similar message. Brian Solis, Dan Zarrella,  After all, the above “3 warnings” of social media I found on Likeable Local the new branch of Likeable Media which focuses on helping small businesses enter the realm of social media the correct and profitable way.

Radio Twitter?

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I can’t stand it anymore. I’m entering into the marketing/advertising game myself, but radio ads absolutely suck the life out of me. They have got to be the worst form of advertising I have ever heard! They’re corny, annoying, and worse off they interrupt the flow of music. So, I want to change the way radio ads are run – I’m done listening to another sales pitch while I’m on my way to work.

Enter the new radio: social radio (what a clever name…). Anyway social radio will either remove 100% of all vocal ads or at least reduce their frequency to something reasonable, maybe 2 mins of ads every 60mins? Using social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook or maybe this would lead to the creation of an entirely new social network regardless the idea is for users to post what songs they want to hear and the DJ or radio station will play your song.

This won’t happen instantly of course, because you won’t be the only person requesting songs. However, it will give more control to users – if radio stations comply. For example, a local radio station sets up a Twitter account, accumulates followers (advertising on their station) and because these followers are encouraged to post songs they want to listen to I imagine this would attract the masses. Anyway followers post the songs they want to hear – one per tweet (possibly reduce twitter characters to fewer than 140 for these accounts?). After a song has been tweeted it can now be voted on using something similar to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button. I realize RT (Re-Tweets) are the currency for Twitter, but adding a polling feature might help make voting easier to track. With that said, RT should be used to measure a songs popularity too.

What about those ads?

Now that the radio station has it’s own Twitter handle small banner ads will be displayed in between tweets. You could throw an ad in between every other tweet, every 5, 10 etc. I realize that radio ads are simple for small businesses to create, little technology is required, this also might be the reason some small businesses are hesitant to advertise online. Yes, to some technology is intimidating, but I know these banner ads can be constructed with ease given today’s knowledge and innovation. Hell, maybe a banner ad has a white background with black letters that’s fine with me. I believe when introducing this to some local business owners is to emphasize the simplicity with which these ads can be built. Once I know they understand and feel comfortable with the new medium I would dive right into ad targeting. OK Twitter doesn’t have an ad sidebar like Facebook does and it doesn’t need one. Only allow the ads to be displayed on the radio stations Twitter account (exclusive ads…lol). As for the ad platform – I would hope to see it be similar to Facebook’s hyper targeting.

Wait, who’s going to profit off of this?

Twitter & the radio station, that’s right, Twitter could charge a hosting fee (monthly, semi annual, annual etc.) and then the radio station receives all the ad revenue it procures; OR, Twitter gets %X and the radio station %Y and presto we have a simple revenue stream that (hopefully) leaves both parties smiling. Of course, it won’t be that easy, but I don’t see why should this be complicated??