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My daughter enjoyed her free cone today from our local “Treats of Lonsdale“.    I thought it was a good example of social networking without all of the new social media sites to cloud the issue.  Social media is a medium, boy that is a mouthful.  I equate it with a telephone; just a tool people use to communicate.  The simple act of placing my daughters name on a sign out front got me to go there and spend money with them.  It is like they where speaking to me directly.  Of course some technology was required to get it to me.  Actually, Jenny from my wife’s mom’s club, saw the sign on her way to work and texted my wife.

Afterwards we decided to take a picture with her by the sign.  While Treats of Lonsdale did nothing in the “social media” realm, one of their customer did.  I immediately posted the picture to Facebook, then when I got home I shared it on the Treats of Lonsdale Facebook page, heck now I am writing a blog posting and starting a whole new chain of social media syndication through our network.   Whether or not you are joining in social media, your customers are.

As we sat there eating our ice cream, I couldn’t help but think of ways this, elegant in its simplicity, program could be extended using the tool-sets we develop.  I rattled off a quick list.

1. Create calendar on Web site with daily names.
2. Schedule out the names for the next month or two.
3. Create Special Birthday feed: Publish to Twitter and Facebook.
4. With each posting encourage customers to share their photo on your site (Be sure to include link)
5. Add email sign-up into the process and notify people on the day their name is selected.
6. Encourage sharing with friends and family, by adding voting features on the photos to develop a annual Treats of Lonsdale calendar.
7. I almost forgot – Tweet to LED Sign for the front (I have to get this for the office)

Of course part of me understands that Treats of Lonesdale is a wonderful ice cream shop and sometimes the low-tech solution does the job.  For those looking for more,our sites open up endless possibilities.