T.G.I.F

Thank God, right?

As we all bombard the social media-sphere with rejoices for the weekend, the bars take to their sites to let us know just how we can celebrate this quick freedom from real life.

My two favorite bars to follow on Twitter at Joe Mama’s and Bent Willey’s. They are the most active when it comes to social media, and they always post their specials of the night. If you tweet at them, they reply. If you tweet about them, they’ll retweet you. It’s a very mutually beneficial relationship. We get to feel like we are heard and a part of the conversation, they get more publicity and to connect with their customers.

As it is relatively early on Friday – a little after noon here – most of the bar crowd is still recovering from Thirsty Thursday and .50 cent mixed drinks. Therefore, this evening’s specials are not yet posted but here’s a little taste of the fun endured last night:

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Both bars are notorious for their excellent music; Bent’s tends to have high end DJ’s. On the weekends at Joe’s, enticing bands are brought in. My personal favorites are 3AM Tokyo and Lovely Rita. I for one am known to check Joe’s Twitter to see if either of my favorites will be in Morgantown. Tomorrow, as I will be out of town, 3AM will be gracing the stage. How do I know that? You guessed it.

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The best part is, they don’t even have to do all their own advertising. As two of the most popular bars in Morgantown, and two of the most active on social media, they’ve gained a following. We can now do half the work for them, and it’s a beautiful thing.

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These bars are on the right track with their social media audiences. In a post regarding how bars and restaurants can succeed on social media, Sprout Social makes a vital suggestion that Joe’s is already in tune with: don’t make it all about yourself.

I think my favorite part about the bars having their own Twitter pages is when they tweet things that aren’t relevant to their business, things that just relate to us all on a personal level. Exhibit A:

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Buzztime recommended that bars and restaurants make sure all of their online information is correct. Bent’s does one better: they make all of their information and weekly specials their Twitter banner. This makes all of their specials the very first thing seen and noticed by visitors to their page. It’s brilliant.

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It’s a changing world, and while that’s not always a great thing, in this aspect I love it. It makes planning our evenings easier as we can prepare accordingly. I love the reachability of these places, and I think they will only continue to be successful.

While I won’t be there to dance my butt off to 3AM this weekend, I’m sure I’ll see it all on Snapchat :p

Happy blogging!

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I’m not alone

Now I may feel passionately about social media’s positive influences, but thankfully I’m not the only one. There are many blogs that aim to educate us on the good these sites can do, and I have my own personal favorites.

The first of these blogs describes six ways that businesses can utilize Twitter as a tool to drive up sales. The blog reiterates what I believe, that “Twitter is a near necessity in their marketing plan.” The author explains that before even delving into the tips, it is important to first understand Twitter etiquette, such as tweeting on a regular basis rather than once per month. It is important to stay on top of your account. I can personally attest to visiting a business’s Twitter account, noticing they haven’t tweeted in a month or more, and just leaving the site without reading any farther. It is also important to engage back with those who take the time to message you, rather than only promoting. Feel free to click the link above to delve more into these six tips.

Jenn Herman swung in for the win to discuss her 16 ways to dominate 2016 when it comes to social media. “Is social media going to be the silver bullet that rockets you to success this year too?” she asks. “To be honest. Probably not. Most likely not.” To help you try to get there, though, she provides tips including setting up a strategy, targeting your ideal customer, running contests, and sharing your own personal stories.

Alex D’Amore wrote a great piece explaining the importance of developing a voice through collective consciousness to help increase your following and connections for 2016. “No matter what we’re saying, we’re adding to and consuming from the collective consciousness. The sooner we acknowledge and harness this ability the more we’ll grow both as marketers and as people,” D’Amore explained.

I use Twitter as my most common example, however all social media platforms help businesses grow and reach an audience, especially Facebook. Rebekah Radice reached out to explain how a well-developed Facebook cover can do wonders for a business. She suggests doing things such as branding, featuring a fan of the day, promoting an upcoming event, and even celebrating the holidays.

Having the right social media strategy is also a major key in promotion. This blog suggests making adjustments such as determining which platforms to use, outlining the types of content to produce, creating a posting schedule, and defining a brand voice. Even developing a crisis management plan is among the suggestions.

Cynthia Johnson acknowledges that social media is often overlooked when it comes to marketing. She recommends keeping a content calendar, being proactive about your brand reputation, and building brand awareness.

This blogger just calls it like it is: social media marketers are smart  marketers. She advertises 21 different social media tools that she favors when it comes to social media marketing. “Having the right social media tools can make your life easier. Fortunately, there are dozens of cool tools, and most are aimed at earning time back in your day,” she writes.

