I've never been the most disciplined when it comes to maintaining or keeping an eye on social media campaigns. It's normally done with fits and spurts of enthusiasm, and then moments of silence as normal workload demands make themselves felt.
But they've gradually grown quite nicely, with mixed results over the years, acting as more of a brand building exercise than customer generation.
But of all a sudden a new project has changed things, (including my perception) and social media is something to be taken very seriously. In our scenario (which will match a lot of new start ups) we don't as yet have a public facing website, but need to start generating interest immediately.
This is where social media does come into it's own and gives you a chance to try out different techniques to reach your target audience, as well as experiment publicly with brand styling, giving you a chance to road test some ideas.
How how long does it take before you see results?
After being given permission to start last week, it's become quite an interesting challenge. How do you start a brand new social media persona for your business or service and how long does it take before you see results?
So I thought I would share my results, as it may help other people either new to social media, or still grappling with the age old question, is it worth the time and energy for my business?
I set up a new Facebook page at the end of November, which was then on hold. As of last Thursday (15/01/15) it only had 1 like.
This pages primary purpose is to collect expressions of interest via a temporary web page, until our new site goes live, and secondary purpose is to generate conversation, debate and publicity.
As of today (23/01/15) it now has 88 likes. Ok it's vanity, but is also a perceived indicator of being established/popular/respected.
But more importantly we have generated a boat load of expressions of interest, giving us a fledgling customer contact database which has far exceeded expectations. If you do decide to promote posts by boosting them, make sure you add a facebook tracking cookie so you can closely monitor results. (guess who forgot initially ) Then amend and tweak as required or stop if it's not working.
Twitter was set up last week, and a week later we have a grand total of 61 followers.
There's no rocket science to Twitter, follow like minded or potential customers and some will follow you in return. With no followers (and not paying to create them) Twitter is a dead duck. Make sure you stay in Twitters guidelines, don't overdo the follows and don't get into the trap of removing anyone who doesn't follow you back straight away. I've heard people have been suspended or had accounts deleted for doing this.
There are some great tools out there to help you curate and manage your followers, a favourite of mine is justunfollow.com easy to use and simple to set up and cost pennies.
Already we have traced a number of expressions of interest from Twitter, so reward versus effort is working out very well at present. Be interesting to see how this changes moving forward. Once we have enough of a following, then it will be time to do more tweets.
In the meantime, like facebook you can set a tweet so it sticks to the top of your profile, which will be the first thing visitors see. Make sure it's punchy enough for people to follow a call to action if that is your intent.
My favourite - not! Saved the worst till last Set this up this afternoon with a total of no posts or followers.
As it's a new page, we have a lovely unfriendly URL which I think changes when (if) we get to a certain follower threshold.
Plan is to drop a relevant post inviting expressions of interest across different business communities.
Social Media wise we're not planning on using anything else for now, mainly based on previous experience. But different things work for different businesses, so more visual related brands may prefer Pinterest or Instagram for example.
So very early days, we are a week in, but hopefully it will give some encouragement or kickstart someone who is also about to start from scratch.
It sounds daunting if its all new to you, but you will soon get into the flow of it. If it's not the marketing/promotion channel for your business, then don't worry and concentrate your efforts somewhere else.
But for the cynical, as long as you are clear with your objections, it may actually surprise you, so give it a go.
Anyone else recently started a new social media campaign and wants to share their experience?
Feel free to like/follow retweet or repost, all help gratefully received