Thursday, November 12, 2009

Free 411?

FREE 411?

By Michael Bremmer

Most people have the world at their fingertips (i.e., the internet), but refuse to take the ten seconds to type in a company name and city to get a phone number.  411 charges average about $2 per call, plus any fees to connect you.  (Yikes!)  Oh it gets better - if the number is wrong, (which it is about 25% of the time), you still get charged, you have to call again, wait for an operator, and get the "correct" number (second times a charm... or is that the third?).

Solution #1: Use a search engine, like Google,, or Yahoo to get the phone number. Generally it's more accurate and it's free!  Who doesn't love that four letter word!?

Solution #2: Use 1-800-Free-411 or 1-800-GOOG-411 (Google's 411).  Both are voice activated,THEY'RE FREE (that magic word again), and if you're calling from a cell phone, they'll even send a text message with the requested information to your mobile number.

To sum it up, isn't it time you said good bye and good riddance to 411?

"I thought I saw a putty tat. I did! I did!"Twittered Tweety Bird!

What Is Twitter And Why Should I Care?????

Twitter is a new version of old favorites. It combines blogging (online articles written to drive traffic to your website and position yourself as an expert to customers-or so you hope) and text messaging (invented to occupy tweens and drive parents nuts).

Twitter is similar to mass text messaging but to receive "tweets" you have to follow a specific person's account. And it has a leg up on its predecessor--the messages are limited to 140 characters, forcing people to get to the point much quicker. (Shame we can't apply this to real life conversations-one day we can hope.)

So what is Twitter good for? Is it a legitimate tool or just another way to waste time at work?

To be blunt, I wasn't exactly sold on Twitter upon my initial encounter. I believe my first thoughts went something like this... 'Whoopidedoo... Who cares what I'm doing right now ... Why is it any of their business... And for that matter, why do I care what anyone else is doing as of this very second... trimming their toe nails... reading a book... EXHILARATING!'

But wait... a breakthrough!

Used correctly, Twitter is an excellent tool to create "top of mind awareness" for businesses. Many companies, such as Dell, list "Twitter-only" specials. Rubio's is always telling me about their latest taco special. CNBC's Fast Money lists their "hottest trades" all day long.

Now some of you may be wondering, well what about those of us that don't have a multimillion dollar budget and a team of people to dedicate to "tweeting"?

And that's where my words of wisdom come.

Here are some tips on making Twitter work for your individual business:

1. Add your website address to EVERY TWEET! This will create more links back to your website for Google to see.

2. Position yourself as an expert in your field! Create value by answering common questions you hear in your business!

3. Announce new events/promotions/sales directly to your customers.

Until next time, I leave you "Suffering succotash!"

Michael Bremmer

National Communications, Inc.