Gym Tan Lax: An interview with Alex Cervasio
How did you originally come up with the concept for Gym Tan Lax?
GYM TAN LAX started out as a fundraiser for the University of Florida men's lacrosse team to goto the MCLA National Tournament in Denver, Co. At that time I was president of the team and Jersey Shore was a widely popular show on TV, the term Gym Tan Laundry from the show was going viral so myself and my business partner (then assistant coach) Mike Biffel thought, why not capitalize on the craze by coining the other form of GTL, GYM TAN LAX. The original tanks for the fundraiser were just white with orange/blue font and within days we were completely sold out and had raised more than enough money to cover all expenses for the National Tournament. After the initial success of the team fundraiser, Mike and I formed our own LLC and trademarked GYM TAN LAX, a full line of Neon tanks was launched and sales kept rolling in. We initially thought that GYM TAN LAX would fade once the association with Jersey Shore went away, but we were wrong! GYM TAN LAX has risen to levels we never expected, it has become a recognized phrase throughout out the lacrosse world and has caused us to expand our brand with new collections: LAXonLAXonLAX and LAX BRO LIFE.
Once you had the concept, what were the first steps in social media that you made to promote the product?
Our approach from the beginning has firmly been focused on using social media to expand our potential market and reach as many people as possible. We immediately locked up http://facebook.com/GYMTANLAX because we knew most of our target audience would be Facebook users and maintaining the proper branding on Facebook was crucial. After launching the Facebook page and our website, we made sure to utilize an online store platform that allowed us to have our store also on our Facebook page. The Facebook page store allowed users to shop while on Facebook, making it easier for them to continue chatting with friends while browsing the store. The store tab on the Facebook page also allowed us to focus a majority of our marketing budget on the utilization of Facebook ads. Rather than creating Facebook ads which forced people to click and then be taken off Facebook to another site, we focused on Facebook's 'Sponsored Stories' Ads which presented a like button next to our page's profile pic and a brief description. Clicking a like button on Facebook has almost become second nature so the easy act of clicking like grew our following rapidly. On top of utilizing Facebook from the start, we also have twitter accounts for all 3 brands, @GYM_TAN_LAX, @LAXonLAXonLAX, and @LAX_BRO_LIFE. At first the twitter accounts simply were connected to the Facebook page and tweeted out posts made from the fan page, but as twitter became more mainstream we focused separate content on each social media site.
Which social network have you found to be the best driver of traffic? Which social medium do you use to best represent the lifestyle of the product? (Blogging, Tumblr)
Facebook far and away is the biggest source of our traffic, with over 25,000 likes on Facebook.com/GYMTANLAX now, it is very easy for us to stay connected with fans to keep them updated about new products and promotions. Twitter though allows us to continuously interact with fans and keep up key two way communication that validates their belief in our brands and enables us to gear our products towards what the people want. Hashtags have also become a huge part of our focus, because our brands are easily hashtagable and somewhat popular things to say, the hashtags #GYMTANLAX, #LAXonLAXonLAX, and #LAXBROLIFE have allowed us to connect with even more potential customers who include them in their tweets but might be unaware of our products. Instagram however allows us to best represent the lifestyle of our products, whether its showing off our bright neon tanks, launching new snapbacks, or showcasing top pro lacrosse players in the brand, Instagram is the best way to visually connect with fans and reach more people through photos. In addition to Facebook, twitter, and Instagram we also have a pinterest and tumblr account to make sure we're covered across all social networks.
Without a social understanding of social media, do you think that you would have been able to achieve such great success with Gym Tan Lax?
Not at all. I have always been an early adopter of emerging products and technology, Mike and I were on twitter from day 1 (@cvas @mikeybiff), and we knew that our understanding of social media would give us an advantage in reaching as many people as possible.
What strategies did you use to maintain your rapid growth? Is there anything that you would have done differently?
The biggest strategy that helped us grow so quickly was focusing on Facebook ads, by spending $100/month on Facebook ads we have grown to over 25,000 likes and are among the top 5 lacrosse related pages on Facebook. There's a lot I would probably have done differently, but the experience that managing GYM TAN LAX, LAXonLAXonLAX, and LAX BRO LIFE has brought me is worth any little mistakes that have been made. My advice to anyone starting their business is to make sure you know who your target audience is first and foremost and stay focused on what you do best.
RegisterPatient: An interview with David Williams
What is your company's target market?
Our target market is medical practices that are looking to increase their office productivity through digital mediums. On the patient end, we are looking for tech-savvy patients that are interested in making the process of going to the doctor’s office much easier for them by using a digital medium to complete their patient registration.
How does your business differentiate itself from other business to successfully enter the market?
Technology is superior, so far above any competitors out there. There aren’t any other companies that are able to offer a registration product that is as secure and detailed as the RegisterPatient software, so that has given us a heads up in the healthcare technology industry.
What is the mission and goal of your company?
The ability for patients to easily register for their doctor’s appointments is one of the major goals. The “modern” form of online patient registration right now consists of patients going to their doctor’s website and printing out the registration form, printing it out, and filling it out to give to the doctor’s office when they arrive.
Grooveshark: A Behind The Scenes Look
I was fortunate enough to get a behind the scenes tour of Grooveshark. I found that their work environment was not like any I had seen before, and I have suspicions that could be the reason for their raging success.