Back in February, 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:
- engagement levels
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
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.
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:
- like the page
- sign up for your local newsletter
I mentioned that Mykidstime provides parents with information on activities and classes for children in their local area.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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
MyKidstime Strategy – The Results
Fans 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
More importantly is that the Mykidstime Facebook community is now also a very engaged (high edgerank) community for two reasons:
- Localization of content ensures that each local Mykidstime page is relevant to the parents in that area.
- 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
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.
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,