Monthly Archives April 2012

Top Food Trucks on Twitter: Serving Up a Side of Tweets

Serving up mean meals on wheels is a big trend in the food industry. With the growing population of food trucks, some of them are taking advantage of Twitter to interact with their customers and we’re sharing our top five picks!

We think you’d agree that in the past 2 years there has been a growing population of gourmet food trucks, and it’s just by seeing them in your neighborhood.  We’re fans of getting gourmet bites on the go and really like the fact they take the stigma out of the term “street meat.”  Although, not gonna lie, they can also be tasty after a night out (just sayin’).

With that being said, there are food trucks that use social media marketing to their advantage. Sharing their whereabouts, promotions and just plain old engaging with foodies on Twitter.  Not only making it fun to eat when you visit them, but also fun to watch the personalities behind the truck come alive on Twitter.  Allowing them to build a relationship with consumers and even build a new following through word of tweet.

Here are our top picks for tweeting food trucks to follow as great examples of building a brand voice and serving up great food and customer service on Twitter.

Ben & Jerry’s (@BenJerrysTruck)


Known for their delightful treats, Ben & Jerry’s offers fun flavor mixtures and unique names (remember the headliner Schweddy Balls?).  Their food truck is currently on a US tour serving up free offerings of their new Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors based on your tweets, using “FREE Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt! Please bring #omgfreebenjerrys to me!”  To explain the example given, this tweet was on Shakespeare’s birthday, and in his honor, Ben and Jerry’s decided to tweet Elizabethan ice cream quips for the day. To eat ice cream or not to eat ice cream, that is the question.

Red Hook Lobster Pound (@Redhooklobster)

Known for dishing out mouth watering fresh lobster from Maine onto buttery rolls, Redhook Lobster Pound has trucks in both DC and NY.  When you have great food, doesn’t it come along with great conversation?  That is exactly what’s going on with Redhook Lobster, only via Twitter.  They not only share the locales of their DC and NY trucks but apparently like to work to James Brown.  Not to name names, but some people in our office like to listen to 98 degrees (not it).

Wafels & Dinges (@waffletruck)

Wafels & Dinges takes Belgian waffles to the next level, offering a variety of toppings to select or by choosing one (or two) of their concoctions on the menu.  We love how they not only engage with their customers, but offer unique ways for customers to receive a free dinge.  Where am I?  Can we have a dinge now?

Korilla BBQ (@KorillaBBQ)


You may recognize the men behind Korilla BBQ from Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, and boy, do they serve up some mean Korean BBQ.  The grillmastas have recently made the 30 Under 30: NYC’s Hottest Up and Comers and have big personalities to go with it.  They share a behind-the-scenes look on Twitter along with news and updates on their whereabouts.  Note to self: Don’t get caught sleeping during meetings or it will just go viral.

Big Gay Ice Cream (@biggayicecream)

Due to the popularity of Big Gay Ice Cream truck for not only serving amazing ice cream cones with over-the-top toppings but also for their bold personality in person and on Twitter, they opened a shop in the East Village last summer.  Just by reading  their tweets, you can’t help but feel as though you’ve known them for ages.  If you’re lucky to catch them at the right time, you can even see the fun back-and-forth banter between them and Travel Channel‘s Anthony Bourdain, along with his wife Ottavia.

What food trucks do you follow on Twitter?

 

Header photo by Donny Tsang.

Pinterest – 5 Tips to Get Your Brand’s Pins Repinned

80% of pins on Pinterest are repinned, while only 5% of tweets on Twitter are retweeted. The challenge is to fill pinboards with content that will get repinned. Here are our top 5 tips to get your brand’s image repinned:

Pinterest continues to grow and grow. Many brands are jumping on Pinterest looking to build brand awareness and drive traffic back to their sites. Pinterest can be a easy platform to gain spread brand messaging and product images quickly, as opposed to other social media platforms. 80% of pins on Pinterest are repinned, while only 5% of tweets on Twitter are retweeted. The challenge is to fill pinboards with content that will get repinned. Here are our top 5 tips to get your brand’s image repinned:

Don’t Upload, Pin: When you upload content to a pinboard, you are missing out. If your goal is to get people from Pinterest to your site, they cannot do that without a link. Always pin images from your site instead of uploading. If you want to pin photos that are not on your site, start a blog to hold your photo content and pin from there. This way not only will your site’s URL be featured at the top of the pin which helps with awareness, but users can click through to your site.

