Social-media success stories include mobile food trucks posting their locations and specials on Twitter and pizza joints in college towns increasing sales by converting Facebook fans into orders. "Social media is not like direct mail or local print advertising," says Kristen Costa of Axel's Food and Ice Cream in Merrimack, N.H. "Those marketing mediums don't make much difference with our customers. On the other hand, our Facebook fans and our Twitter followers want information from us."

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