Social Media Experiment
One of my goals for 2014 was to raise my game with social media.
- In the role of freelancer and entrepreneur I need to have current social media information. I also need inexpensive marketing channels.
- In the role of web designer and developer I need to inform and guide clients.
- As a community member I wanted to take today’s social media pulse.
An Old Dog Learns New Tricks
When I started this social media experiment I had a Facebook account that I used primarily for keeping in touch with friends and family around the globe. I’ve resisted most social media as a distracting time suck. You’ve seen the signs.
I’d rather be hiking.
I’d never used Twitter. I didn’t have a YouTube or Pinterest account. You wouldn’t find me on LinkedIn. Like many, I had a Google+ account but didn’t use it. I didn’t know Vine from Instagram.
I’m a hands-on learner. Since I do best with a guide and a group I decided to take an evening class at the local junior college.
Choosing a Blog Topic
I started the NLP Web Design Tips blog in September 2014 as a requirement for the Social Media class conducted by Donald Laird at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Each student submitted three blog proposals for class consideration. My team decided I would be blogging about NLP Web Design Tips. Sorry guys, you missed out on my version of worm farming or little known Australian travel destinations.
The parameters for the class were simple.
- Start a blog using WordPress.com and post weekly.
- Create social media accounts on:
- RSS feed
- Pinterest and
- Do a modest amount of cross-channel promotion.
- I decided to grow with organic reach only, so didn’t use any paid promotions.
NLP Web Design Tips Blog
- 1478 view from 25 countries on 6 continents
- 78 comments
- Engagement rage > 5%
@nlpwebdesign on Twitter
- 691 Tweets
- 523 Followers
- 700+ impressions a day
- Engagement rate 1.6%
NLP Web Design on Facebook
- 42 Likes
- Engagement rate <1%
NLP Web Design on Pinterest
- 8 boards
- 413 Pins
- 24 Followers
NLP Web Design on YouTube
- Whale Breach off Coffs Harbour – 133 views.
- Lazy Sunday Afternoon – 80 views.
- When I started this social media experiment 4 months ago NLP Web Design didn’t have a Klout score.
- The Klout score is now 46, which is a few points above average.
Blogging about NLP Web Design has been satisfying. I loved thinking about how to take complex concepts and make them easily digestible for entrepreneur clients, NLP folks, web designers and web developers. I was surprised at the global interest and reach. Cross promoting the blog on Twitter and Pinterest was essential to success.
Some weeks it was excruciating to decide the topic to write about. I’d find myself researching and drafting two or three entire posts. A good night’s sleep and the light bulb would go off. Overnight my unconscious mind would integrate the research and words into a new piece often unrelated to any of the initial drafts. Can you relate?
I was modestly successful on Twitter. I enjoy steady growth in connections and some churn as non-aligned tweeters came and went. I loved the interaction with people all over the world. The variety of perspectives is impressive. The wealth of information is enormous. I didn’t anticipate the direct access to experts and enthusiasts from multiple fields. Twitter is gold with a lot of silly crud thrown in. Beware the sharks and bigots.
What Didn’t Work
Facebook Page: Having a Facebook Professional Services Page was a waste of time for NLP Web Design. It may even have hurt credibility because of the poor level of engagement. NLP Web Design is not Johnny Cupcakes or Zappos.
My colleagues congregate on web groups, design groups, or entrepreneur groups on Facebook. Potential entrepreneur clients think about web design every three to five years. They aren’t looking for daily updates. I discovered that participating in Facebook groups is more productive than having a dedicated NLP Web Design Page.
The Facebook Page wasn’t a good return on investment at this stage.
YouTube: Even though I have taught at university level, I wasn’t ready to sit in front of a camera and create my first business-related video. I chickened out. Introversion won. I posted vacation footage and an early multi-media project instead. Business worthy YouTube videos will have to wait for another day, or never.
Since the videos were not closely related to NLP or web design I didn’t vigorously promote them. I learned that it’s easy to upload a video, but not to edit it once it is live.
Blog: Using wordpress.com is inexpensive but severely limiting for themes, load speed and customization. As a web designer it wasn’t a pleasing platform to work with.
What to Add
KISS: This social media experiment moved quickly and stayed shallow. We didn’t dive deep into any one social media channel. My recommendation for entrepreneurs is to KISS (Keep it Short and Simple). Get your answers to these questions:
- Who is your audience?
- How much time can you spend on social media?
- What is your top reason for social media? Focus on one goal at a time:
- establish credibility
- create brand recognition
- connect with customers, clients, fans, or donors
- increase donations or sales
- What is your desired outcome? How will you know when you reach it?
- How does your social media fit into your overall marketing plan?
- What one or two social media channels are best for you? Start there and expand over time.
- What are your results after one, three and six months?
- Which social media channel will you add next?
- Which social media management tools (BufferApp, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Klout or others) are best for you?
I need to add a comprehensive LinkedIn profile to my social media plan. LinkedIn is valuable for developing professional relationships. I suspect that a profile, social interaction, and a few articles will be a much more productive use of my time than investing in the Facebook Page at this stage.
I also need to add a form for email subscriptions. Emails are a powerful, and often undervalued marketing tool.
Where to Go From Here?
I’m taking a break from this blog over the holidays while I regroup. The new year is a wild unknown adventure. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I appreciated your companionship, your interest, your attention, and your valued comments.
What social media experiments have your done? What are your social media goals? What has worked for you? Where are you headed in 2015?
If you liked this post you might also enjoy What is Rapport? – Create NLP Rapport in Web Design Part 1 of 3.
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Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.