Tweak Your Biz » Growth » In-Depth Small Business Facebook Case Study And Strategy: Mykidstime

In-Depth Small Business Facebook Case Study And Strategy: Mykidstime



Back in February, I blogged about a then new client: Mykidstime, whose mission is to be the best listings website for parents looking for information on activities and classes for their children in their local area (in Ireland).

At that stage, I had been working with the team for approx three months. The focus was on their Facebook presence where we were starting to see some very positive results It’s now coming up on a year (9 months to be exact) since Jill approached me to help – so I though I’d look back, remember the lessons learnt and give you some insight as to what a small business can achieve on Facebook, with the right approach.

MyKidstime Strategy – Preparation

Before I do, I’d first like to share with you my initial analysis of the opportunities and the challenges as I perceived them at the start:

a) I was aware that there wasn’t a big budget but the team were prepared to invest their time.

b) This time had to be well spent; ultimately it needed to lead to increased sales.

c) Their social strategy needed to fit within the existing strategy for the business, they should be complimentary

One area where we worked hard at the start was to ensure that the team understood how Facebook actually works, specifically:

  • EdgeRank
  • engagement levels
  • tagging
  • commenting
  • liking

But also, how these features impact on one another, this is very important! Our primary goal was not simply to build just a bigger community(more fans) but to build a very engaged bigger community.

MyKidstime Strategy – Customisation

Welcome Page

The benefits of customising your Facebook page are well documented and it is a place where I will encourage every client to spend a little money.

doodle.png  on Aviary

For Mykidstime, we created a welcome page including a welcome video message and a newsletter sign up option. These included two very important calls to action:

  1. like the page
  2. sign up for your local newsletter

Localisation

I mentioned that Mykidstime provides parents with information on activities and classes for children in their local area.

doodle.png  on Aviary

They use micro-localization across their website and in their newsletters, so we also applied this to their Facebook presence by creating a:

  • Facebook page for every county they have a base, presently 26.
  • customised locations tab to allow users easily navigate between/or find new Mykidstime pages and counties
  • local only content that’s specific to that area

MyKidstime Strategy - Content

User Generated

Mykidstime were already content producers so encouraging them to engage with their community to produce new content was not difficult.

Community/user generated content has some significant advantages over content you produce yourself in that:

  • It costs less to produce
  • Your community are already invested in it, which means that are more likely to share it via social media

Special Events

Another place where we created exciting content and lots of engagement was through using special events (Facebook Q&As). Here’s how:

  • We promoted and invited experts to come join us on the main Facebook page to engage in a live question and answer sessions with the community
  • This content was later re-posted as a blog post, further increasing the value to Mykidstime

There have been lots of great events to date but my highlight must be Ireland’s first political Facebook Q&A in the run up to the Irish general election.

Pictures

Pictures are another great way of engaging and Mykidstime has constantly used pictures well. There have been several times, where they have asked their community to submit pics.

doodle.png  on Aviary

My personal favourite was the their Rainbows pics but their Jedward (88 pics), Fridge Magnets (53 pics) and Snowy Day (136 pics) were very popular.

Video

We wanted to use many ways to communicate and engage with the community, video was used to:

  • Announce the Mykidstime Fan of the Month
  • Recommend things to see and do at the weekend
YouTube Preview Image

MyKidstime Strategy - The Results

Fans

doodle.png  on AviaryFans of Mykidsime have grown in the last nine months to just over 17000 fans, with

  • a total increase of 172%
  • an average gain of over 1200 fans per month

Engagement

More importantly is that the Mykidstime Facebook community is  now also a very engaged (high edgerank) community for two reasons:

  1. Localization of content ensures that each local Mykidstime page is relevant to the parents in that area.
  2. Each page admin works hard and knows how to engage with their community.

Newsletter Sign Ups

The newsletter subscriber base has more than doubled in the period, with

  • 33% of newsletter sign ups now coming directly from Facebook
  • And one in every five new fans also signing up for their newsletter.

Traffic to Website

Traffic has already increased by 112% on this time last year, with

  • 11% now coming from Facebook
  • and this figure is increasing month on month

Recognition

Mykidstime were one of the finalists in the owner manager category at the inaugural Bord Gáis Energy Social Media Awards back in May. They have also featured on the Irish TV programme Nationwide and on online business publications.

Sales

By Aug 2011:

  • Mykidstime ad sales had already doubled on the previous year
  • and sales look likely to now treble by the end of the year.