Be Bold & Brief: Whether you are creating images for your pinboards or scouring the internet for cool, repinnable images, chose high contrast images. If your image includes text, make sure it is brief and bold.

Pin Faster: By highlighting the text and image you wish to pin and clicking the Pin It bookmarket, the text will automatically be incoporated into the comments of your pin. For pinners pressed for time, this is a valuable tool to use.

Use hashtags: A tip for social media marketing that seems to work everywhere. Hashtags work on Pinterest just like they do on Twitter, adding hashtags to the comments on your pin makes them easier to find in search. Contests are also being conducted on Pinterest using hashtags.

Price it: If you represent an online retailer, always be sure to put a dollar sign in front of your price. This way, your pin will be pulled into the Pinterest gift section, which has a button in the navigation bar on the Pinterest homepage. The price will also appear in a banner across the left hand corner of your image.

Google Subway Ads Show the Power of Print

Google Subway Ads

Google subway ads have been popping up in train cars (both in New York and other cities) for awhile now. They’re clever, featuring cartoons and smart copy, promoting or discussing everything from Google+ Circles to privacy tips. They’re traditional; they often appear where one would expect to see a Budweiser or local college ad; and they’re 100% disruptive and successful.

The first time I saw a Google ad (on the F train, coming from Brooklyn), I was surprised  and impressed. On the subway, one usually does one of the three things: reads a book (which takes place more and more on a Nook or Kindle), plays a video game, or zones out listening to music while fiddling with his or her iPhone. They’re mostly activities that take place in the digital landscape, which Google plays a large role in shaping.

Ironic, then, that they rely on one of the oldest forms of advertising to get our attention. And because of that – in addition to the fact that the ads are, well, good – it works. The print ad, in its stillness and marriage of text and image, is still powerful – maybe more powerful than ever. Google realized this.

But it’s that subtle irony of a web innovator using print that makes the ads a real success. You’re surprised to see a print ad from them in the first place and you’re surprised to see one from them on the subway. It’s an added factor that makes the campaign even more compelling.

Here are some snapshots of Google subway ads taken over the last few months.

Google subway ad hello my name is david
Photo by Melanie Phung.

Google subway ad spot the difference
Photo by Melanie Phung.

Google subway ad privacy
Photo by Brooklyn Or Bust.

google subway ad 2 step verification
Photo by Matt Pekar.

What do you think? Are they a success? Do they miss the mark? Let us know in the comments section below.

IFB & Intel’s Inside Generation Style Show

Unique brand and blogger collaboration between Intel and Independent Fashion Bloggers and how the major techology company was able to market to tech-savvy women through a fashion show.

I had the pleasure of attending the Ultra Book (#UltrabookStyle) Inside Generation Style Show hosted by IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) and Intel on Wednesday and was immediately intrigued by the creative approach on how a launch of a laptop was incorporated into a fashion show.


In case you’re not aware, IFB was founded in 2007 by Jennine Tam of The Coveted and is a community for fashion bloggers to share their experiences in the blogging scene, offering resources on how to take their blogs to the next level.  They provide helpful articles, host a community linking group, forums and offer a new platform where they can connect bloggers and PR in a safe and mutually beneficial way.

It was definitely a unique approach to showcase their new Ultrabook through a fashion show that not only had bloggers as guests, but were integrated in the actual show.  Well, we all know that bloggers work remotely and need a computer, so the lightweight laptop seemed to be the perfect marriage, even in the beauty and fashion space.  From a marketing perspective, this was a seamless way to not only reach the bloggers but to leverage their cult following readers.  The laptops were featured in the show on the arms of the bloggers (or in their purses) among other sponsors such as Bauble Bar, Arrojo, Kamali Kulture, Just Fabulous and Orla Kiely.

