Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with Firecat Studio

July 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

firecatIntroducing TweetCampSA Sponsor Firecat Studio (questions answered by Susan Price, @FirecatSue)

1. How do you use microblogging?

Every which way! I’ve ridden technology trends my whole career and social media is the most exciting, society-transforming one yet.

I tweet a mix of business and personal stuff as @firecatsue, and conduct social media campaigns for a variety of clients. We focus on creating and maintaining relationships rather than doing heavy-duty marketing – and that approach has served us and our clients well.

An all-business stream gets boring, and an all-personal stream is boring, too — except to your significant other or your parole officer. Twitter is an excellent way to get to know more people, and to get to know the ones you already know, better. Over time, you learn what makes people tick, what excites them, and what they have in common with you. That magic mix of personal and business flavor is something you learn over time. I don’t always get it pitch-perfect; no one does. But that’s the goal.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

Our participation in social media causes us to be more human, honest and transparent in our dealings with clients, colleagues and competitors – and in turn, they’re more human and open with us. Their needs are more real, their opinions matter more to us. Everything moves faster. It’s fabulous! We’re actively creating the world I want to live in, every day.

Because we specialize in online strategy, we watch trends in communications technology very closely. As with computers, desktop publishing and the web, early adopters and risk takers are rewarded with strategic advantages. We’ve always spent a good bit of time in research, but with the explosion of tools and techniques, an even greater percentage of our time has to be devoted to R&D, simply to keep up. We’ve created some events that allow us to mix marketing with this “keeping up” – participating in Social Media Club, sponsoring Coworking and brownbag lunches.

Social media and microblogging have become a standard part of our online presence and marketing mix. We think a lot more about mobile access.

Because there are NO Twitter holidays, we’ve had to adapt some of our processes and schedules to accommodate more evening and weekend business activity.

Twitter and other social media tools have become very important to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) projects we handle.

And the websites we design have become more “social media” in nature, generally built on a content management system (CMS) to enable that all-important two-way dialog. Our design templates include Twitter feeds and Share This! widgets.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

I autofollow, and then vet followers periodically throughout the week. I look first at the quality of tweets. Are they helping people? Are they engaging in dialog? If self-promos predominate their stream, I unfollow. If they’re heavily reliant on quotes of others or retweets, I unfollow if there’s no originality or value-add.

Although I almost never exclude someone on the basis of their twitter “handle,” sometimes those trigger an unfollow; e.g., @godofmoney or @affiliatewhore.

I used to look at followers/following ratio, but find that’s less helpful than it used to be. If you follow 10,000 people, you can’t be listening to them all, so there’s no special merit in maintaining a 1:1 balance over a certain number of followers.

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

Wise elders! I just signed up to teach a seniors class in social media; I find their voices missing for the most part. My web industry gurus were all early adopters, so they’re in good supply. My creativity needs constant restocking, so I love seeing little inspirational bursts from pure creatives — songwriters, musicians, designers, artists, directors, comedians. Is Matt Groening on Twitter? Robin Williams? Weird Al? I’m happy to be following John Cleese. Is Terry Gilliam tweeting yet? And kids. I’d love to see kid drawings, or hear kid voices.

5. Why are you sponsoring TweetCampSA?

As we integrate social media into our everyday lives, it can be scary and even disruptive. We’re evolving the “norms” of the new online society as we go, and I prefer being purposeful about that — intentionally creating the culture the way I want it to be. Welcoming, inclusive, honest, supportive. Also, it’s hard to keep up, so I like meeting and comparing notes with other smart people.

I’ve learned a ton of vital information from every single San Antonio “Camp” event so far, from PodCamp to BarCamp to FreelanceCamp to AccessCamp to GreenCamp.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about your business.

Firecat Studio helps your business leverage new and emerging technologies. We design websites, brand identities, eMail and eNews campaigns, social media strategies, as well as print and video pieces. We excel at the strategy work that ties marketing efforts together and creates synergy between them.

Like our name suggests, working with Firecat is a curiously transformative experience. We examine your business and your goals holistically to help you transform and adapt, burn away the nonessential and drive the business you want. We work with you and your staff to create sustainable, positive business processes that continue to deliver value for years to come.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

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