Startup Marketing


Take Twitter to the Next Level by Building a Community

I  just can’t have one more person ask me “how to get more Twitter followers?”. I am not even the ranting type, (I leave that to Adam Corolla on his podcast), although, I can’t help but remain perplexed by why this vanity metric has become so valuable in seemingly smart executive’s eyes. What is a follower? Are they a meaningful impression to your brand? Do more followers mean more conversions? For most brands, these questions seem to be bypassed at the beginning for one simple goal of volume.

To me, the number itself is sheer vanity. It is the people behind that number that matter. Who are your followers? Are they engaged? Are they true meaningful fans that can help you spread the word or are they potential customers (your two targets)?

It is these questions that give us the true insights on how to use Twitter for real marketing that should be asked — before you think about the numbers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter. It is a great source for real-time information, meeting new people, measuring your brand’s pulse, gaining feedback, and more. Although, what it is not is a single stop for advertising or guaranteed reach. If you are looking at it through this (latter) lens, you are going to get extremely frustrated very quickly. As not all followers are equal (and as we have seen through traditional marketing methods, not all impressions lead to results).

Here is one way I use Twitter, to build community and find meaningful members with a goal to build relationships; to help truly scale your social media efforts online (without the help of other campaigns like TV, radio, etc, that are usually the expensive tactics for building your ‘owned’ social following).

Note: All examples are taken from my community and brand ambassador program that I built for video discovery service, Fanhattan. Everything was built online through social media without any offline interaction…yet. So far, the group, titled ‘Fanhattan Insiders Program’ has 50 highly engaged fans from 10 major cities in the US. 

Step 1

Build a meaningful online community with a clear mission.

Connecting Stars:

Fanhattan is at the intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, proudly raising eyebrows in both communities. We are looking to engage with passionate fans of entertainment, no matter what your current expertise or domain within the industry. If you define yourself as a passionate professional in entertainment and want to immerse yourself into a community to learn, support and help other passionate industry leaders, we have a group for you!

 Our goal is to help you define yourself in this rapidly changing and social world, while you help us spread the word about Fanhattan’s vision for the future of entertainment. In this community  we want to help uncover your strengths and skills, challenge you to confidently show what you know, and of course come along for the ride in a company full of  entertainment industry enthusiasts and creators. 

Through the Fanhattan Insiders group, we want to help you build a strong network of industry professionals for support and promotion of each other’s work. The community is about each and every member bringing and deriving value by taking part. In this community you will meet: screenwriters, authors, journalists, bloggers, actors, directors, producers, composers, and more, all passionate about one thing, working in entertainment!

Where We Connect:

Fanhattan Insiders on Facebook

Fanhattan Insiders Google +

Your role:

We want Insiders to have fun and use this opportunity to network, support others, get feedback for your work, but also develop your personal voice and brand within the industry. Whatever your angle or interests, we certainly have opportunities to join this journey with us.


Step 2

Look for highly engaged Twitter followers of your brand.

Make sure they also have websites, social media, etc. You want people who are active and participate online.

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Step 3

Invite them to your group personally and tell them about how it can be beneficial for them and super fun to take part in your community.

Sample email to highly engaged Twitter follower who engages with your brand in a positive way often:

Hi Tracy/Princess Trek,

You look awesome!! I see you are a friend of one of our editors, Jenna Busch. I figured you might be a fun addition to our Fanhattan Insider community on Google + & Facebook. The group is for like-minded entertainment industry professionals and passionate fans. We have members in entertainment journalism, screenwriters, artists, producers and more. We also have members with day jobs outside of entertainment, who are passionate fans and community contributors to the group, as well as with their own blogs and social networks. Everyone adds a lot of value through sharing projects, stories, experiences, and more!

The group is built to give you a great network within the industry and to help promote each others work through our own networks. We would love to help get your writing out there through the group’s blogs, podcasts, social media and more. It is a really fun and supportive community, I promise.

Here are our links for the group:

Also, send me a 3 sentence bio including where you are located, projects you are working on and goals/passions you are pursuing in the future.

P.S. Feel free to ask Jenna Busch about the group if you have questions as I see you two are connected.




