This post is part of our series where we talk to real companies around the world to find out how they’re leveraging social media, how it has impacted their business, and what lessons they’ve learned. Today’s interview is with RunPee.com, which is an unusual website. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to talk to founder Dan Florio, who was gracious enough to answer my questions about the site and how social media has helped them grow. You can follow RunPee on Twitter here.
Tell me a little about your company, what you do, how long you’ve been in business, how many employees you have, etc.
The mission of RunPee.com is to help you enjoy your moviegoing experience and relieve your bladder at the same time. Every movie has a few scenes in there somewhere that aren’t crucial to the plot, or can be easily summed up for you on our site. It’s mostly me running the show. I had the idea and I’m a Flash Platform developer so I built the site and did the design myself and my wife, mother and sister help with watching movies to get peetimes. This is my first personal project and it’s been amazing to see it take off the way it has.
How much of your business comes from social media vs. via traditional web?
Social web is huge for us. After Google, Facebook supplies the most visitors to our site. And I keep a Twitter search going for “RunPee” in TweetDeck and the stream is pretty good. Probably hit somewhere between 10-30 tweets a day of people just saying how much they love RunPee. I’m really happy that I almost never see anything but positive comments.
When did you start engaging in social media?
I signed up for Twitter back in Feb, 2007 – @polyGeek. I’ve been a steady user ever since.
Who manages your social media efforts?
Me and my wife.
What networks are you active on?
Twitter is an hourly thing. I’m online a LOT and anytime someone @s me I know about it. I always respond when appropriate. A lot of people are overjoyed that I actually engage with them.
Which have been the biggest drivers of business for you?
Probably blogs. RunPee has been written about on pretty much every major tech blog. Cover of Yahoo, MSN, etc. And every time that happens the social web comes alive.
Describe any customer interactions that stick out in your mind
There have been many but one that sticks out came shortly after RunPee.com became popular. A kid tweeted that he was pissed off that the RunPee site was 100% Flash. I tweeted back to him that I’m a Flash developer and wouldn’t know any other way to make the site. We tweeted back and forth a few times. He was really amazed that I was talking with him. There’s always the feeling that the people that make things like this are behind many layers and never communicate through them. Eventually he mentioned that there was a feature that he thought could be improved – how fast the synopsis was de-scrambled. That was an easy fix so I sped it up and uploaded the change to the public site. Then I tweeted back to him that I changed it. This all took no more than 15 minutes from the first tweet and now he’s a huge RunPee fan. He tells his family and friends about us. He even gave me my Google Wave invite.
What software tools or web apps do you use in your social media efforts?
TweetDeck and Twhirl are always running.
For your business, what makes social media different from other channels?
It’s more engaging. People find it very easy to communicate via Twitter and they don’t hesitate to ask me questions or offer advice. Even if Twitter hadn’t increased my revenue one dime it would still be worth the time and effort because it’s fun but mostly because I get so many ideas from it.
What has been the most challenging part of dealing with social media?
Occasionally just keeping up with it can be a challenge. Most of the time it’s pretty steady.
What are your social media plans for 2010?
I’ve just recently integrated tools in the app to encourage people to Tweet/Share on Facebook, Digg, Stumble, etc. That has picked up the conversation quite a bit. I can track exactly how many times each is used. And it also reminds people to talk about RunPee.
I really appreciate Dan taking time away from saving the world’s bladders to talk with us. Don’t forget to check out RunPee.com and follow them on Twitter. We’re always looking for interesting companies and individuals to talk to, so if you know of anyone that would like to be profiled, please contact us.