Social media – a case study

What do you do when one of those notification emails arrives in your in box letting you know that another person/business is “following you” or that someone has left a comment on your blog? Do you simply delete it feelign quite smug that someone else has noticed your business, do you make a note to look at it later or do you click on the link to see who they are are and what they may have said?
The power of Twitter
If you are a small business, time sometimes comes at a premium so actually acting on one of these notification emails might not be at the top of your list. However, I wanted to share with you a little story about what happened to me as a result of a notification email.
Many months ago, Bath Marketing Consultancy received an email saying that someone else was “following my tweets.” I immediately clicked on the link of this persons profile to see where they were based and if they had a website. What I found was that this particular follower was Bristol based graphic designer. I then looked at their website and it looked really quirky and cool.
Now I am not ashamed to admit that I outsource to people when I identify a particular marketing need for a client such as graphic design, back end coding or print and thought that being “connected” to another graphic designer who was local to me was probably a good idea. I, therefore, followed this person back.
Now as you fellow social media people probably know, Twitter is a platform that allows people to interact with each other over the internet and allows you to develop sort of virtual friendships online. It also provides a platform for businesses to manage their reputation and to stamp their personality on their brands. I am not a fan of the “it is cold outside” or “I am off to make a coffee” tweet so I tend to post (what I feel) are useful snippets of marketing information as well as links to my Blog posts and I also enter the odd online conversation.
When I noticed @mangoink (the business in question) Tweeting, I sometimes retweeted or made the odd comment and Mango Ink also retweeted my tweets etc….a relationship developed. I also noticed that @mangoink were on Skype so I added them to my Skype contact list. I then thought to myself, why not call @mangoink to see what they are like and to see whether it was worth meeting up as I knew I was heading into Bristol for a meeting shortly….
What resulted was a lovely, lenghty conversation with a lady called Emma Lewis @mangoink. (You can probably guess where this is go….and, no, not a date!!).
We did cross paths at Emma’s offices and swap notes and got on like a house on fire. So much so that Emma emailed me at the start of November about a pitch she had been invited to do for a prospect in Bristol. Emma said that there was a graphic design + a marketing requirement and would I be interested in getting involved.
We went through the brief together and bounced some ideas around and then Emma and her team started putting together brand identity visuals and ideas while I looked at the prospects’ online offer and made some suggestions about mystery shopping and gathering existing marketing material.
We pitched the prospect in Bristol yesterday morning as a “design and marketing team” where both Mango Ink and Bath Marketing Consultancy presented their skills. We were up against an incumbent plus one other “agency.”  The result………………………..we have been awarded the account where both Emma and myself will work together to deliver the full suite of design and marketing initiatives. Welcome to Abode Property Management in Bristol.

For those people who do not believe in the power of social media, I hope this gives you some cause to re think!
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