A Secret Tactic for Social Media

Using social media (Facebook and Twitter) in a way that makes sense with the way they inherently work

I have dual monitors so I tend to work with my current task on one and then have CNN or Huffington Post or something business related on the other ready to be read while I sit and wait for poor Freddie my desk , work. .

I was reading an interview with Candace Nelson, one of the chef/bakers behind the “Cupcakery” concept.

It was a fascinating read (I’ve included a link to the full interview at the bottom of this article)… but the REAL gold was this quote:

QUESTION: How did you come up with the idea of ​​a “whispered word”? [A word on Twitter and Facebook that is the “secret key” to daily free cupcakes.]

“Part of the idea is that we have a cupcake shop, so it needs to be fun and playful. We’re lucky to have a good enough business that we can do things like that and do charitable initiatives. It’s part of us to follow our passion versus what we were doing before, which was finance.

The operational concept here is:

“whisper word”: A word on Twitter and Facebook that, in this example, is the “secret key” for the daily free cupcakes.

This is a great example of using the inherent properties of social networking vehicles like Twitter and Facebook…using them to do what they (and their millions of users) do and take advantage of the way they interact.

Certainly ALL restaurants should use tactics like this… but I also think many independent brick and mortar retailers could also use this in a similar way… not necessarily for giveaways or discounts, but for example to advertise new deliveries, especially on items available in limited quantities!

How can you use a *whispered word* in YOUR business?

As a *Whisper Words* strategy for any offline business, start by thinking of a way to trigger action in your Twitter followers. In the case of physical stores, you may want to encourage your followers to visit your location offline, so think in those terms.

For restaurants, directly modeling the cupcake strategy may be the easiest and simplest plan. For example, offer a free dessert, possibly for groups of two or more who give out the secret word. The work day lunch crowd can be a good market to target with this.

For niche retailers, it may be worth using *Whisper Word* to give your loyal customers a chance at new but limited merchandise. Keep in mind that some adjustment may be necessary to find a balance between using inherent scarcity and avoiding upsetting those who miss the new products.

Service providers could consider ways to add services already used. For example, if someone goes to a hair salon to get a cut, can you offer a special offer on color?

As always, it’s also important to track to see if campaigns like these are actually adding to your customer list, and of course to track if those new customers turn into returning customers.

In either case, a Twitter campaign costs only the time it takes to create and implement, so you can have much lower margins than you would with any traditional print campaign.

Here is the link to read the full interview with Candace Nelson

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/05/17/under-wrappers-secrets-behind-a-cult-cupcake/?hpt=Sbin

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