Step 4

Welcome your members, introduce them to the group, and spark conversations.

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Step 5

Make your group a special place that:

  • Incorporates all members and makes them feel supported and part of a community
  • Adds value for members
  • Helps build a network for all involved
  • Is about the brand, but more about the people who make the group
  • Empowers everyone in the group to be a teacher, but also the opportunity to be a student
  • Is filled with like-minded individuals who are passionate about similar topics (have something in common)
  • Is made up of creators who contribute to the internet with a strong voice in their own communities (so that each member is likely to engage with each other and the group, as well as offer other members value by working together or helping promote each others work)

Next Steps coming soon, including how to keep your group engaged, how to leverage the community, and how to keep building the community in a meaningful way.


Marketing Your App or Mobile Game

I love to learn, but I also love to share. One of the best parts of my love for marketing is helping friends out, who may have a completely different domain expertise (they often have lot’s of insights to listen to from a different point of view, even when asking for advice). This morning I spoke with an Android developer in Portugal, whom is a best friend from home to a former room mate (yes, the digital universe makes the world much much smaller), who recently launched an Android app for system monitoring and is about to develop a game. We have never met in person, although we connected over a game design book that we both referenced in an introduction email. Below is a G chat conversation we had on how he could get started marketing his app or game. I figured it might be helpful to some of my readers who may also be developers looking to launch an app and need some marketing advice to publish our conversation. After all, one day, I may have an Android SDK problem that I need the favor in return for — just saying, it could happen.

Christian: Have a question about marketing.
I’ve been watching some videos from the guys at Google, about marketing apps
that say that one of the most effective ways of marketing apps is through mobile advertising
Do you agree?

I mean.. Everyone ignores ads, right?
Sent at 9:43 AM on Wednesday

Me: I would agree with mobile advertising being effective.
If I were to market an app, I would look at Admob through Google Adwords as a major tactic to explore.
Simple to start and you have a lot of control.
Also, there are some game marketing platforms out there that market through mobile advertising.
I heard about one yesterday actually…that I am failing to remember now.
Christian: hmm but is a big budget needed in order to get some results?

Classic marketing fallacy that still exists even among marketing execs.

Me: Nope, certainly not.
It is always about marketing mix.
You will likely want to do some paid acquisition through admob and other platforms,
but you certainly don’t need to.
Other tactics:
1) Press – write killer data driven pitches for big journalists. Also, send out personalized pitches to bloggers to write and review your game. Make connections with influencers in the industry that reach your target audience.
2) Make the app inherently viral. Bake it in. Words with Friends, What’s That Phrase, Farmville and the list goes on, in and outside Zynga of games, that are shared in order to play (for the most part).
How can you convert your users into evangelists with as little friction as possible?

Christian: sorry, I don’t understand some of things you wrote (my english still needs improvement)
killer data driven pitches?
Me: Happy to explain.
When you pitch a large journalist for a major publication, you want to provide them something of value
No journalist wants to write about “your cool game”.
They want to know what is going on in the industry that only you would have unique insights into from your angle? What story can you tell that is captivating and enchanting about you and your game? What information do you have that a journalist would need for a great story (where you would be quoted or your game would be mentioned)?

Christian: Oh I see, totally makes sense.
so, take a day or two to really think about the perfect text.

Sent at 9:56 AM on Wednesday
Christian: And what about “users into evangelists with as little friction as possible” ?

Me: You bet, so making a great game that people talk about is technically turning users into evangelists. Although, it is not enough anymore. Give your users reason to share.
For Words with Friends, you have to have friends to play, or at least it is more fun with friends.
How can you make your game more fun with friends?
– “Invite friends” functionality
– ‘See which one of your friends scored higher than me’ or ‘Pick a friend to challenge’
What type of game play can be social and attract you to invite friends?
What about the game makes people talk about the game?
These are the questions you want to ask yourself when designing for a social game that is meant to be shared.
Christian: ok I get it, super info !

Sent at 10:03 AM on Wednesday
Christian: copy/pasting and saving to file
Sent at 10:05 AM on Wednesday
Christian: well, just set up an admob campaign for my app, to give it a try
I’m really curious

I love this instant execution. Can all people be this awesome!

