Twitter, Mobile Apps and Facebook: Real Customer Acquisition Channels

written by admin on August 6, 2009 in Strategy Series with one Comment
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Last night, Dealmaker Media gathered a group of startups, investors, social media addicts strategists and more to hash it out about using social media tools, such as Twitter, as effective customer acquisition strategies.

From branded mobile apps to tweets, facebook fan pages and more – is social media proving its worth as an effective (and measurable) way to acquire paying customers? Does one work better than the other?

We unleashed Jeremy Toeman, Partner, Stage Two Consulting on CBS Mobile, Foodzie, Flixter and Technorati to drive a conversation about how each company (from startup to media giant) is using social media to acquire not just users – but paying customers.

Speakers:
* Robert Gelick, VP, CBS Mobile
* Joe Greenstein, Figurehead, Flixster, Inc
* Richard Jalichandra, CEO, Technorati
* Emily Olson, Co-Founder, Foodzie

Some soundbites from last night’s conversation:


Using Twitter to drive awareness and attract customers and vendors:

*”We use Twitter to engage the foodie community. The best way to look at how we use Twitter is that our we divide our time in thirds: 1/3 self promotion, 1/3 responding to others in the platform, 1/3 searching for and engaging local food movements.” – Emily Olson

*”Twitter actually magnifies consumption models because your headlines can be retweeted to whole a new distribution group.” – Richard Jalichandra

On viral marketing campaigns to driver users:
*”Viral = lighter fluid, but you better have wood.” (ie: a great co/product) – Richard Jalichandra

On Twitter for Customer Service:
*”Twitter shames companies into doing the right thing. After all, isn’t tweeting just like sending a complaint email publicly?” ” – Joe Greenstein (on ComCast’s recent Twitter customer service news coverage)

On Twitter search and using analytics to drive business decisions:
*Foodzie uses http://cli.gs/ as a preferred url shortener because it allows them to monitor not just clicks on links, but really be able to see the impact on sales conversions.

*CBS News has 8 twitter streams as well as sports-related streams – by monitoring trends on Twitter, CBS can make programming decisions by leveraging the implicit feedback their community is giving them. – Robert Gelick

*”Don’t think people are waiting to hear about you… Are you searching for other services and customers that are dissatisfied? If so, you can look at Twitter as an anti-customer service tool: seek out out unhappy users of other services and attract them to yours!” – Jeremy Toeman

Facebook Friends and Fans:
*Flixter, on the other hand doesn’t use Twitter, but focuses its efforts on Facebook for marketing and community engagement. They see the most engagement for their brand within Facebook and it seems to be their user base’s preferred platform.

The Challenges (or Opportunities) of Mobile Strategies to Attract Customers:
*”The challenge of marketing through mobile apps is the fractured market. There are so many handsets and platforms. Not everyone is on the iPhone – it’s still a very small market.” – Robert Gelick

*”For us, SMS is the highest converting channel but it costs the user so it risks disappointing them if it’s not something they find valuable.”

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…Many thanks to all who attended, our speakers, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP for hosting and to Microsoft BizSpark for their support!

Join us on September 1st at First Round Capital for our next Bay Area Strategy Series: Return of the Angels: How angel investing is changing, and what it means for entrepreneurs.