I know we just met, and this is crazy, but here’s my number………..
- By: Chamber Chairman of the Board, Scott Miller – Gazebo Gardens
Does this line sound at all familiar to you? If it doesn’t, you may have been living under a rock this summer. It’s from a teen- pop song by Carly Rae Jepsen entitled “Call Me Maybe”. Why in the heck would I mention something like this in this fine magazine when it clearly is the most annoying piece of music since the “I’m too sexy for my shirt” song? Because it’s an example of how information in the modern world travels virally. If your business is not currently leveraging social media, it provides yet another reason why you might want to.
In the past three months on Youtube alone, the videos for this song and others with “Call Me Maybe” in the title have been downloaded over ONE BILLION times, and that doesn’t even count Facebook, Pandora, Spotify, or the countless other means of sharing information digitally. There is no doubt that this song, or its title, or lyrics have penetrated the consciousness of literally billions of people. What agency is responsible for this wildly successful marketing campaign? They probably spent millions on television and magazine ads, right? Nope. By most accounts, this sensation caught fire when Justin Bieber referred to it as “The most catchiest song I’ve ever heard” on his twitter account. That’s it. The cost of one grammatically reprehensible “tweet”= zero dollars. The good people of the internet did the rest.
Even though my generation (I’m 41) was the first to grow up with personal computers and cell phones, I have often felt ill- equipped to deal with the pace of technology. Those giant green- screened PC’s that I grew up with in the 1980’s weren’t really much good for anything by today’s standards. My hand-me- down Motorola Bag phone (for our younger readers, a giant cell phone with a shoulder strap) was my pride and joy in 1988, but it only made calls. Today, even the cheapest cell phones provide a level of multimedia- style connectivity and interaction that we wouldn’t have dreamed of in 1987. And everyone has one. Kids of my children’s generation feel genuine pity for people who don’t know how to attach a video to a text message. Like it or not, this is just how it works now.
So a couple of years ago, I finally broke down and started a Facebook page for my business, Gazebo Gardens. We are the oldest continually operating nursery company between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which makes us a veritable bastion of stodginess. But it had to happen. At first, it felt awkward posting pictures and comments and bits of trivia, but now it’s as natural to me as eating bacon. And it makes a difference. Gazebo Gardens currently has about 1000 Facebook followers, which is nothing to brag about, really. There are probably accountants and funeral parlors that have more. The factor that makes a difference is that this group of folks is comprised of people who already like our business and have volunteered to hear what we say. When our nursery has a sale, these people actually want to know about it. That’s what’s so special about social media- it is the easiest way to stay in touch with your most devoted customers. That and the fact that it usually costs about zero dollars.
If I could just get Justin Bieber to tweet that Gazebo Gardens is “The most valuiest nursery ever” we’d have it made.