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December 17, 2010 / jasonpinto

Pun Intended: Social Media Opens Doors

I know that we are oh-so-close to the end, but I think that I found my favorite story of 2010 this week.

The title of the article is “Foursquare Checkin Unlocks This Apartment Door“. I do not want to steal much thunder from Fast Company’s words and pictures, so I’ll just say that I’d like to encourage you to read it.

I like this article primarily for two reasons:

We are only Limited by our Imaginations

I love using Foursquare for what I knew it was made for. I check-in to businesses, bars, and some of my other favorite stomping grounds to support my favorite places, to let others know a bit about what I like to do, and (I admit it!) to earn those mayorships and badges.

While there may be people who don’t quite understand it, I think that it (and other similar tools that merge social & mobile) can offer quite a bit of value to those that check-in, and to the businesses that support it.

However, these guys found a way to push what Foursquare well beyond its defined use. Their imagination and ingenuity led to a system that literally opens doors.

If you are struggling with how social media channels could be used to promote your business, be careful before you give up. Chances are, we only know a few of the ways that tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. can be used for our business and daily lives.

But of course, I’m not encouraging you to ride on something simply because of its potential…. That leads us to this next point:

Social Media Absolutely Leads to Great Things

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen firsthand how social media can provide benefits, both at a business and personal level.

People: On a seemingly daily basis, social media introduces me to at least one new person that teaches me something really important, or that inspires me, entertains me, or has a positive effect on my life in some fashion.

(A side bonus: I’ve had the privilege of meeting more and more of those people in real-life, at trade-shows, conferences, and other “offline” locations.)

Products and Promotion:

When interlinkONE (the company that I work at) launched its QReate & Track product (QR Code creation and measurement) in late 2009, we knew that we wanted to do accomplish two things: Promote it quickly, and make a big impression. Well, 90% of our marketing efforts for that product have primarily been through social media channels. We wrote blog posts. We made videos. We created Twitter and Facebook pages. We hosted and participated in webinars. Each month since it’s launch, we have brought on more customers than we did in the previous month.

Of course, as we look to give the product even more legs, we are expanding our efforts into other channels. But social media absolutely helped to put us close to where we hoped to be.

We also witnessed first-hand how social media helped us get a bigger ROI from big events. Our booth traffic increased. We’ve been invited to speak at more events. And best of all, we’ve been able to engage with and build relationships with people that we met at the shows through social media.

Aside from what I personally experienced at interlinkONE, I’ve also read quite a bit of success stories from other companies. Some of my favorites involve businesses that are using it for customer service.

Tools and Knowledge

Through social media, I’ve learned about new tools that help make my Marketing tasks at the office a bit easier. I’ve learned about events, strategies, and books that I had never heard of before. I’ve also had my interest pushed into more directions than I ever thought possible (follow @ToughLoveForX, and you’ll see what I mean!)

And while things aren’t perfect, there are still a lot of great products and services being developed every day. I’ve learned about a lot of them thanks to social media, and continue to do so  (hello, Prezi!).

More Doors

I’m grateful for everything that I’ve learned over the past year. I’m grateful that each day there is something new. (Today, @ToughLoveForX had me dancing in the office over this story.)

I’m having fun, and I’m learning a lot.

Here’s to more doors being opened, and in more ways that I’ve ever imagined.

Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Delorean_dmc12_door_open.jpg

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