twitter sales becomes reality

I was looking for a hotel in London the other day, and tried an experiment: post my search on twitter and see what happens. And there you go:

Just some minutes after my post I got retweetet by @frau_one and about 3 minutes later, @ukseries (service with trips to england, tickets, events etc.) followed me. So far so good – but I was really delightet when @smlGEM sent me an offer for a hotel room in their house about 2h later (sorry, guys: you sure have a wonderful hotel – check them out here – but I just can’t afford it). The tweet was very nice, nothing like „cheapest price in town“ but with all relevant information:

smlGEM @fredl We still have rooms @ St Martins Lane for the 25th We’re located by Covent Garden, w/e theatres and Trafalgar Sq. http://bit.ly/TBEmo

Now this shows the strentgh of interconnectivity and listen to the real time web – I see a huge potential in there – and it seems to be reality, about what I wrote the other day, about selling products on twitter.

The BMW R1200 GS Adventure

IMG_0123.JPGBeen on a weekend trip with my best friend, and we each were riding the BMW R1200 – damn, what a great piece of technology. The boxer ca. 100 hp strong engine comes with 6 gears, with 3 and 4 for the „big push“ 😉 While it’s been rather difficult to handle the ca. 300kg in slow curves, when its „running“ the driving experience is unbelievable for an enduro. Full throttle in the 2nd or 3rd gear really lifts the front wheel, and leaves these japanese plastic bombers in a dark dust 😉

P2P filesharing and the impact on the (video-, movie-, nameit-) industry

I often read articles like „P2P filesharing doesn’t have impact on the music-industry: the music industry is just not able to find new business models“. I thought about that, and I found a point I can understand the industry spending millions on lawsuits against filesharing users.

One often brought argument is

„people are willing to pay for digital content, because in stores like itunes the quality of the content is great and the delivery is fast.“

Yeah, but: If a user can chose between a clean user interface, good quality, a big catalogue and if it’s free or he has to pay: he will chose the free version.

I came across coda.fm: a torrent site with an extraordinary clean interface, very good information about the artists, albums etc., common functions like „people who liked this music, also liked that etc.“. This is a threat to the music industry. When torrent sites start to act like coda.fm there’s no need anymore to go to a store and buy your content legally – or just because of the „legal“ reason. The music industry is fighting for that.

That’s why I don’t believe in concepts like Nokias „comes with music“ – every dataplan enabled phone is able to play last.fm which is perfect for my free preferred music on the go. But when I pay for music (and I actually do, be it a subscription or a pay-per-listen plan) I want to own it.

So, in some ways I can understand the industry: with torrent sites getting more and more „professionel“ I don’t see revenues for them anymore.

Selling products on twitter

A friend of mine works for a pr agency, and she is currently evaluating the use of twitter for one of their customers – an online shop in germany . She came up with an idea, which from my first impression, sounded brilliant: use the direct contact to potential customers from twitter, and tell them about the products in the online shop, when they talk about a demand in their tweets.

After some consideration I found it difficult: where is the small line, when selling becomes spamming, or positive ment information. So, its all about the style, how the company is adressing their customers. For example:

@fredl: „Damn, I need a new notebook, but can’t decide which to take“

@notebooksellingeshop: „@fredl, take this one: <link>! Its the best and cheapest price out there“

I find this annoying: this is like salesmen in former times came to your door, trying to sell an abonnement for a newspaper.

Another, in my opinion, positive attempt would be:

@fredl: „Damn, I need a new notebook, but can’t decide which to take“

@notebooksellingeshop: „hey @fredl, looking for a notebook? What exactly is your demand, maybe we have a product which fits your needs. Do you use it for business? Are travelling a lot? Or is it more for home use, like games, movie editing etc.“ (Well yes, shorten this to 140 😉 )

@fredl: „hey @notebooksellingeshop, basically it needs to be small, ‚cause i’m travelling. Heard something about „netbooks“ – got that? „

@notebooksellingeshop: „hey @fredl, have a look in our shop <link>. This notebook has been tested by <hardwaretestmagazine> with 5 stars, an we think, we offer it to you for a fair price. It’s 13″ wide, and the aku lives for about 4h.“

So, this is an attempt on how to communicate with your customers. And guess what? It’s not magic. It’s just the „old-fashioned“ way on how to be polite, and sell respect to your customers.

In addition, there’s been a cool interview with uservoice.com on #building43: Watch it and learn how to put your ear on your customers needs.