Justin Rubner

Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

How to Get People Talking About You

In business communications, social media on 03/10/2009 at 2:25 am

Today, I sold myself out for some lasagna: I shamelessly plugged another company, and pimped out my Twitter account, for the potential of winning $100 in Italian food.

And yes, it was worth it.

lasagna_gansonWhile surfing the Web today, a Maggiano’s Little Italy Twitter promotion caught my eye…and appetite. If you tweeted “Follow @Maggianos by 5pm CST to be entered to win $100 in Maggiano’s gift certificates” by that deadline, you would be eligible to win $100 in mouthwatering angel hair with Joey Z’s Pomodoro sauce, gnocchi with tomato-vodka sauce, or any other concoction that suited your taste.

So why was turning my own Twitter account into an advert for another company worth it? As social media news site Mashable says, the potential reward for spending five seconds advertising for the restaurant far outweighed the cost of sending a tweet. Which, of course, was zero.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win. But I am craving Italian food right now. I bet others who participated are too.

And that’s a win for Maggiano’s. The restaurant has 2,396 followers as of this writing. I checked the Twitter account of a restaurant chain that has a near cult-like following–@Five-Guys (a burger joint)–and it has only 352 followers. Imagine if they were offering one year of free meals? Five Guys followers would come out of the woodwork.

So, for simply the cost of the time spent managing a social media campaign and $200 in free food, Maggiano’s got thousands of people talking…and probably eating. Now, for the record, I’m a little peeved that only two diners won–@IssueTrak and @sheabeck. (Maggiano’s didn’t make the number of winners clear from the get-go). And I also think there are more creative things you can do on Twitter than just have people re-tweet something.

But every restaurant–and every furniture store and online retailer for that matter–should be testing innovative social media campaigns like this one right now to get people out of their bunkers and spending money on the economy once again.

Why Your Company Should Be on Twitter

In social media on 02/26/2009 at 10:26 pm

The other day, I saw a news story that caught my interest: Charter Communications, the cable company, was planning to file for bankruptcy protection. Being a Charter customer, I thought I would post my thoughts on Twitter.

My tweet, verbatim:

“My cable co. to file bankruptcy. I told them I was planning on going to AT&T and Charter could have cared less.”

twitter1For those of you a little sketchy on what Twitter is, it’s basically a “micro” blogging site that allows anyone to publish statements in 140 characters or less.

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. At best, it’s a collective brain trust–an interactive think tank if you will–that you can draw off of. My life has personally benefited from the ideas that I’ve read on Twitter.

At worst, though, it’s a high school cafeteria–full of meaningless drivel about everyday experiences…and noise. As Tino Mantella, president of the Technology Association of Georgia, once said, and I’m paraphrasing, “I have no interest in reading tweets on eating ice cream.”

But I must admit I have a new-found respect for the power of Twitter. Within two minutes of my Charter tweet, I received a message from a company rep, “Umatter2Charter,” saying that Charter does care about me. Intrigued, I “DM”d him. (That’s a private e-mail, virtually meaning “direct message.”) I told him I’m never at home and that the AT&T U-verse guy was knocking at my door…

Umatter2Charter called me that day.

I told him I had called another rep about lowering my monthly service because I knew people who had U-verse who were paying less than me and had more channels, a better user interface, and a digital video recorder. (DVRs rock, by the way). The rep, I told him, really could have cared less.

Well, there’s a happy ending. Umatter2Charter knocked off $30. That made me happy. It made me not want to go to AT&T.

Moral of the story? You–yes, you–should be on Twitter. If you manage a brand, any brand– B2B or B2C–you need to be monitoring what consumers are saying about you. And trust me, Twitter users are talking about you, whether you’re a start-up or a Fortune 500 consumer products company. Twitter users tweet about everything. What they’re working on. The software they’re using. The delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream they just ate.

They even tweet about tweeting.

Let’s face it, we aren’t affectionate toward our TV and Internet service providers; we just want a cost-effective service that works. So if a cable company could win my affection, then you could win the affection of wayward customers, too.


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