March 14, 2011

Flowtown – Marketing in a Social World

Flowtown is a social media marketing tool that has got people buzzing. The web-app helps companies find their favorite customers on various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. Essentially, Flowtown is providing a new way to capitalize on the enormous email contact lists that many companies have been adding to for years. Businesses that use Flowtown can reach their customers in new ways and find out more detailed data about what their favorite shoppers or clients are into.

One thing you don’t have to worry about when you sign up for Flowtown is whether the application can support a company as big – or small – as your own. The web-app works well for companies of all sizes, as long as they have an existing customer contact list that’s ready to parse. Input all of your customer email addresses into the system and watch as Flowtown prepares a fully integrated information sheet with all the consumer data you could need. Find out which social networks are most popular with your customers, see which of your clients has the biggest following online, and get information about which occupations are the most common among shoppers on your website. Flowtown can tell you which items are most popular on your customers’ Amazon wishlists, which movies they’re renting on Netflix, and what types of thing they’re posting photos of on Flickr. The data that Flowtown grabs is gleaned from publically available sources, so there’s no need to worry about breaching anyone’s privacy during the process.

Once you’ve learned more about your customers, you’ll be better able to create the types of advertising campaigns and promotional deals they’ll actually want to see. Create special sales available only to fans of your company Facebook page, for example, if you find that 90% or more of your regular customers use that social networking site. You can also reach out to regular shoppers who maintain a powerful presence on Twitter, to ask whether there is anything in particular they’d like to see your store carry or whether they’d like to review any particular items in stock.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out which social networking sites your customers use most and target your advertising efforts to the sites
  • Create marketing campaigns that will actually spark interest in online shoppers
  • Customize the products you sell based on what your shoppers are searching for
  • Reach out to customers with the greatest influence on Twitter

Insider Tips:

  • Flowtown offers integration with a number of other web-apps, including Google Apps, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor
  • Users aren’t double-billed if they import the same email address twice
  • Twitter users are ranked based on overall influence
  • Businesses can interact with influential customers based on the networking information provided by Flowtown

What we liked:

  • Flowtown has created a way to capitalize on the email contact lists most companies already have
  • Marketing efforts can be targeted to the specific social networks that most customers already use
  • Using Flowtown makes it easier for companies to tell what their clients really want
  • Ability to find out what items clients have on their Amazon wishlists

What we didn’t like:

  • Currently, Flowtown is “undergoing renovations” and isn’t accepting any new users


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2009
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: David John, Dan Martell, and Ethan Bloch
  • Web site:


  • Pay-as-you-go plan charges $0.045 cents per imported email address


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