What is Social Media
Social media is becoming all the rage with most businesses, especially restaurants and retail shops managing their own Facebook page and Twitter account. Five years ago, Facebook was barely mainstream, still catering primarily to the college market, and Twitter was hardly out of inception. Today, Facebook and Twitter decals adorn business’ websites and are prominently displayed on marketing collateral in hopes of having their customers connect with them through these social media channels.
Social media primarily refers to the use of web- and mobile-based technologies to share, connect, and interact with others. Through intricate and vast social networks, users are able to share and disseminate information extremely fast. The goals of successful social media campaigns are to connect with customers, reach new customers, and ultimately convert fans, followers, and loyal customers into actual sales. Some of the ways businesses are getting customers to engage with.
Whether looking for a customer to ‘Like’ your page or check out what’s new on your Facebook news feed, businesses are encouraging and incenting customers to take action with their Facebook profiles and engage with their business. Once subscribed through ‘Liking’ a business, customers can keep up-to-date with the latest news and information of the business as well as let their network and friends know that they like your business. This practically free method of mass communication generates instant and scalable brand awareness. An innovative example out of Belgium of integrating Facebook into a business is sticking a QR code that links to the ‘Like’ button on their Facebook page. Every time a user scans the QR code, it generates another Like on their Facebook page. This type of engagement builds a stronger relationship with your customer and has seen to increase foot traffic to stores.
Food Trucks and Twitter
Mobile food trucks offering everything from family recipe fried chicken (http://www.iz-it.com/) to asian-fusion style curry (http://www.japacurry.com/) are a great example of integrating and fully leveraging social media to connect with customers. The trend of these modern age food trucks started in LA with the Kogi BBQ Truck (http://kogibbq.com/). Whether for marketing or convenience, the Kogi BBQ Truck needed an easy and effective way to notify their customers and potential customers where their truck would be parked for the day. They turned to Twitter to broadcast their various locations and times so people could stop by for a bite to eat. Since then, many of these new food trucks popping up have made it standard to post their location on Twitter. Some don’t even bother with a website anymore, they rely on their Twitter account like the Crème Brulee Man (@cremebruleecart) to announce their location, connect with 16,000 followers, and build their brand.
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