There are a multitude of ways to use social media to help improve sales. This blogger gives us 33 of those ways. She says to “give before you receive” – post valuable content in your posts before expecting to receive any results. One of my favorite tips was to make a list of keywords or hashtags that relate to your business to engage with your audience. Hashtags go viral; it could have a real impact.

Kristina Cisnero understands that there are skeptics, so she provides us with the benefits of social media. She explains that it is an easy way to learn about your audience, allows for instant feedback from a customer’s perspective, and creates meaningful relationships with your customers.

I can’t be totally bias; there may be a few things that social media can’t do for your business. This blogger says there are three things it simply won’t be able to help with:

  1. Social media marketing will not turn you into an overnight success
  2. It will not guarantee sales
  3. It will not fix a bad reputation or product

Could we really have expected it to do any of the above anyway? Let’s be serious.

While I have drawn my inspiration from all around the interweb, these articles and bloggers have a real passion that excites me. Happy linking!

The storm has arrived

Alas snowstorm Jonas is on its way, leaving us with nothing to do this weekend besides curl up on the couch, watch our favorite movies, and play on our computers. (Until, that is, the power goes out and we are left twiddling our thumbs and playing card games by candle light).

What happens when the phone lines go down? When our wi-fi is out? When we need to know if X-shop is closed? That’s when we can thank social media for giving businesses the chance to tell us. Thanks to our cell phones, we are still able to post and check online – and so are businesses. If you get stranded and need to know if there’s a place near you to go? Just check online. Need a safe haven, warm place to get out of the cold? Maybe, just maybe, that coffee shop you love that just so happens to be near your broken-down car is open. How will you know? Just check online.

I will be posting updates throughout the weekend about the storm – everyone sit tight. For now, we must prepare.

Social media: the misunderstood underdog

“Social media is silencing personal opinion.

“Is social media ruining our kids?” 

The more we promote social technology as a competition to be the best, the more we fuel disaster.

It’s certainly no secret that social media has negative connotations, particularly among older generations. Children have their faces glued to their phones and computers, cyber bullying took off before anyone could stop it, and anonymity has become the new personal identity.

Sure, all of these things are true. However, we never really take the time to discuss the powers of social media. If I would sit back and try to explain to my parents that Twitter is beneficial and necessary for future success, they would roll their eyes and laugh at me. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: they sound like time-wasters, like a way to get involved in everyone else’s lives while procrastinating things you could be accomplishing in your own life. I get that, I do. But you’re wrong. You’re all wrong.

Social media has had an outstanding impact in so many ways.

  • Political debates are being revolutionized by social media.
  • We are able to reconnect with lost friends. We can stay in touch after moving on with our lives and going separate directions, whether they take us across the country from one another or across the world.
  • News! News travels faster on twitter than it does through any other outlet there is. It spreads like wildfire with thousands and thousands of tweets going out per second!  Do you know who broke the news about the death of Osama bin Laden? That’s right, Twitter. The entire attack was live-tweeted by Sohaib Athar, @ReallyVirtual, which initially started with him complaining about helicopters buzzing around at 1 o’clock in the morning. Then Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff of former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sent out the tweet announcing bin Laden’s death hours before the president’s national address.
  • Need I say more?

Among these amazing contributions that Twitter has added to each of our lives, it is also helping out local and national businesses exponentially. I couldn’t even tell you (or rather, won’t tell you, because it’s a shameful amount) the number of restaurants’ Twitter accounts I follow. Nearly every restaurant on High Street promotes daily through Twitter, with various dining choices offering competitions if they are retweeted or followed. While they receive more publicity, you receive the opportunity to maybe win a free lunch at Clutch Wings or free food for a month at Tailpipes. If you tweet Dominos, you’ll get a response back – oftentimes a funny one. These places have the ability to now connect with their customers in a way they never could before.

This revolutionary gift from the business heavens assists more than just restaurants. Nearly every bar in Morgantown now has a Twitter account that they utilize to post their drink specials of the night or to advertise for the bands and entertainment they’ll be having that weekend. Stores post sales and deals for their viewers to access. It has revolutionized business, and it is going to continue to do so.

Who doesn’t want to feel included? Especially in regards to our favorite food spots or shops! I have tweeted to Joe Mama’s on more occasions than I’d like to admit. I have tweeted to Bent Willey’s to see if my ID was maybe just maybe in their cash register. I have tweeted to Fat Daddy’s to check if they had a cover that night. They feel more accessible to us; we feel as though we can have a conversation with them.

Social media has changed business promotion forever. Don’t believe me? Stick with me and you’ll see.