You don’t need a huge budget to break into the social media business world. What you need is a good strategy and a lot of patience and time!
I recently wrapped up a social media project with a colleague here in St. Petersburg, Florida. For months we’ve been working on building the social media for a LIVE conference that happens every year in New York City.
This conference has been happening for 34-years and this was the first year they sported a new Business Facebook page, a Twitter account and even a LinkedIn Group! Super exciting for them, right? Well…not so much at first. They weren’t quite sure how all of this social media stuff worked.
A client of mine recently wrote a blog post about publishing a book…she shared the quote from Field of Dreams…"if you build it, they will come." Well…we all know that’s not necessarily the case for too much of things we do in business.
I did a lot of up front research in this industry to see who was using what platforms, what they were talking about, and how we could best engage with the folks who attended this conference every year. Let’s just say that engagement started out SLOW!
Working on little to no marketing budget on Facebook…meant that some of my posts were only being viewed by me and my colleague…can you say crickets? But we kept moving forward. We started engaging with the sponsors and the exhibitors, but even their engagement seemed a little off and not as much as we had hoped for. That didn’t stop us. It’s about consistency – letting people know you are sticking with it and showing up and that’s what we did.
Not only did they dip their foot in the social media water…but they also built a conference mobile application that would be used for the first time at their conference.
People started showing up in NY for the conference on May 31st…and we started talking to them LIVE! Not just through social media but through the new mobile conference application! They started to engage, but just a little.
The conference started on June 1st and again we talked to them LIVE. We shared the start of sessions, we promoted our sponsors, and we gushed about our exhibitors. We shared photos of attendees, exhibitors, and keynote speakers. We did it across all three social media platforms and through the mobile app.
Finally the sponsors and the exhibitors started picking up on our Tweets and adapting our special hash tag we had been using since day one and that fast…we were seeing engagement on Twitter. We were pushing our LinkedIn Group at the conference and we saw people finally starting to join the group.
After the conference my colleague attended the after-conference meeting to review the details and reflect on how the event was perceived. There was a new outlook about social media and how it impacted the conference. While we had hoped for much better engagement – we felt accomplished at the progress we made.
We finally are starting to see the fruits of our marketing strategy. We started this project over 9-months ago…and we can’t wait to start building the strategy for the 2017 conference.
Even though we have a full year till next conference…our work must stay consistent and on-point. There isn’t time to back down now that conference is over…based on what we learned this year we will be building a better strategy and better engagement!
Keep your eye on the end game, with or without a marketing budget. Stay consistent and don’t think because people aren’t seeing you right away, that they won’t ever see you…you will start to stand out over time if you produce good quality content.
I would love to give a big shout out to my colleague and partner in crime for this project – Debbie Radsick of Radsick Ad Group! She is amazing and took on the project of managing the Graphics and PR for the conference (as she has for many years) as well as heading up the project management of the development of the mobile conference application!
You can learn more about Debbie at: http://radsickadgroup.com
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