November 2010


I read an article lately called “Will Netflix destroy the Internet” on Slate.com (http://www.slate.com/id/2273314/) where the author questions if Video On Demand will survive or will it become so successful, it swallows up all the available bandwidth on the Internet.  Now, I am not going to get into a technical discussion here since I believe that backbone bandwidth can be added and technology such as Verizon FiOS (Fiber to the house) will continue to allow VOD to be successful, but I do want to talk about irony.

I find it rather ironic that the long-standing discussions on who would win the ISP customer (Cable companies or telephone companies)  that has occurred for more than 10 years in the United States was based on convergence.  Convergence of voice, data applications and yes, real-time streaming media. To say it another way, we have been promised streaming media over the Internet for 10 plus years and now that it is finally beginning to take off, analysts are questioning if it can successfully sustain itself.  Oh the irony of success.

In the traditional media world chain restaurants purchase keywords on Google and get “found” more often in searches than their competition and generate more impressions than their (usually) smaller competition. But with Twitter smaller companies like Starbucks(172,366 followers) can rule when it comes to followers.

Starbucks has a staff that Tweets and then interacts with the followers comments  both on Twitter and Facebook.  they take this communication channel seriously (as I have talked about in the past  https://scottspiek.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/will-the-term-social-network-be-obsolete-in-a-few-years/ ).  This dedicated staff may also send out menu news, promotional offers, and other valuable information to their loyal following to always be in the customers view.

You don’t have to be a big restaurant chain to attract a relatively big following, but you do have to discover your value proposition of market differentiation (Krystal burgers) and put the time to explore, interact and grow with this new social media marketing landscape.

Can this work for your small business as well, I know I have used it for a startup in the “personal services sector” I have worked with here in the Dallas, TX area.  let me know your thoughts.