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Talking Finger in the news: Interview with Business NewHaven/Social media today

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The latest news story about us: "Some companies that are starting to incorporate social media as part of their business strategy might believe merely setting up a Facebook page will attract customers, say a pair of entrepreneurs who caution against such thinking….."

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Talking Finger in the news: Interview with Business NewHaven/Social media today

  1. 1. Social Media 101 for CompaniesWritten by Felicia HunterTuesday, 06 December 2011 18:47OXFORD — Some companies that are starting to incorporate social media as part of theirbusiness strategy might believe merely setting up a Facebook page will attract customers, say apair of entrepreneurs who caution against such thinking.“You cannot just build something and hope they will come,” says Erik Granato, who along withbusiness partner Bill DeRosa officially launched Talking Finger as an LLC in October 2010.Their enterprise helps companies delve into social-medial marketing by developing a plan toattract potential customers to social media sites, effectively interact with them and, ultimately,add and keep them as loyal consumers.“People do business with people they know. It allows them to connect,” says DeRosa about themarketing potential of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media. “It’sbuilding relationships, the engagement.”Constant interaction is important, notes Granato. He says major elements of Talking Fingerservices include “understanding your audience, knowing what you’re going to say and the timesyou’re going to say it, learning how to respond to comments. We provide a day-to-dayoperational social plan so that you are effectively using this medium to its maximum.”That doesn’t mean businesses should discard their traditional marketing techniques, saysDeRosa.“Too many people separate them,” he says. “But the traditional and the social can worktogether.” 1/3
  2. 2. Social Media 101 for CompaniesWritten by Felicia HunterTuesday, 06 December 2011 18:47“We really work with the interaction of social media marketing with other types of marketing,”Granato adds.Granato and DeRosa have years of experience in online and traditional communication.DeRosa’s career in marketing and advertising spans more than 20 years. He’s helpedcompanies emerge and expand through corporate branding campaigns, providing trade showgraphics and displays, and utilizing other types of traditional media.Granato has worked in marketing and advertising for about two decades as well. He has helpedcompanies increase their exposure through online marketing as well as print and direct-mailpromotions.The two decided to start Talking Finger (the name refers to the human digit that drivescommunication on mobile devices) after realizing the tremendous impact of social media and itspotential for marketing.“Sixty-eight percent of the U.S. is on Facebook for at least one hour a day. It’s such a deeppenetration of people,” says DeRosa, adding, “I have teenage children and I see the way they’reconnecting to businesses. They’re using social platforms to even search for businesses. Theywant to see not only what the business says, but they want to see what other people say aboutthe business as well, the word-of-mouth.”The tech-based pair already had about a half-dozen computers between them, which helpedkeep start-up costs low. The owners completely funded the business themselves and own all ofits assets, notes Granato. They have four employees: one full-time and one part-time, as well astwo interns. Much of their revenue is reinvested into the business, says DeRosa.“Our initial start-up cost was about $1,200, and that was paid back just under 60 days,” throughclient fees, DeRosa says. Among Talking Fingers’ clients are both nonprofits and commercialbusinesses, including the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey club. 2/3
  3. 3. Social Media 101 for CompaniesWritten by Felicia HunterTuesday, 06 December 2011 18:47“Social media is the marketing tool that businesses can use when the end user is not looking atprint, to stay in front of the end-user,” Granato says. “It’s a way for you to get your message outwhen folks are not seeing your traditional marketing efforts.”The question is not whether businesses should invest in effective social media marketingcampaigns, but how to develop a plan, they insist.“If your competitors are doing it and you’re not, expect to lose market share,” says Granato.“You need continual engagement,” adds DeRosa, “that personal relationship for continuity.[Social media marketing] helps provide the tools that allow you to do that.”To learn more about Talking Finger, visit the company’s Facebook page at facebook.com/talkingfinger . — Felicia Hunter 3/3

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