My post last week talked about Topeka Subways new Foursquare campaign. If you aren’t familiar with how to use Foursquare to market your business, we posted a quick tutorial here. I sent an email to them inquiring about the new special and their reasoning for choosing this route. This is what Joe Russell, Chief Operations Officer of Eastern Kansas Subways, had to say:
“We started getting interested in Social Media about a year ago when we started noticing that it was getting harder to advertise in traditional ways. With most people not listening to traditional radio and fast forwarding through the commercials on T.V. it is getting harder to engage with your customers through traditional means. We hired a company at that start of the year called Brain Bucket out of Kansas City and they have helped us develop our web site www.topekasubways.com and we have started up a facebook page and a twitter account. In most of these we were behind the times as most companies had already developed these areas. However we were introduced to foursquare last month and it seemed very new and exciting. We decided to get involved and see if we can be part of something as it was just developing.”
Mr. Russell feels that they were “behind the times” in the marketing world and needed to advance beyond the “traditional means”. In order to catch up they worked up a website, even though Subway has a national chain site, to display their locally owned stores. They added a Facebook page and fired up a Twitter account which appears to be very active, which is great because a twitter account is pointless unless it interacts and becomes part of the discussion with its community. On top of all this, they leaped into the mobile social media aspect with the Foursquare specials.
Mr. Russell hit on a point that businesses need to realize if they haven’t yet. The point being the need to move beyond the traditional mediums of marketing. Social media is out there to be used. Businesses should be embracing it because it is a tool to engage and communicate with customers and potential customers. Social media is a creative outlet that needs to be tapped.
I came across this article, by Hank Wasiak, discussing this same idea and it mentions how “people” is the new marketing strategy. A people marketing strategy “involves listening to and engaging with everyone who can touch or influence current and potential customers at all stages of brand interaction.” The social media realm is vast so there are lots of discussions happening. If your business is not partaking in the discussions, most likely your competition is seizing the opportunity to do so. Social media allows a business to listen and communicate with people.
Moving beyond traditional ways of marketing is a necessary step for every business. I think Topeka Subways is a prime example of moving beyond those traditional ways and trying to interact with the community. We’ll try to keep tabs on how well this goes.
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