Jul 14, 2012
Interviewer’s Note: David Wu of Madcow Group is something of an innovator, an inventor. He likes to seeks out solutions to problems and create something to make it easier to use technology. In my interview with him, I enjoyed hearing him talk about the unexpected places that Twitter took him, and how the insights earned from a surprising demographic helped him design a better product.Hi David, welcome to the Pluggio Blog! In a nutshell, how do you describe your business?My main business designs, develops, and manufactures video gaming accessories and mood lighting products, and we’ve gotten pretty good at both. However, my personal passion now is to create unique and innovative products around smartphones and tablets.Why’s that? Those seem like two very different endeavors!For no other reason than the fact that I love these new products and what they have managed to give us that we never had growing up.That’s a good point- the world is so radically different, technology-wise especially, from how it was just 20 years ago.Things like the internet in our pocket as a portal to anything and everything we’ve ever wanted to know but had no means of finding out without spending a full day at the local library. And how we’re constantly connected now to people we love, and how apps transform the plethora of information, and the ways they bombard us, into a superior and gratifying experiences.How did you get started?Just a passion for gaming and how we can enhance the gaming experience for our customers. We started with one product, which I remember was a multiuseful device that enhanced the playability of the first generation Nintendo Gameboy. It has a magnifying glass, a light, speakers and an enhanced button configuration that opened up when in use and closed up when not. We sold a million units of those back in the day.I remember that thing! How cool!!! Well, it’s nice to put a face with a gadget after all these years. So we talk a lot about social media on this blog, and I’m curious what role Twitter plays in your business.Twitter allows us to get nitbits of information out to our fans easily. There’s no fuss, and if the fans want to know more, they just click the link to see the website in all its glory. It reaches people in a non-obtrusive way and they don’t have to be paying much attention but they are always interested. It’s the nature of the Twitter, with its 140 character limit that trains us to stay in a semi-conscious mindset, but also just aware enough of what is being posted. It’s brilliant, actually.What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing?We connect with our customers on a direct level and customers have no other agenda on their minds except to want better products. The feedback is not diluted or lost in translation through a retailer or distributor. Consumers today are far more smarter and want more then ever before. A single feedback from a consumer with the same interests is far more accurate than the opinion of retailers and distributors.Are there any of your accomplishments with social marketing that you are particularly proud of?Yes. I’ve been invited to promote some of my innovative products at seminars that consist of social media professionals and other special events. Then the news spreads exponentially. Social media is very much a community of people who just want you to do your best. Social media is not about the bottom line, or how much more profit we need to make over the last fiscal year, or what press releases we put out to our shareholders to keep them investing. It’s about the product, the content, how it essentially enhances our lives. And boy, is it fast! News spreads like a forest fire with no means to extinguish it. The effort to reward ratio is unheard of.How do Twitter/social media help you achieve your goals?By quickly getting directly feedback from the most important person in the food chain, the consumer. They have no other agenda, except how your product can help them in their daily lives. So what they say is true and not infected with ulterior motives.How did you build your following? What kinds of people/businesses are they? How will you choose who you will follow? What do you look for in a follower?I just searched for people with similiar interests. For my eyeCLICK , for example, the rationale was how to create a new user experience that currently is so limited. Females were high on my priority as my first experience was how terrible snapping of picture of yourself with your hand stretched out and phone is full view of the picture. So I started searching for female demographic. Then through the power of Twitter, I had other users suggest to me countless ways they would use my product. For example, one follower told me he would use it to snap photos of his prize birds, where they would unknowingly be photographed at a distance using my remote. I then searched for bird lovers and low and behold, a new demographic I hadn’t even considered.If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?Everything comes from experience. I guess diving into social media gives you a taste of its power and although it showed me how fast you can connect with your customers. Knowing what I know now, I could have connected even faster.How so?At the beginning, Twitter and Facebook were the only two mediums I thought I needed. Now (and only after 3 months, mind you) since I started using social media, have I realised that YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIm, Pinterest, Instagram, Quora are all ways to expand your reach. I guess looking back, I wouldn’t have created the different profiles one by one and did them at them simultaneously.What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?I read recently that in 5 years, the ROI for social media is that you business will still be here. I’ve learned, through the power of Twitter, the fast pace that you can reach your customers and other companies who have a vested interest to work with you. How quickly you can connect and build instant rapport. How you can map out what you want in the second message and get it by the third message. Now, I wonder how anyone can survive now without it.Follow David on Twitter here.–Do you use social media in a unique way for your work, career, or industry? If so, would you like to be featured in one of our interviews? Email us and tell us what do you.
Become a follower of us on Twitter at: @Tweets4SmallBiz
For my posts about topics in small business and entrepreneurship, follow my updates via RSS here