You can take the boy out of Southern California … well, I’ll cut the cliche short. But you can’t take social media out of anything these days, so I want to pass along some recent noteworthy efforts from my old home of Orange County, CA.
Examples are becoming common that social media is not just a time suck or a buzz creator, but a way for a business or institution to directly boost the bottom line. I detailed in an earlier post how two Atlanta-area women used YouTube and Facebook to generate business leads. Now I want to show how a Southern California publicist helped a school generate funds using Twitter.
Rochelle Veturis of Orange County, CA, is a Twitter heavyweight and well connected in media/PR circles in that area, one of the country’s most affluent, even in these down times. (Disclosure: I lived in The OC from 1994-2007.) She recently teamed with others to help an area school system raise money through a cocktail party/Tweetup. Site was an apartment complex near the picturesque Irvine Spectrum Center, a large, open air shopping mall at the intersection of I-5 and I-405 in Orange County. The buzz attracted a blog post from the United Kingdom, and tweets bearing “IPSF” reached an incredible 135,000 people.
About 600 showed at the Tweetup on April 14, although 250 were expected via RSVPs. Bottom line: the Irvine Public Schools Foundation sold some 1,000 raffle tickets in the eight business hours following the Tweetup, more than double the busiest early bird deadline in raffle history. Raffle sales continue until July 30. (Disclosure: some of this info came from news reports in The Orange County Register; I worked at the Register from 1992-2001.)
Veturis is media/public relations director for LPA, Inc., a California-based sustainable design firm. She works with hundreds of news and online outlets, as well as business and government organizations on social media through seminars and private coaching. With over 20,000 Twitter followers, she is nationally prominent. Her efforts have been documented by the Huffington Post, perhaps the top online media site.
The fun part is that this could become a family tradition. Veturis’ two sisters, Chelsey and Haley, are also into social media. See above video, which also includes the Irvine Spectrum’s marketing director and OC Register business columnist Jon Lansner.
Another Southern California business that is using social media is the Glen Ivy Spa in Corona. The video below shows how the resort — and Southern California is famous for these — has hired a social media director to increase brand awareness.
Since YouTube is now the second-largest search engine — trailing only its parent company, Google — and Twitter and Facebook have millions of regular users, businesses in Southern California and elsewhere know they can’t afford to ignore it.