Source: IFB, Photo by Dustin Fenstermacher

You can watch the show here and see for yourself.  What do you think of this brand and blogger collaboration?

4 Awesome Hockey Websites

4 Awesome Hockey Websites

If you’re like me, early and mid-April is among the most exciting times of year to be a sports fan. But it’s not because of the return of baseball; it’s the fact that the NHL playoffs are about to begin, and playoff hockey is awesome.

Just in time for the run for Lord Stanley’s Cup (Ahem. Go Rangers.), we’ve put together a list of four excellent online destinations for hockey coverage. Whether you’re bananas for the sport or just want to dip your toe in the water (or on the ice, zing), these will all help bring you up to speed. Game on!

  1. The Puck Podcast

Puck Podcast

Hosted by Eddie Garcia and Doug Stolhand, The Puck Podcast is both professional-sounding and fun – not something easily accomplished. Eddie and Doug are extremely knowledgeable about everything going on with every team, so you’ll get a chance to learn about franchises in other markets and their third-line wingers you didn’t know existed. They’re opinionated (words are not minced regarding the controversial NHL shootout, or concussions and how the league deals with the questionable hits that cause them) and have great chemistry, with an easy banter. The show features audio highlights and clips and is updated regularly; on the technical side, the sound quality is excellent and the editing is seamless. It may go a little too deep for some, but The Puck Podcast is the most in-depth coverage of hockey you can find in podcast form.

  1. Puckin’ Idiots

Hartnell lk Hogan

Probably the funniest hockey website around, poking fun at the sport as only true fans could. Whether it’s the Phoenix Coyotes’ attendance woes or Scott Hartnell mocking a Hulk Hogan-lookalike Penguins fan, Puckin’ Idiots presents the absurdities of hockey in really clever ways. Easily worth a daily check-in.

  1. NHL.com

NHL.com

I originally considered leaving NHL.com off this list because it’s kind of obvious, but the truth is, this site is the best resource for league news, videos and updates. In the past, we’ve covered the NHL’s excellent use of social media, but NHL.com is really the main hub of the league’s online presence. And it doesn’t disappoint, featuring well-written articles, a stunning amount of highlights and layers upon layers of statistics. Essential for staying current with what’s happening in the sport.

  1. HFBoards

The best online community for hockey fans, HFBoards is a message board featuring individual forums for each team, the playoffs, prospects and more. You can visit and get into really interesting discussions with like-minded fans on anything, from should-they-trade-this-guy to help on where to purchase a certain player’s jersey. Most importantly, it’s a friendly place (at least within your favorite team’s board), making for good conversation and community feeling.

 

Pinterest for Brands: How to Get Followers Using Facebook

Pinterest continues to struggle with a monetization strategy. What Facebook figured out early on was that when social media sites offer brands space and a way to pay to promote their content through paid promotion, there is money to be made.


Pinterest continues to struggle with a monetization strategy. What Facebook figured out early on was that when social media sites offer brands space and a way to pay to promote their content through paid promotion, there is money to be made.

Meanwhile, brands are trying to devise ways to promote their content within Pinterest without the ability to drive users to their content through advertising or paid promotion.

What seems to be working? A magic formula 1 part Facebook and 1 part Pinterest.

Lowe’s has promoted their presence on Pinterest by driving followers from their Facebook page. This worked because Lowe’s (like almost all brand pages) uses Facebook ads to drive new visitors and likes. So Facebook users click on Lowe’s Facebook ads- which then drive them to the default landing tab. Lowe’ set their default landing tab as a Pinterest app within their Facebook page and boom- success.

According to MediaPost, Lowe’s saw some Pinterest boards followings jump 60% and enjoyed an overall boost in their Pinterest account following. So using Facebook ads and a well established Facebook brand page to ultimately drive Pinterest followers and repins works.

Lands’ End Canvas does not have a Pinterest app within their Facebook page. Instead, they are using Facebook to promote a Pinterest “Pin It to Win It” contest.  In order to enter, Pinterest users repin images from Lands’ End Canvas’ Pinterest boards onto a board of their own creation. The user then emails Lands’ End Canvas with a link to the board in the hopes of winning a gift card.

