Seafood companies can leverage social networking
Social networking tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace provide an inexpensive and interactive way for seafood companies to get the word out to customers about their products.
As a Twitter user myself, I often see seafood distributors, restaurants and seafood markets advertising their specials online. The advantage to this type of marketing is that it is not only free, but it allows followers to see what specials you have quicker than a traditional mailing or advertisement.
Especially for fresh seafood, the little short blurbs (called “tweets” on Twitter) can be as simple of “fresh Pen Cove Select oysters from Puget Sound available today.” They can also include a tiny URL, which is a shortened version of a sometimes very long web address. These tiny URLs keep the number of characters to a minimum, as Twitter is limited to 140 characters only. Some people are quite infamous for making up their own twitter language, especially certain political figures. Some prolific Twitter users are known for excluding vowels and other important word components, such as punctuation.
However, other users stick to the rules and limit their tweets to the 140 characters, while still making good use of the English language. I prefer to follow the rules myself. If a posting needs more characters than the 140 characters, perhaps it is better published somewhere else, such as a blog, with a tiny URL connecting the tweet to the posting.
In terms of Facebook, this is a great tool for advertising, even if you don’t have the money to advertise your page. You can create a fan page for your company, and “like” the page, showing the page on your personal FaceBook profile. You can also “suggest” the page to others who may be familiar with your company, such as friends, family, employees, and customers.
You can keep in touch with your fans by posting updates to your page, photos in your photo album, and making comments to other people’s wall postings. It’s a great way to know your demographic, as FaceBook will send you a weekly page update and tell you how many people liked your page in the past week, with a breakdown of female to male, and other important indicators on how popular your company page is. MySpace has a similar type of system, allowing you to create pages for causes and the like. However, the demographic of MySpace may be more suited to promotion of bands and other creative endeavors. Some of the MySpace applications allow you to post not only photos, but also music and video much more easily than FaceBook. For promotion of seafood products, I would recommend Facebook over MySpace.
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