Flowh is an online platform that can turn an independent bookstore’s online calendar into a smart marketing tool for sharing events and connecting with customers.
“We describe Flowh as ‘The Twitter of Events,’” said Eric Darst, president and co-founder of the Centennial, Colorado, company. “It’s a micro-blog for events.”
The system, which is also optimized for individual use, lets organizations and companies publicize their events through targeted promotions, automated postings and e-mails, and cross-posts to social media platforms. Flowh works on any device, can attach multimedia content like video to any event postings, and features helpful widgets and analytics.
Since March 1, Denver’s Tattered Cover has been testing Flowh for free on its IndieCommerce website. Store staff first learned about Flowh when Darst contacted Tattered in early 2014, Heather Duncan, Tattered Cover’s marketing manager, told Bookselling This Week.
“It has allowed us to think of event marketing in whole new light,” she said. “We are still exploring all the possibilities the application offers and have found the admin pages easy to learn and navigate.”
To get notifications from Tattered Cover, customers have three options: they can simply browse the calendar on the store website; they can input an e-mail address to receive periodic notifications and updates in their inbox about one or more specific events of their choice; or they can sign up to follow Tattered Cover on the Flowh website.
If the viewer chooses option three, he or she creates a Flowh account to get daily updates and exclusive discounts from the store. Through that account, a customer can also follow any other Flowh calendar users, repost and share Tattered Cover’s or others users’ events, and add their own events to their individual Flowh page.
Since Tattered Cover started using Flowh in March to stay in front of its customers, Duncan said, more than 20 people have signed on to follow the whole calendar and another 20 receive e-mail updates about certain individual events.
“Flowh is not a Twitter and Facebook. It is a calendar that works in conjunction with these as another part of your social media strategy,” Darst said. “It’s another element of social media, but exclusively related to events.”
Calendar owners can easily post or automate migration of Flowh events directly to Twitter and Facebook via a dashboard that enables sharing with the click of a mouse.
Flowh also lets stores attach compelling multimedia book-related content, such as YouTube videos, audio and images, and media material from publishers, to its event listings. “What I think is so exciting about it is it is very dynamic,” Duncan said. “It allows us to put a lot more rich content on each event.”
Flowh is still working on its pricing system, but when it is set and fully implemented Darst said booksellers will likely get a 30- to 60-day free trial of the basic subscription, and then pay $19 per month or $199 in a single payment for the full year. However, Darst said he is willing to let the scale slide a little to get booksellers comfortable with the product. There are also loyalty programs that are in the works as well as expanded event content that will roll out over time, he added.
To learn more about the Flowh system, stores can contact Darst at firstname.lastname@example.org.