Facebook plays an integral role in the Lands’ End Canvas Pinterest contest. Instructions for entry and rules for the contest are hosted in their Facebook notes, rather than on the Lands’ End site or within a pin on Pinterest. The contest is also being promoted to the Facebook page’s 141,000 fans with repeated Facebook wall posts.

On the other hand, this leaves Facebook richer and Pinterest with no revenue.  It is also a pretty roundabout way to promote brand content. However, until Pinterest offers brands a way to promote content through paid promotion within the site- it is the best way to build a following on Pinterest.

Mobile App Review: comiXology – iPhone, iPad & Android

In the latest installment of Flightpath’s running series of mobile app reviews, we’re looking at an app that brings comics to mobile.

Welcome to the latest installment of Flightpath’s running series of mobile app reviews, where we explore all different kinds of apps, both paid and free. Today we’re looking at an app that brings comics to mobile.

The App: comiXology

The Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android

How Much: Free

The Deal: As we’ve previously documented on the Flightpath blog, digital and mobile have opened new doors for comic books. For an industry so steeped in the print tradition, it’s ironic, but at the same time, essential for the medium’s survival. While it took a long time to get here, essentially every major publisher is now on board with the idea of digital comics, publishing them day-and-date with the print editions. comiXology, launched in 2007, is the app that allows you to conveniently purchase and view digital comics from all the big boys (Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse and more), whether in single or multi-issue form. It is the leading distributor of digital comics, bar none.

comixology

Features: comiXology opens to the main “Featured” menu, a.k.a. the store front, which highlights a sale as well as new comics released the same day as print (which is every Wednesday). There’s a horizontal nav on the top of the screen that features a “Just Added” button, which takes you to freshly digitized comics, either new or from years past. The bottom nav, in addition to the Featured button, also includes a “Popular” menu (divided by “Top Issues,” “Top Series,” and “Top Free”); “Browse,” which lets you look by series, publisher, genre and more; and “Purchases,” which contains your complete download history. You can access the comics you’ve downloaded at all times with the “My Comics” button in the upper right corner of the screen.

Prices for comics vary, but you can get some great deals. New releases are priced the same as the print editions (usually $2.99 or $3.99), and are then dropped $1 after the first month; graphic novels are in the $9.99 and higher range. Some comics are specially priced as low as $.99, and sales are routine.

What We Think/Like: First and foremost, reading comics via comiXology is awesome. You may be worried that the text in word balloons are too small to read on an iPhone or Android, but the comics use an auto-zoom feature to go from panel to panel, balloon to ballon, that makes for an easy, intuitive read. On an iPad, the backlit art looks pretty amazing.

As for the app itself, it’s an overall gem. Content is easy to find, the menu navigation is a breeze, and it all looks fantastic. I especially love the “Featured” page. As small as the screen of my iPhone is, the featured content (see screenshot above) is truly eye-catching. In addition, downloading is a breeze, some comics are later upgraded for an improved reading experience, and the omni-presence of the My Comics button ensures that your digital collection is always within reach. This is really smart design.

comixology my comics

What’s Missing: Maybe these features are coming, but I feel that there is some potential for editorial content here: interviews, video features, articles. You name it – something to make the experience a little more human and comic shop-like. Now, comiXology is just an online store, so I don’t hold the lack of this content against it, but this type of stuff would keep me coming back on a more regular basis. The “People Also Liked” feature is appreciated, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark as far as suggesting similar titles to the ones you enjoy. After downloading a free issue of Tiny Titans, an all-ages book, it suggested Flash: Rebirth and American Way, two very dissimilar series. And maybe I’m missing it, but it would be nice to be able to file the comics the way I want: by publisher, or by title, or by creator, etc.

comixology g.i.joe screenshotOverall: This is an essential download for comic book fans and those who may want to give comics a try, but either don’t want to venture into a brick-and-mortar comics shop or don’t know where to begin. Fast, simple and stylish – it hits all the right buttons of what makes for a great app.

Grade: A