Using Social Media – Facebook and Twitter – in a way that makes sense with how they work inherently

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 desktop, to grind along.

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

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

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

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

The operative concept here is:

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

This is an excellent example of using the inherent properties of Social Media vehicles, such as Twitter and Facebook… using them to do what they (and their millions of users) do and build on how they interact.

Certainly EVERY restaurant should be using tactics like this… but I also think that many independent brick and mortar retailers could also be using this in a similar way… not necessarily to give away or discount, but, for example, to announce new deliveries, especially on items available in limited quantities!

How can you use a *Whisper Word* in YOUR business?

As a *Whisper Word* strategy for any offline business, start by thinking of a way to trigger an action in your Twitter followers. In the case of brick and mortar, you will likely want to encourage your followers actually visit your offline location, so think in those terms.

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

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

Service providers might consider ways to add on to services already used. For instance, if someone is coming to a hair salon for a cut, can you offer a special deal on coloring?

As always, it is also important to track to see if campaigns such as these are really adding to your customer list and, of course, do follow up on whether those new customers become returning customers.

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

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

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