The Head of lettuce Blog


So you say your into Social Media

Posted in Cute Tech Stories,Foursquare,Twitter by headoflettuce on August 3, 2010

This morning I was reading an article from a business that offers assistance with social media, and I had to laugh when I saw they had under 50 followers and even less tweets. I have noticed more and more people wanting to be included as “in the know” when it comes to using social media in business, and I can only feel bad for them and their would be customers as they are obviously missing something. Knowing what social media is, and knowing social media is as different as knowing how to talk, and knowing how to inspire, engage and motivate others.  I feel like Jeff Foxworthy with his “You might be a redneck”, but in this case, you might understand social media if:

  • You’ve been to a tweet up
  • You keep in touch with friends using a location based check in service
  • You know what #FF or #FollowFriday means
  • You have a smart phone and you know how to use it to check in or tweet
  • You’ve made friends irl (in real life) from online.

Tweet-up: this is an in-person meet-up of online people with the intention of getting to know some of the people you have met and been talking with online. I personally host a tweet-up in my area the 3rd Friday every month under #Pascotweetup, and it is always exciting when new people show up and join in the fun.

This past weekend I went to a #PizzaOvenTweet that was put together in a few days and had about 25 people show up, with Twitter in common. I decided to bring my kids as did a few others. The funny thing is the location would have been crowded with 6 people; We ended up bringing in extra tables and sitting out on the walkway in front. This was an experience of living life and having fun doing it. Oh yeah and the Pizza was good 🙂

Made a lot of new friends

The thing with social media is that it involves being social and reaching out to others, opening yourself to them and them doing the same. If you are entering the medium figuring that you provide a service and you don’t understand these basics tenants, you might make a quick buck or two, but I predict you will not be around long. You might say it takes a “get by giving” philosophy to truly understand and succeed in this business. Go to a social event, get involved in the community, you will see that it is an open and accepting group who are all excited to meet others with a similar love for social media.

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A look at WeReward

Posted in Foursquare,Gowalla,Location Based Social media by headoflettuce on July 27, 2010

Recently Izea unveiled their Android version of their location based App WeReward, so of course I had to jump on board and do my diligent research. Like Gowalla and Foursquare, WeReward is location based, offering you a choice of locations near you. The difference is where Gowalla and Foursquare offer a focus on the social aspect of where your friends are, and non-tangible rewards, WeReward actually tries to monetize your reward, much like cash back on a credit card.

With WeReward you receive points for your visits to different locations, or for trying certain products. Here is a simple video from their site that highlights the product.

While I like the fact that WeReward tackles head on the question of Wiifm, what’s in it for me, I found it annoying having to photograph every visit at a location. This novelty wore off real fast, considering that I averaged 5 points per visit. Taking a picture took more of my time then I am willing to spend on a check in. I imagine that down the road they might come up with easier ways to check in, maybe via a code on your receipt, something that does not require you waiting on your camera opening up.

Another app that I am in the process of checking out is Face2Face let me know if you have played with it yet and what you think. I will post my thoughts on it after I have played with it a few weeks. I usually try any app for 3 weeks before passing my judgment.

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Checkin to boost your business and theirs

Posted in Facebook,Foursquare,Gowalla,Location Based Social media by headoflettuce on June 25, 2010

While there are many entertaining and social reasons to use location based checkin services like Foursquare and Gowalla, there are also some strong benefits that you might be missing out on if you are in a business that calls on others businesses, whether it is for service, deliveries or just sales calls.

I have a friend who owns a discount toner and ink company that delivers their products to many local businesses in the Trinity area. Imagine if every time she delivered, she checked in via a Location Based Checkin app. This would be like a plug for every delivery…did you know “xyz” buys from us, how about “abc”, in fact, everyday there would be reinforcement of who her customers are, and how active she is. There is an adage that “activity breads success” Well as more and more people notice on Facebook and Twitter that so many people in the area are using her services, what do you think that would do for her business? Best of all, guess what this simple campaign would cost her to run? nothing but her time. In this economically challenging time, social media is a low cost option that can deliver much better results then some traditional advertising campaigns that might cost a lot more.

As a Real Estate agent I use Foursquare to checkin to different neighborhoods when showing homes, and this message shows people that I am being active in their area. If the business you are calling on is not in Foursquare (or other app) you can enter them, then let the business owner know what you did and what it might mean to their business to be findable in this location based app. You are going to earn some respect from them for being on top of opportunities and more importantly for showing them an inexpensive way that they to can promote their business.

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Foursquare Case Studies

Posted in Foursquare,Gowalla,Location Based Social media by headoflettuce on June 1, 2010

here are two great blog posts that discuss case studies with Foursquare, one from research and one from one persons experience. Both are good reads.

21 Unique Location Case Studies from Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and MyTown From Socialfresh

and Foursquare Check-ins: The Low-Hanging Fruit From Kevin Lyons

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But you can’t sell on Facebook or Foursquare, or can you?

