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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Let Twitter, and Tweeters, Revive Your Restaurants

Years ago (about 2001), I had this idea for restaurants where they could have a small keypad type gadget at the table. This gadget would serve as the main contact between the dining customers and the kitchen / servers. When folks are ready to order, they can start by choosing from the small display screen and when they are finished, they simply click"complete". No wait staff standing around, much less work, much more efficiency. How may times do servers stop by our tables to check on us during an average 45 minute meal? At least 10 times, right? Now, all of this "extra work" is eliminated and new efficiency comes to life. Just trying to make life a little easier.

Now lets take that idea, but with the Twitter platform in use, which can be used via the Internet and also by text messaging! How cool is that? Example: A family walks in a restaurant, sits down, and sends a text message to the restaurant's master Twitter screen saying "2 ice waters, no lemon on one, and some cheese bread please, table 13, where is the restroom?", and immediately in the back, the server tweets you where the bathroom, and starts putting your ice in the cup. With this method, one waiter or waitress can handle the service of many! Need some plates cleared or some more drinks, just send a Tweet saying "cup of coffee w/cream, clear plates please, 1 to-go box, table 4", and bam, it is done! Need a reservation or to find out how long the wait is? Send a Twitter message and ask! Or maybe the host or hostess (or you) can even post approximate wait times every 30 minutes to your restauarant's Twitter page! The restaurants can Twit their mouth-watering specials daily, and let the whole world know when a special event is coming up. Customers can make a reservation and order their whole meal easily from their living room or while heading to the establishment, have it served 5 minutes after their arrival, save a bunch of waitstaff 1000's of miles of running around like mad, and no more "forever waiting for my food", Yea! Get 2 good waiters or waitresses, and let them cover the Tweet orders for 30 tables very efficiently with this model properly in place. This could also work so awesome for the To-Go order industry.

Me... I use Twitter on my Blackberry via the Verizon full data package. Miss North Carolina, Melissa Chambers, uses Twitter through a simple text message, just as if you are texting a friend (Your Friend Twitter). You can also Twit from a laptop and desktop of course.

Coming Soon - Twitter Cafes, Twitter Beepers, and more. (Lol, I am kidding for now, but look out!)

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Owners, CEOs, Businesses... Check Your Marketing Department Now!

I woke up with this great urgency today. When dealing with social media (or most professions), you assume that your team has you up to par with the newest and best media avenues available. This is usually not the case. Just because you have a "Prez" or "VP" in marketing, does not necessarily mean you are covered.

Here are a few key questions, not to ask your "expert" (we all know the right answers, lol), but to maybe ask yourself... (Please turn the music off, stop yelling at the kids, and meditate on these questions)

1. Does my marketing guru have a Facebook or MySpace page? This is pretty elementary, but a must! If your guru does not use a social network platform to simply connect, I believe it will be a long time before your company properly connects. I feel so weird saying this...but in 2009, you are the dying exception if you do not ride one of the many social networks. I can actually look at someones Facebook page for 1 minute and tell you if they know anything about current 2009 marketing.

2. What are your company's main media outlets? Print is dying, just "having a website" without engaging will not do, and the Internet is growing and exploding daily. Which direction do you think you should head in?

3. Is your company headed toward "Social Selfishness"? They may wear a network badge, but they have "The Lone Ranger" hat on. This is the opposite of Networking. Many times people who do not understand the power of a network, shun away from the "gimmes". Sometimes it is lack of knowledge, sometimes it is pride, sometimes it is an "anti-tech"attitude (just because they are "in the industry", or know how to build websites... does not mean their web faith is perfect and they know what to do). Whatever the reason is, it will choke the life out of your company. Companies cannot breath when they are not properly connecting. This is where G comes in.

