for the SANDRINE

Street Tweetin’

Did you know that in San Francisco one street food vendor uses Twitter to keep his business going? His name is Curtis Kimball and he sells crème brulee. I’m amazed by this person because he does his business so well.

In a span of one year, he was able to gain 12,000 followers—the Twitter way and literally. He uses Twitter to update his customers everyday about where he plans to go. Aside from that, he tweets the flavour of the day so that customers won’t waste time visiting him if it’s not their favourite one. He also asks suggestions on how to improve his product from them to keep his customers coming.

As you can see he knows how to use the new social media for business but he doesn’t plan on using Facebook. He has an account but I think it is more of a personal account. He knows that these new platforms are important nowadays, but recognizes that not all will work for a business. For him Twitter is the one and only site that can really help his business.

You don’t really have to go with the majority to improve your business. That might just mean great effort in maintaining and reaching out to your customers resulting to nothing if it’s not compatible with your type of business. You can just choose one and maximize its features.

Now this is a smart move for a former construction worker. Not that I’m belittling him or his professions but you won’t see that here in the Philippines. That’s because we are a poor country. Street food vendors here can’t do what Curtis did because they don’t have internet access. They would rather buy water or sandwich than rent a computer. Plus they have a lot of competitors in the street so there’s really no need to tell customers where they are.

Filipinos are smart, innovative—they have what it takes to grow and earn a lot in their selected careers or businesses. If only this country’s situation were better, setting up a business wouldn’t be that expensive. You wouldn’t need big money, big space, and a big name but a simple cart and product would be enough to earn a lot, like in San Francisco.

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5 responses

  1. starrylines

    The digital divide indeed affects how we do business here in the Philippines. That’s why we as OrCom majors, who would soon be practicing our skills in organizations very very soon, must always bear in mind that fact. Not everyone has access to the Internet, and we shouldn’t rely fully on it for our business efforts. After some more years though, I hope we could also enjoy the business luxury of Curtis here in the Philippines. 😀

    September 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

  2. That crème brulee looks yummy! Can he sell his product here in the Philippines? Haha!

    Apparently he does his business really well. He knows that he can use the new social media to promote his business but he also sees the need to back up online efforts with real efforts like a good, (perhaps yummy is the more appropriate term)product and service. He definitely knows the trouble of putting many online sites as compared to maintaining one (Twitter) and maximizing it. Kudos to Curtis and to the crème brulee cart! 😀

    September 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

  3. Now this is what I call STRATEGY. This is one lesson companies should learn – you don’t have to be everywhere. Know what the business need is, and think of the most efficient solution to address that need. In the case of this vendor, it’s having a dialogue between him and his customers that’s important, and so he resorted to using Twitter over any other Social Media tool. Nice move, dude. We’ve got a lot of lessons to learn from you. This just shows how common sense really is common. Some people are just too technical and preoccupied to use theirs. 🙂

    September 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  4. I think the Pilippines is also very active when it comes to using social media for small-scale or start-up businesses. Here, Multiply is our online market. I think businesses that are successful in using social media platforms are those who always update their accounts. Some would just create a fan page or account but rarely updates their customers. Using NSM for business also requires a certain level of dedication to be always available and connected to your customers.

    October 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm

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