I can't remember the exact day I met PrincetonScoop on Twitter, but it was around the time that the buzz about the new Trader Joe's was all over the virtual Princeton circuit. I heard it first from @PrincetonScoop and thought, "this is someone I need to watch." As someone who tries to stay in-the-know around New Jersey, I was a little envious that this Tweep had the inside scoop in my own area! But that IS PrincetonScoop in a nut shell: the inside scoop on sales, community events, happy hours, new business and more in the greater Princeton area.
Then one day I finally met this mystery Tweep and discovered that PrincetonScoop is a woman and, like me, she is a mom, an entrepreneur and a go-getter. Princeton resident Melissa Klepacki has created a social media brand that has become like a trusted friend to many followers on Twitter, Facebook and the web and many Princeton locals rely on her news, announcements, opinions and feedback. While I know why and how she is building PrincetonScoop, I wanted her to share in her own words just how one goes about creating a brand, market and, let's face it, an empire!
About Princeton Scoop
Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to start Princeton Scoop?
A: At first it was my love for Social Media, namely Twitter and Facebook, for the need to feel connected to my community and the value that Social Media (SM) brings to that sort of connectedness. It was also a response to a need to be informed. I felt that I was always missing out on amazing events, sales, and happenings that were occurring in my backyard. I needed someone to tell me what was coming up so I could plan for it. I didn’t have the time to search for what was in the works and kept finding myself going back to the places I knew instead of exploring the unknown. PrincetonScoop (PS) aims to encourage people to go beyond what they know. To step into that store they have walked by a hundred times, to attend an event at the University, to explore McCarter Theater or try a new restaurant.
Q: So how is PScoop unique in relation to other information sources in the area?
A: We are different and provide unique value to our fan base. Again, the fact that we deliver timely, relevant information to people via channels they are already a part of is our “thing.” Our website isn’t full of ads but is a launch pad to take people to the information that they want. They can access our Twitter stream, find us on Facebook, read our blog or sign up for our newsletters (which will start this fall) all from our website so they receive the information they want in the manner they want.
Q: I like how your website features local writers. Tell me more about your writing team?
A: We have a few great people working with us and are always looking for more. The PScoop team are: college students with a unique perspective on what’s going on in their world, moms in the area not quite ready for a full-time position but have a passion for SM or for writing in general or people between jobs who want to keep their skills fresh and learn about SM. We provide them another reference as well as new experience to add to their offerings as candidates for the jobs they will move into. We aim to teach, share and learn unique perspectives from our writers. The voice of PS is a collective one for sure.
How PrincetonScoop and Social Media Can Help a Business Grow
Q: Let's say that I'm a business that's been in town for a number of years OR I'm a new merchant. How can you help me?
We build buzz first and foremost. Word of mouth is such a powerful means of building a brand. We talk about a business giving people insight, telling people about deals businesses are offering, giving them reasons to check out something new. We drive people to events by telling them why they should be there and what’s cool or unique about it. We have a local consumer base who wants to know what we have to share. As many businesses struggle to understand SM we can offer them a way to get into the game without ever needing to understand the ins and outs of the technology. Of course, we also do quite a bit of educating and encourage our clients to create their own Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts. What is unique is that we offer a way for our clients to utilize the PS robust network of followers instead of having to build their own from scratch.
Q: If I'm a business who wants to get started on Twitter, what is your best piece of advice if I'm still not sure I have the time for it?
Q: What are some future plans for PScoop?
A: Princeton is our first market and we have plans in the works for Scoops all over the place. Everyone wants to be in the know, don’t they? Our newsletters are in the final stages of planning and will be great for people who aren’t involved in SM right now but still want information. Just about everyone uses email now, so we aim to reach out to people via email. With technology growing at such a rapid rate we are excited for “the next big thing” in Social Media and you can be sure we’ll be there too.
PrincetonScoop works with the Howard Design Group (http://www.howarddesign.com) in Princeton