I tried to contact a local business friend recently online and someone wrote me back saying "hi... I'm... and I handle all of their online work". I thought "Really?!" You have actually hired someone to keep you "in the dark" and to pat you on the back and tell you "I got it covered" when they really don't. Not trying to discredit anyone where credit is due, but I see what many "marketing pros" are doing and there is not much credit to be given! Of course, I could be positive and say "they are trying, and using what they know", and then I will yell to myself "no excuse". Shooting in the dark may work for businesses who want to stand still, but for us who are all about maximizing the effectivity, it is a dead end... replaced sooner or later depending upon how quickly you realize how important these new Media avenues are. Or maybe, by some tiny chance, your "media expert" may be doing a fantastic job, researching, updating their info weekly, and they know. Make sure of this!!! Some simply need a quick update from our company or another SME. Great! Information is key. We are simply informing you of what to look for.

*What can you do now? As we have said above, your Social Media person may just need some new training. Depending on how "open" they are, it can take a few hours to a few days; depending on what they want to learn, absorb, and be effective in. If I were you, I would require this learning. I could teach most people a nice 4 hour course that could keep them busy for a very long time. If you get familiar fast and want more, I can give it. I offer a support package where I evaluate your platforms once a month with coaching, and a package where I send you the latest possibilities that could fit your business and staff with urgent updates at any time.

Maybe you need a replacement? I watched another business who is pretty big (but struggling some) hire a "nice person" with a nice resume but with limited current knowledge, to fill their marketing position. (a nice person that knows "new media" is so much better). I happened to be at the same dinner table with this marketer one night, and she spoke a whole different previous market language which is fading oh so quickly. Some of the ideas were so old, I pretty much purposely erased them from my mind a few years ago. She was lost and really thought she "had it". I got sad for a minute and moved on without event. She did not get my verbal "crash course". (Why?, they are my friends, but honestly they have a "closed minded" business model that will not listen, even to me, for awhile... and when they do listen, they are sure to use some second class/hand shortcut, and wonder why they are forever behind). Something may be "new to you", but be very old to the industry (very old could be 90 days). This is Business Suicide!

Maybe you just need to source you marketing, media, and social communications out to a firm such as ours, take advantage of our "hands on training", and get it right once and for all. Then, as our client; when we learn something new, we pass it directly to our circle of clients. We can show you results quickly and then set up monthly or quarterly goals to make sure your whole team is moving forward with the plan. This is what we do.

Listen To Me! And then simply say "I want to know, Teach Me"... And I Will! Or just come back and find me when you have exhausted all of your other resources that you thought could have helped. But then again... better late than never, they say, lol (I am laughing out loud right now). Me? I personally hate the word late, especially when business lives are at stake. Email me sometime.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

All For Schooling, but Lets Talk About A 4-Year College Degree in Media and Communications

For students that are in Communications and Media type courses, you have to keep a few things in mind. The educational systems sometimes take years to implement an updated course that covers the things that I do, and by the time they do finally offer the class, people who follow technology on the minute, are already several years ahead of you in Education. You cannot depend on the educational system to give you an above average education when it comes to Media and Communications. It changes too rapidly, that there should be some type of monthly "boot camp" class to show students some of the new media available. A lot of todays education in this area will be obsolete before it is ever practiced. I know that Colleges, Businesses, and firms will start networking with SME's (Social Media Experts) to teach monthly training sessions for their staff and students to implement immediately! This is the only way to stay up to date.

Even many teachers feel so far out of the loop when it comes to this new tech age. Some people are what I call "In the Transition" in that they do believe in the Internet, but they just cannot make that power move to invest and take that next step and see how easy people like us have made it for you. (Prime Example: 2008 Presidential Campaign would have been much closer if the proper outlets were utilized by both sides. One had the advantage... and it was a Social Media Blitz to say the least. Not talking Politics at all, just a tech business example my friend) You cannot teach effectively what you do not know, believe in, or have had some sort of success in. Our form of media is now essential. We have been developing relationships, building networks, making sales, and servicing clients via the internet for 10 years now. What I am saying is that many teachers are just now being educated themselves in this realm, and therefore cannot teach you. Some of the "Old Schoolers" have to be forced to make the computer useful! We can have you and/or your team building connections online with ease in a matter of days. Let us assist your company with getting up to date and moving foward. Every day you wait only makes your race that much longer. Do your company a favor and contact us.

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