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Ask HN: We just launched. Should we rework our messaaging?
3 points by luxative on Aug 3, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments
We've finally got our alpha out of the door - but seem to have some very basic issues with our messaging. Any help is much appreciated...

Our app (http://www.eyesandfeet.com) helps US based local businesses understand and use social media like Facebook & Twitter. Our 'pitch' is "Social Footfalls for your Local Business".

We're increasingly of the view that footfalls, notwithstanding the fact that we've seen it used in some blogs & articles, is NOT a common enough word in the US. Considering that US based local businesses are our target, we probably need to rephrase as "Social traffic for your Local Business" or something of that sort.

So, is 'footfalls' commonly used or should we rework on our messaging? Thanks!

* I've never heard of "footfalls." If your company helps local businesses get started and generate traffic from Facebook, Twitter, and other sites, just say it.

* I would find a way to emphasize this message: "Get special love if you're a cafe, bar, restaurant, salon or spa." I don't know what this means, but this sounds intriguing.

* Your headline, "Tweets, Likes, Deals, Check-ins, ..." made me think, "Oh, this is a deal or coupon site."

Thank you for your feedback. Yes, I guess we need to be a little more direct about what we offer - and perhaps highlight the segments (restaurants etc) we're focusing on. We're also relying on the video to convey that message (the setting is a street with a restaurant, cafe, bar & spa) The headline isn't designed to work by itself - the objective is to gt your attention (if using social media is on your radar). But if the first thing that comes to mind is 'Groupon clone', we should relook. Thanks again.

I also have not heard of 'footfalls'. Brick and mortal stores refer to door count.

Also there is a lack of details on your site. You do have the video, but there was not enough details on the site to want me to watch it. You didn't hook me into wanting to know more about the service.

Thank you for your inputs. Yes, it's becoming increasingly evident that the copy needs some reworking. Back to the drawing board on that!

To the question on hand: I'm from Texas and I have no idea what you are talking about when you say footfalls (insert joke about Texans here)

I would consider your target audience. Most likely they are brick and mortars SMBs who's core competency doesn't involve things like: Tweets, Likes, Deals, Check-ins

I would instead ask something like:

As a successful business owner, you know that customer referrals and word of mouth marketing are the bread and butter of business. How do you make it easier for your enthusiasts in the age of Twitter let their friends know how awesome your business is?

Eyesandfeet facilitates word of mouth marketing for new Y Generation.

Absolutely! I'll try to capture that thought in fewer words - and yes, sacrifice 'sounding intriguing' for 'clearly communicating'. In retrospect, I did a pretty stupid thing. Someone asked me if footfalls were common parlance in the US. I googled it up (dumbest thing to do) and (obviously) found a few references!

"EyesAndFeet..Gen Y" - some good thoughts there. Thanks for helping out.

Appreciate the inputs (this thread isn't closed; please feel free to add your comments).

Here's what we're now leaning towards. Any thoughts?

get Customers. from Social Media. for your Local Business.

Understand & leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, and more

As a native speaker of en-US, I think this question may be the first time I've seen or heard 'footfalls'. 'Footsteps' is standard -- for the act, the sound, or the marks.

It would work better as a product/service name -- then your efforts can fill in the details; its lack of a literal meaning to many Americans could even be a benefit. But as a tagline, it obscures rather than clarifies.

Thanks! The fact that this is the first time you've heard the word conveys a lot. We're looking at amending the tagline at this time. Would you know if there's a one word equivalent to footfalls? I don;t think footsteps would do it.

From web searches, it seems there are two senses to the word 'footfalls': the sound of footsteps, and the amount of foot traffic past a retail location.

And those are the most common wordings in en-US: 'footsteps' is also the sound, and 'foot traffic' is the common term for the quantity of people walking by a storefront.

Appreciate the inputs. I guess "Social foot traffic for your Local Business",while correct, doesn't quite pack a punch. Perhaps we'll just go with "Social traffic for your Local Business". Anyway, I'm relooking the headline too - so hopefully we'll change the copy to something much more clear.

Happy to help. While I can say 'footfalls' is an unfamiliar word for a US reader, it might still have some curiosity-generating value for its novelty -- as long as you aren't expecting it to have explanatory value alone. (I might have thought it was a brandable word you made up, to describe some unique feature/metric of your product, had the context of your question not made clear it was a real word from elsewhere.)

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