Bánh mì and Vietnamese iced coffee in NYC

vietnamesse iced coffee

Vietnamese iced coffee from the Paris Sandwich Cafe in New York City

I’m doing some freelance work to spread the word about the Paris Sandwich Cafe in New York City. I stopped in there for lunch today and that’s their Vietnamese Iced Coffee pictured here.

They’re working to grow their Facebook following, so check them out if you’re in NYC (they have a location in Jersey City too), give their Facebook page a Like and maybe get a few dozen of your NYC friends to do the same!

With Washington Post paywall, links on Twitter don’t count against the meter

The Washington Post building in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post building in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Washington Post this week announced details on their new paywall, a “metered subscription model,” according to a letter from Post publisher Katharine Weymouth, that will be phased in beginning June 12.

Through this new system, anyone accessing The Post’s website “will initially be able to view 20 pieces of content per month before being asked to subscribe,” writes Weymouth. Digital subscriptions start at $9.99 a month and “home delivery subscribers will continue to have complimentary access to all of The Post’s digital products.”

One detail from Weymouth’s letter that might be of interest to those that access The Post’s website through links on Twitter, Facebook or other websites where its content is shared: “Readers who come to The Post through search engines or shared links will be able to access the linked page regardless of the number of articles they have previously viewed.” A Washington Post PR representative confirmed via Twitter that this includes a link sent in a tweet.

I’ll be interested to see how long it takes me to hit the paywall, as the majority of my Post reading now comes through links from the paper’s official accounts, reporters and columnists that I follow on Twitter.

Spring adult kickball and dodgeball leagues

The push is on for our spring WAKA Kickball and Dodgeball leagues.

Like it says on our Facebook page right now, “Round up your office team…email your friends and put a group together…or sign-up as a free agent and meet new people. Spring is right around the corner and the options are endless with WAKA!”

We also have a new website up for anyone looking at sports-related franchise opportunities. Check out our new social sports franchise video on YouTube as well.

Summer kickball

WAKA summer kickball 2011That’s our new WAKA Kickball flyer, promoting the upcoming summer kickball leagues. Check out a WAKA league near you and get signed up.

Check us out on Facebook too. On April 1, we were at 9,696 fans. As of right now, we’re at 11,644. So that’s almost 2,000 new fans in less than two months and I’m definitely excited about it. Facebook is a huge referrer of traffic to kickball.com and our players are great about posting things like pictures from the field or information about their league’s charity efforts — a co-worker at WAKA just sent me a stat the other day that WAKA players have raised over $1 million for charity in the last four years alone…pretty amazing.

Speaking of charities and kickball, check out this video for Kick-It, a children’s cancer charity that WAKA works with. They hold kickball games to raise money for their cause and were founded by a 10 year old cancer patient.

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Flashmobs at the polls

Like with every election, it’s been written that some mid-term 2010 races are already over, hours (or even days) before the voting is over.

Polls predicting various winners will likely be correct in many cases. But more than ever before, I have a hard time believing anything is over until the last ballot has been cast. And it’s due in part to the fact that we are now so connected via technology and social media that things can change quickly.

At the top of the Facebook homepage today is a counter, telling everyone how many of their friends and how many users overall have voted. As I write this, over 6 million of them have already clicked on the button.

Facebook's election day widget

Facebook's election day widget

On Twitter, many of the trending topics are election related, included a “Promoted” tag of #election at the top of the trends. Foursquare has an “I Voted” badge for those who check in from a polling place. And bloggers and mainstream media are cranking out election related content, much of which can now be viewed from almost anywhere via a mobile device and easily passed along to others.

While some races are no doubt over, I also think it’s safe to say that somewhere a person who was not going to vote will vote because of what they’re seeing on one of their social media applications. And somewhere there may be a sudden flourish of people who do this. Flashmobs can form in minutes–there’s no reason an organized swarm of voters can not show up at polling locations.

It’s always been the case that any race can end up going right or left or elsewhere in the final hours and minutes. But it feels like technology makes it even more possible now.

The $500,000 Retention Bonus

I picked the wrong profession. From a Gawker article: “Google and Facebook are competing so fiercely over some engineers that half-million-dollar retention bonuses are not unheard of.”

h/t Jeese Newhart

Non-Profit Generating Revenue Through Facebook & Twitter

The non-profit teaching certification program I work for ran a small promotion on Facebook and Twitter last week and we saw some nice results, bringing in over $12,000 in revenue in one day. The promotion also helped us gain new followers, particularly on Facebook, where we’ve gained about 100 new fans since we first announced the promotion about two weeks ago.

Here’s what we did…it’s rather simple and hardly groundbreaking but it worked for us and it could work for others: we gave people something they’d already shown us they wanted and we directed them to our social media channels to get it.

Some specifics
Our program normally costs $975 and whenever we run a promotion giving a discount (i.e. $150 off during January) we see a big response, sometimes with a few hundred people taking advantage of the offer over the course of a month. Normally these promotions are planned out well in advance and have promotional materials, emails and web graphics to go along with them.

For our Facebook/Twitter promotion, we took this successful concept and altered it slightly, giving people one day to save $150 on our program. We called it the One-Day Sale and put a blurb in two of our monthly newsletters, letting people know they could save $150 on our program but the only way to find out when was through Facebook and Twitter. We saw an immediate spike in followers and reactions from people on our Facebook wall. A few days later, we let people know the first One-Day Sale was coming soon, giving them a big hint the day before saying in our status updates “…IT’S TOMORROW…”

Results
We ended up with 15 enrollments (over $12,000 in revenue) through that first One-Day Sale, which is pretty good when you consider that our product is not going to be an impulse buy for people. It costs almost $1,000 to enroll and people will then spend, on average, eight to ten months completing the program. So, we’re never going to see the same results as when someone gives away something like coffee or ice cream on Facebook or offers a discount on a product that is much less expensive than ours and appeals to a wider audience. Our program is also only accepted for public schools in nine states to date, so our market is still rather small compared to an organization that sells a product that could be used in all 50 states or the rest of the world.

Apart from the financial results, there’s also the increase in followers, which means we have more people to get any of our messages out to, not just the One-Day Sale announcements. And, because they know we’ll hold these spontaneous One-Day Sales, some people are more likely to keep an eye on our Facebook page or our Twitter account, during which time they might come across one of our videos, decide to make a donation or read an interesting story about us and share it with others.

A few other upsides to the promo…
The cost for us to hold a One-Day Sale through our social media channels is basically nothing—it’s really just about the time. We also don’t need to plan these out in advance because nothing needs to be printed, no emails need to be scheduled and nothing needs to be done to our website. We can turn around and hold one of these on very short notice. Another nice thing, we already have people wondering when the next one will be. Just yesterday, someone posted to our Facebook wall asking if we’re planning another one soon.

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