A Chat with MilfordTwitTalk's Stephanie Gerke-Pelizzari

Stephanie talks about how Milford businesses can use the Internet to their advantage and the importance of understanding the business user of Social Media.


How did you first hear about using Twitter to promote business?

I have worked with Merchants for years now, and in doing so I have found that using Social Media as a platform to drive foot traffic to their door is still elusive to many of them.

I have a Mobile App, Texting & Web Re-direct company, Streamline LLC's GoMobile2Grow.com, which help keep them on their customers minds, so I guess Twitter is really the natural next step. 

In using Twitter myself, I have seen ads posted or links to Instagram photos of merchant products, so it is not a new concept by any means. It's the ideas that keep me awake at night that I really get excited about and this product had all the right hot points, it helps merchants, the local economy and those who live in the community. 

What lessons have you learned about social networking since you've started?

That is a great question. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is actually more about the business user of Social Media than Social Media itself.  Social Media & Social Networking are incredible tools that can help generate interest in your business, but if you have the tools and do not use them, you will not see new results. 

So I have a genuine interest in working with my merchants to help them market and promote these new tools, and show them just how easy it is.  And as many are now seeing, if they don't capitalize on them, their competitors will.

Do you think that internet marketing is the future or do you think there is still room for traditional ways of getting the word out about your business? 

Many of my merchants talk to me about traditional avenues and how their customer base is split between those who use their smart phone for everything, and those who don't know what a QR Reader is. 

But these same merchants also say, "I want to appeal to both, my current customers and the potential customers of tomorrow."  Technology must be embraced if your customers are utilizing it. 

Merchants admit there is a gap and that not all customers have the same needs.  So I suppose my answer is, in marketing, you want to invest in what is going to give you the biggest platform with measurable results. 

I feel strongly that if a business does not start flexing their internet marketing/ social media muscle now, they may find it is being overpowered in the future by those who started the process much sooner. 

If you plan on being in business 5 years from now, then start building your base now and watch it grow along with your foot traffic. 

With that said, I feel this is where I differ from many other options. I believe in a community and that merchants can actually help one another grow foot traffic, too. 

The @MilfordTwitTalk is only days old, but the concept and heart behind it is what will help it succeed.  As more and more businesses opt-in to using this product, they all work together to build a following.

Therefore when a business owner sends a Tweet with the @MilfordTwitTalk stream they are not only sending it to people who shop in their store, they are sending it to anyone who has opted to follow it from anywhere in Milford.

What advice do you have for Milford businesses who find the Internet daunting?

 My advice would be to take it one step at a time and leave the details to the experts, that's what we get paid for.  A merchant needs to know how to use the product and how to promote the product. 


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