Building brands through Twitter
Amanda and Matt MacNaughton are the sibling powerhouse behind the social media buzzing, campaign-linking, celebrity tweeting social marketing platform site, Promojam that has taken advantage of Twitter to increase their clients’ online visibility. Although the website was only established in 2009, the Company’s successes have been overwhelming and have hit mainstream social media users.
Amanda had been in the public relations industry for seven years and Matt held a post as product manager for Interscope Records. They decided to follow through with their dream and start their own company.
“The genesis behind Promojam came from my experience at Interscope while doing album premiers and events with artists to find a new audience,” Matt says. “A lot of these bands didn’t have a clue who their audience was and didn’t know the real reach of their audience.”
BRANDING A BUSINESS
Promojam’s first campaign was a tweet-to-download push for Travis Barker and DJ AM who wanted to release a mixed tape by using Twitter. “The band wanted to give away their music to fans and create value to the mixed tape by getting consumers to market the songs to their friends and followers on Twitter,” Matt says.
Promojam makes custom promotions for clients to share with their Twitter followers. Users can tweet these links to receive free music downloads, access to discounts on products, enter to win contests, while at the same time, broadening the awareness about a company or cross promotion.
“This is just a modern way for social media to work for a business to create value and revenue,” Amanda said. “It’s the same way a brand is marketed when a woman carries a Gucci purse or a kid wears a band shirt they bought at a concert. In addition to wearing brands, kids are using social media to show their interests.”
Because brands and musical groups want an effective way to control their messages to consumers, Promojam and their campaigns make it easier to track successes from the business and consumers’ perspectives. “Like many business owners, they don’t have a ton of time to design a platform for a similar campaign,” Amanda says. “We have simplified packages that are more effective, plug and play, and within minutes, a Twitter promotion can be made online.”
Promojam campaigns started in the music industry but the duo are expanding to multiple business verticals since it’s not just musical executives who are looking to use social media to increase their revenue and followers.
The Company recently wrapped up a Twitter campaign with E! Online and the Kardashian sisters, who gave away iTunes gift cards for one week. The tweet reached nine million people in one week, which averaged about 15 tweets promoting the campaign per second.
Footwear designer K-SWISS and “Biggest Loser” coach, Jillian Michaels, also hosted a one-day flash sale where twitter followers could tweet about a promotion to receive a 20 percent discount. “In one day, K-SWISS had $12,000 in sales, which was unheard of for that company,” Amanda says. “This just shows the sheer nature of social media and how revenue can deeply benefit from it.”
“We’ve noticed that business executives want to interact with their customers from a social media platform but are confused on how to do it and how to make money,” she continues. “We’ve figured out how to make social media work with a company’s revenue and customer goals.”
Promojam is currently working on expanding their client base and platforms to include MySpace and LinkedIn to share current campaigns. Additionally, in the next few months, the company will launch Promojam perks, a webpage where consumers can see consumer deals in an exchange for a tweet.
To date, Promojam has reached more than 45 million Twitter users and both Matt and Amanda believe their successes were due to their courage to transform social media into a mode for creating revenue. “We also have an incredible network of industry professionals behind us who helped our company’s success,” Matt says. “When you have an idea for a great business, look to those first who you already have a connection with, get on the phone and take meetings with them. Take chances when you have a great business idea.”
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”