Sent at 10:08 AM on Wednesday
Me: Awesome! Let me know the results
I would be super curious what your cost per click and cost per acquisition come to.
I would also send some pitches to blogs that write about apps, etc
Get great pitch examples through

ok, in case you’re interested about the details of the campaign:
– Total budget: 150$
– Max budget/day: 25$
– Bid price $0.01
– Min Android version: 4.1 (I think users with the most recent version will also be willing to spend more money)
– Geography: USA (40% of my users come from USA and are more willing to pay)
– Demographics: Male users (99% of people that reach to me are guys)
– Age groups: 18 – 64

More from the campaign when results are in. Hope this conversation was helpful. Not gloating about my knowledge, just making some info public that I happen to have experimented with and seen work. Also, please not that there are a lot of other effective tactics not mentioned in here. Until next time!

– Jenna


Launching Your Single on Twitter

Last week I got an email from an old friend of mine whom I worked with when she was a brand manager for the healthy energy drink, Celsuis. She recently found herself on a different path forming a band and making music. She is just about to launch their first single and sent me a quick email for some marketing 101 online using social media. My response is a quick, off the top of my head, no structure, help-a-friend-out email, although the essence is there. So, I decided why not publish it. After all, it might be helpful to another friend working on launching a product that may not have online experience.

Mercedes: Jenna!!  Question.. our single (Leaves) is about to release.  Do you have **any** tips on the Twitter thing?  I already know to release it on a Monday, because there’s a #musicmonday hashtag, but if there’s anything else, please advise.  Last time we talked about Twitter, you told me we need to have music (haha duh!).  Anyway… our Twitter, MySpace, Soundcloud, Reverbnation, FB, Musicpage, etc. is all about to launch.


Hey Girl,

Twitter is just a broadcast and engagement tool. There is no secret sauce. The secret sauce is rather in the landing page. If people are to click your tweets, where will they land? What can they do when they get there? Moving back a few steps: Where do people listen to your music? Do you have a website? Facebook, Twitter, MySpace are just ways to share you content, make sure you have a place to host your product and engage the audience that you are trying to drive through Twitter first. You want people that come from Twitter to actually click your page and listen to your song, not bounce.

Next step, if you know you are launching (for this personal project), email all your friends and give them an exact tweet to send out. I say exact, as you want to give as little friction as possible to helping you out.

Okay, now once they have listened, how do you keep them around? Can they “like” your page or subscribe to your email. Create a call-to-action. What is someone who likes your song going to do next? How do you keep them as a fan to engage later when more songs launch?

On a whole, there is really no one thing you can do, so it is tough to just give a “Twitter plan”. It is all an online marketing mix really.

1. Great website with calls-to-action
2. Broadcast to audience
3. Broadcast as many places as possible in communities (try to go viral in communities, get friends who know each other to share)
4. Build brand equity though community (guerrilla marketing) and press

Rinse and repeat.

Also, before all of this… outline your goals. What do you want from this? Do you expect to make money? Knowing your goals is always step one.

Hope this helps!


From experience, I cannot repeat this enough: Landing page, landing page, landing page. A bad landing page with trump any brilliant campaign from being successful.


Bitcoins Explained: Get in the Bitcoin loop

BitCoins exploded…well, not really. They just happened to go mainstream. The virtual currency was actually introduced in 2009 by pseudonymous developer, Satoshi Nakamoto (we are yet to confirm “his” existence or involvement), who wanted to solve the problem of cross-boarder trade. Did he have in intention to decentralize currency? Was Nakamoto trying to make a statement about the true free market system that capitalism was supposed to be defined by with market regulatory systems? All questions that make the currency so elusive.

For those who get it, the idea of a cross-border free market currency (with a limited supply) seems game changing for virtual and global exchanges. For those who don’t, it is a community of hackers doing mysterious things on the internet and trading using mysterious virtual entities. One is new and innovative and the other is not so new (Second Life, Hot or Not) and perhaps scary. Which will it be for you?

To help you make up your mind, I gathered some more information from around the internet over this past week’s Bitcoin “curiosity” explosion.


Bitcoin Explained from Duncan Elms on Vimeo.



Bitcoin Market Analysis & References:

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