Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

In social media, it’s not the size that matters.

Here it is, June 2010, and I’m still hearing things like this:

“We’re not one of your big clients. We have to focus on the basics:  direct marketing, email blasts, you know. We don’t have the time or the people for social media.”

And…

“It’s not like we’re a local mom and pop business,  we need scale. Sure, we like the idea of Facebook fans, but really, how much can we move the needle on Facebook?”

Can a company really be too small or too big to benefit from a social media strategy?

David and Goliath comparisons don’t get any clearer than Pizza Hut vs. Naked Pizza. Big vs. small.  Old vs. new. Mass produced, pre-made, highly processed fast food vs. healthy, natural, hand-made fast food.

And yet there’s something both of them can agree on.  One of the biggest ingredients to their recipe for growth is social media. Social media, with its low cost of entry both in terms of cost and required skills (anyone can have a free Facebook page, and with nearly 400 million active Facebook users, nearly everyone does) works especially well for really small, local companies, so let’s start with David:  Naked Pizza.

Naked Pizza, a franchise started in post-Katrina New Orleans in 2006, has embraced Twitter fully, down to putting a huge Twitter sign outside their store. Last year, they ran a Twitter-only promotion they credited with 15% of their day’s sales. A month later, nearly 70% of the customers calling in for orders were Twitter followers. They’ve got 5 new locations opening soon, and another 17 franchises awarded across the country, with reports of 40 new locations planned in Florida alone.

So what about Goliath?

This year Pizza Hut expects to hit $2 billion in online orders this year, according to a recent article in Chief Marketer. Papa Johns did that much in 2009, comprising 25% of their global business. 30% of Domino’s sales are online.

Fueling much of Pizza Hut’s growth is due their social media strategy. As of today, Pizza Hut has 1,393,776 million fans on Facebook. Last year they ran a national campaign to hire a Twintern, a summer Twitter Intern, whose job was to promote the company on Twitter and Facebook and handle online reputation monitoring. The winner, Alexa Robinson (@pizzahut), has been credited with helping grow Pizza Hut’s Twitter followers from 3,000 to 30,000. Robinson was so successful she was hired as Pizza Hut’s Tweetologist, a full time job that has expanded to include public appearances at events in New York City, Philadelphia, Little Rock, Richmond, Va., Columbia, S.C., and Des Moines, Iowa. — all tracked on Foursquare, of course, with pictures on Flickr.

Two companies, one big, one small, both benefiting from social media. It seems pretty clear to me, at least in this case, that it’s not the size that matters in social media, it’s what you do with it.

Does your company have a social media strategy? If not, can someone in your organization give me a call and please explain to me why you don’t?

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Forgive me friends, for I have sinned… it’s been over a month since my last news update on Facebook.

How did it happen? Why did I lapse? Where did my Facebook faith go?

I remember those first zealous days of discovery. The joy of reconnecting with old friends… and co-workers and high school classmates and college buds… and ex-girlfriends, in-laws, business associates, guys I played D&D with while Reagan was still president, friends of friends I met at a party once, and even the siblings of  schoolmates from elementary school.

I proselytized, I evangelized, I got my friends and family to join.

I spent lunchtime on Facebook. I went on at night after my wife went to bed.

And then something happened.

I discovered Twitter.

I didn’t intend to convert. I avoided Twitter as long as possible. Josef Katz (@directmaestro)  said I should tweet, and I resisted. Eleanor Haas (@EleanorHaas), one of the most forward thinking marketing professionals I know, started tweeting and still, I resisted. But then Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) tweeted while interviewing Twitter founder Biz Stone and I was hooked. It was all just so meta.

So I started tweeting.

For a while I did both. I even thought about connecting my Twitter (@jlsimons) to my Facebook.

But my Tweets tended to be about marketing and advertising, and that wasn’t really what Facebook was all about for me. Facebook was about reconnecting with friends, and Twitter was about business.

At least, that’s what I told myself.

But that wasn’t the truth.

It’s time to face the truth.

Twitter is just plain easier. Twitter doesn’t miss me when I don’t tweet, or at least, I don’t feel guilty about not commenting on every tweet I read. Twitter rewards me when I’m relevant… and challenges me to stay relevant.  Some of the most interesting articles I’ve read recently I found because someone I follow tweeted them.

I’m not the most prolific tweeter. The total of my tweets wouldn’t add up to a single week of Kevin Smith‘s tweets (@ThatKevinSmith). Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) gets more followers in an hour than I’ve gotten in almost a year.

And still, I tweet. When I find something I think people will appreciate, I tweet it and I feel like I’ve added something useful to a conversation I want to be part of.

When I post a new post on my blog, I usually tweet it. Heck, I might even tweet this.

I almost never tweet about where I’m going or what I’m doing. I never tweet about what I’m eating. I know some people do, and I respect their right to do it. Tweet and let tweet, I always say. (Well, actually, that was the first time. But I’ll probably say it more often now.)

Sure, sometimes I still go to Facebook, but it’s not the same for me anymore. I can’t tell you why, or maybe I just don’t want to know, but I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Facebook is now the most popular site on the web and gets more visits than Google.

That would be silly, right, avoiding something just because everyone is doing it? Because then, someday, I’d have to give up tweeting for the same reason.

I’m not the kind of person who does things just because they’re new and shiny. Really I’m not.

But just in case I’m wrong, can someone please explain Foursquare to me?