Posted in Facebook,Foursquare by headoflettuce on April 20, 2010

I had a great experience this past week in my other Business, Real Estate, which is funding the growth and development of the Head of Lettuce for now.

As many of you know I was involved in the planning and development of Foursquare Day (#4sqday), a social media holiday that was born here in Tampa, well on Foursquare day I was meeting a young would be home owner at a property in a neighborhood which just happened to be entered in Foursquare as a location and their Club house was in there also, so in my true geek spirit, I checked in on Foursquare, which in turn sent that notice to Facebook and Twitter and ultimately set wheels in motion. 4 Hours later I received a comment on my post from a local builder sales rep who happened to friend me asking me to consider their products for the buyer. Well I did take the buyer over to look at the specific house that the Rep. told me about, well to make a long story short, they ended up buying the house.

So what’s the moral of this tale, well you truly never know who if following you and how you may benefit from that fact. Even something that is viewed by many as silly, like Foursquare has many business applications that we have yet to discover. So if you are one of those who believes that social media is not a big deal, I can only say that you will be like the Real Estate agents I talked to when I was with Realtor.com in the late 90’s, either a late adopter working to catch the bus you missed, or soon out of business.

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Enough about 4SQDAY (Foursquare day)…just one more thing

Posted in Foursquare,Location Based Social media by headoflettuce on April 15, 2010

okay, okay, I know many are sick of hearing about Foursquare day, but there is something so much bigger that you need to consider. Just a few weeks ago an idea was thrown out there by an Optometrist, Dr. Nate, on Twitter and his Blog, and with in 3-4 weeks it has spiraled into a global movement on Twitter, Facebook & mainstream news, Take a look at this Google News Timeline . Unfortunately getting numbers from Foursquare is like pulling teeth, so quantifying what this has done for their user count, since the idea started, is an unknown at this time. Hopefully we will soon know where they were March 22 (when I believe the idea hatched) to April 22nd just 1 month later. There are not many chances to measure and track such an obscure idea and it offers a great opportunity to study the spread and flow of information in the social media platforms to those like me that want to know!

This idea started in Tampa, and has spread to over 100 cities including cities in China, Australia, and throughout Europe. Bing Maps has added a great App Foursquare Everywhere that shows check-ins as they happen in your area. Website SocialGreat has a tool for some cities that give a glimpse of activity over longer periods of time, and 4squareoffers designed by @Ramanean shows regular Foursquare offers by businesses outside of Foursquare day. As I have discussed on my Fan Page, I have been playing with Yahoo Pipes to keep track of Offers being offered in my area. Now we just need Foursquare to step up and help us understand this amazing phenomenon which is not just about them, but about social media in general.

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Businesses get ready and get onboard Foursquare

Posted in Foursquare,The Head of Lettuce by headoflettuce on April 10, 2010

So you’ve decided to get your business involved in 4SqDay and or Foursquare, now it’s time to tell everyone. You don’t open a new business without a grand opening, nor should you enter the exciting new media world without saying Hey Social Media fans, you rock and we know it, in fact we are going to reward you, because you rock. Get the message out! Post it on your website, your Facebook Fan page, tell your customers on your recipts, add it to your menus, place a sign on the wall “Did you check in on Foursquare while you were here? We reward Foursquare players, (Put your offer here)”
Use Foursquare day for your coming out party, keep your expectations low ( we really have no idea what you should expect), but keep your energy and excitement high as this is not just about the day, this is your entry in a new medium for advertising that will yield greater results for $ spent then any other. Leading up to 4SqDay, and all day long, ask your customers “Did you check in on Foursquare? Do you know what that is? We offer discounts to people on Foursquare and it costs you nothing to access those discounts”.
Your goal should be to get as many of your customers on this fun medium as possible, because it gives you an easy way to engage with those customers and reward your best customers. Think of it as a partnership between you and this new medium.
Lastly find out if there is a “Swarm” party going on that day (4/16), if so ask how you can contribute giveaways for those participating, it can be one big gift for a special Winner, maybe anyone who checked in at your location for the day, or maybe a 15% off discount card for all in attendance (or the first 10 that check in), you decide. Make it a true value and you will be rewarded with business and “chatter” on the internet talking about how cool you are resulting in a better image and ultimately more traffic.
Head of Lettuce media helps businesses develop social/new media strategies to capture attention organically contact us to see how we can help you. Advice on #4sqday activities is free.

FourSquare vs. Gowalla

Posted in Foursquare,Gowalla by headoflettuce on March 19, 2010

As a Droid user, I was exposed to Foursquare before I was exposed to Gowalla , I imagine for many of you on i-Phones, it might be the opposite. I added Gowalla 2 weeks ago and have been holding out on this article wanting to truly play with both side by side.

Round 1 appearance on device, at first Gowalla looked prettier just on appearance, but in their last update the guys a Foursquare added a much nicer look. I like both and if it was just on looks would use either one.