It has been a pleasure to work with Jill, Michelle and the Mykidstime team, I envisage that they will continue use Facebook in innovative and creative ways to serve their community and customers.

Do you have examples of small businesses doing social media well?

Thanks for reading,

Niall



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The Author:

20 years’ experience of growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest business blogs in the world. Helped grow a niche B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members. Helped to grow 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visits per month (organically). Helped to create the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world. Have authored and co-authored several industy reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care. http://www.ahaingroup.com/

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    And just to add, I think My kids time are doing a great job with content – sorry, I got sidetracked onto the whole landing page/ content debate :)

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Lorna, 

    People (fans) don’t look at updates on the page, they engage via their newsfeed (consider: edgerank).

    A custom tab helps to get people to like the page initially, but as you point out, there after it’s all about content and engagement. 

    The brand that you describe sounds like they are doing a great job of damaging their brand via Facebook, pretty clueless stuff! 

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    Yes, I know what you mean but when deciding to like a page or not, I discovered that I was looking at the updates on a page as one of the criteria for deciding whether or not to become a fan of that page – something that I hadn’t really realised I was doing until I was partaking in one of these rather mad page liking schemes!  I’ll be doing a blog post on them once I have done some more research :)

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Were these were pages without custom tabs where the landing page was set to the wall? or did you click through to the wall before liking? 

  • http://twitter.com/xcelbusiness Helen Cousins

    Likes are vanity, sales are sanity :)
    Have to admit Niall, I scanned this article to ensure there was a heading entitled “sales” before I read it, just to be sure that the increased likes, engagement and web traffic lead to increased sales too. And it did, so well done!
    ~Helen

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    If it’s not delivering more customers and sales, it’s not worth doing. Facebook is an important (and integrated) piece of an overall sales and marketing strategy for MKT, In its simplest terms, sign ups, traffic and fans are leading to more opportunities and customers for the business. Thank you, Helen :)   

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    I’m finding that companies are ummming and arhhhing about social media as a marketing option. Strong performance and lignment with goals has to be proven first though. This is without doubt a strong example of the power of social media. It also shows that strategic, creative decision can bring results. It isn’t a quick method or sale, but it’s fun and if you use your imagination and have a strategy in place, then it’s definately an option for small businesses to consider.

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks for the comment Warren. It certainly is a good “good news” post

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Sian,

    Thank you for including me!

    It was great reading the different experiences of Irish-ness. I found myself smiling and nodding me head as I read through everything.

  • Warren Rutherford

    Sian – nicely done. As one with a Scottish name, Italian, Dutch, and Irish heritage I enjoyed reading the mix of nationalities weigh in on being Irish.  Too often in the States you find a veritable melting pot of nationalities in people that can tend to obscure their most influential culture. 

  • http://www.de-stress4life.com/ Catherine Connors

    I love this post Sian, as an Irish woman living in France (Paris) for 11 years now there is much that I miss about Ireland, and some parts that I don’t.  I have adapted to my foster home of France but yet find I’m ‘just an expat’ but when I come home to Ireland I often feel that I’m ‘just a tourist’…

    I guess I live in that twilight world between two cultures, loving and missing the parts that speak to my soul in equal measure.

    Something which I do dislike is that as an expat (despite living, working, paying taxes etc) I have no vote on the future of France but as an expat I also cannot go to my Irish embassy in Paris and vote for the Irish future either.  Basically I have no voice.

  • http://twitter.com/xcelbusiness Helen Cousins

    Hi Elaine
    I signed up for Evernote (2010 I think!) and never used it, but today I did, so thank you for the reminder. I also use CloudOn on my iPad to edit and add Microsoft Office docs. It’s integrated with Dropbox – and I can’t believe it’s free!
    Great list! I’ll have to add it to my “apps” notebook in Evernote :)
    ~ Helen

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    I am downloading that App as I type Helen thanks. I use the iWork Apple Apps but it’s useful to be able to DO Word, Excel etc also.
    Thanks for sharing that and glad you found something useful in the list :)

  • John Twohig

    Jasus, I have a lot to learn…..

  • http://www.theexecutivesuite.com/blog/ Warren Rutherford

    My goodness – more stuff!  No iPad here. Use the iPhone so like Siri (nice Norwegian name), Evernote (encouraged by my British client), Skype, and a few others.  What I really like is the suggestion for AudioMemos, since that will help me with my dictation of Tweets, blogs, etc.  Ah, learning more everyday.   Glad you know all this Elaine.