Round 2 appearance online both appear easy on the eyes and there is no significant difference.

Round 3 Online UI (User Interface) I favored Foursquare for finding locations and adding new locations, Gowalla made me work harder to find what should be easy steps. On the other hand Gowalla made it easy to see what my friends are up to from the desk top, where Foursquare made this impossible from what I saw. I like the stats on Foursquare better as they are true stats where Gowalla just shows your recent stops. This is a toss up for me, but I value what Foursquare gives me more.


Both make it easy to see your friends, but Gowalla shows their last updates where Foursquare forgot this good tool for the desktop.

Round 4 Device interface (using my Droid) Both look pretty, but the Gowalla interface pulls up a big list of everything in the area, up to 9.5 Kilometers away from my current location, where Foursquare is only showing locations inside of 1200 meters from my current location. Foursquare let’s you enter a location on the spot if it is not in the database where Gowalla did not, this one element drove me nuts. This round goes to Foursquare, and for me this was the knock out.

ultimately both platforms could be fun, depending on where the majority of your friends are, but if you have input as to where your friends choose to go, I recommend Foursquare.

Google is also entering this arena with their Google Latitude, which while not as pretty as the other two, easily shows on a map where you and your friends are. Currently this seems behind the other two programs, but with Google developing it, I imagine it has to potential to really take off. The innovation of new GPS based social media can be expected to continue even though I expect some major challenges that they will need to overcome in public opinion for security and safety of those using them. See What’s the risk.

Foursquare

Posted in Foursquare,Uncategorized by headoflettuce on January 7, 2010

There has been a lot of talk about FourSquare.com as a new up and comer. There have been articles on Mashable.com calling it the next Twitter, and why it might be better. Well here in the Cave of the Head of Lettuce, I have been exploring this up and comer and I have to say while the concept seems good, and there is a lot of possibilities on the development of this company and the directions that they could choose to go to make their tool both a profit engine and a cultural phenomenon like twitter became in ’09.

If you have not tripped into FourSquare yet, it is a little like twitter in that the goal is to say a lot with out saying a lot. As a user, you update where you are geographically by “checking-in from various locations that you visit, like restaurants.  You get points for checking in from locations which seems to have some strong potential for marketing if they can figure out how to harness this system with out upsetting those sensitive to such issues. It does not seem to be trying to be twitter as it does not seem to be a platform to voice everything, instead it is more about voicing where you go and throwing out ideas for others who are looking for something to do. I imagine this will be very successful among the college crowd and those who go out regularly as you can easily go and look and see what everyone is up to, or what new things in the area you might want to try.

If you can get those in your “crowd” to embrace this tool and join in with you, you could find the tool very useful, as there is no longer the need to see what everyone is up to.  I imagine a natural tie-in for this tool would be to work with Google’s map where you go feature so the system reports when you get there rather then when you have time to say you got there. The question then becomes how much info about what you do during the day is to much info to share.  Would you want your boss to be able to easily see where you went for lunch, or where you were the night before you called in sick?

Imagine tying the two together though for someone who needs to keep a log of their mileage for business travel, many people need to keep a log, but few do. This could be the birth of a mile tracking log for those who need to track such things.

I have to say I am really excited about this new tool and the Head of Lettuce will be looking to see how to help businesses leverage this piece of the social media puzzle.

FourSquare

Posted in Foursquare,Uncategorized by headoflettuce on November 24, 2009

This week there has been a lot of talk about FourSquare.com as a new up and comer. There have been a bunch of articles on Mashable.com calling it the next Twitter, and why it might be better. Well here in the Cave of the Head of Lettuce, I have been exploring this up and comer and I have to say while the concept seems good, there is still work before the earlier adopters are ready to fully embrace it.

If you have not tripped into FourSquare yet, it is a little like twitter in that the goal is to say a lot with out saying a lot. As a user, you update where you are geographically by “checking-in from various locations that you visit, like restaurants.  You get points for checking in from locations which seems to have some strong potential for marketing if they can figure out how to harness this system with out upsetting those sensitive to such issues. It does not seem to be trying to be twitter as it does not seem to be a platform to voice everything, instead it is more about voicing where you go and throwing out ideas for others who are looking for something to do. I imagine this will be very successful among the college crowd as you can easily go and look and see what everyone is up to.

If you can get those in your “crowd” to embrace this tool and join in with you, you could find the tool very useful, as there is no longer the need to see what everyone is up to.  I imagine a natural tie-in for this tool would be to work with Google’s map where you go feature so the system reports when you get there rather then when you have time to say you got there. The question then becomes how much info about what you do during the day is to much info to share.  Would you want your boss to be able to easily see where you went for lunch?

Imagine tying the two together though for someone who needs to keep a log of their mileage for business travel, many people need to keep a log, but few do. This could be the birth of a mile tracking log for those who need to track such things.


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