In about October last year, a tornado hit my life, a metaphorical one. I found myself in a job that was no longer able to provide me with the hours I needed to, well, survive.
After a year and a half of loyalty, I had been dealt a blow to the head and been sent swirling into a tornado of the unknown. Unlike the classic story, this was a tornado of my own making. I’d had enough. It was time to leave ‘Kansas’.
I went into a bewildering upward spiral of panic. What was I going to do now? Then I experienced a dizzying descent back to earth from a simple ‘Why don’t you come and help me?’.
I was in Oz.
What did my Oz look like? Well, it looked a lot like, motorcycles, cleaning products and social media. Oh my! It looked like Team 6t9. James Whitham, the wizard*. My eagerness, Glinda the Good Witch and my doubt, the Wicked Witch of the West. I absolutely love social media but how was I going to do this? I am in unknown territory. I know NOTHING about the motorcycle industry.
So, the things I’ve learnt about surviving social media for business in an unknown territory or for the purpose of this blog, my ‘Oz’. These points can, of course, be adapted for the use in any ‘Oz’ you may find yourself crash landing into. Here we go…
RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH.
This seems obvious I know but it is essential. Especially when you consider that the motorcycle community is very close knit and those that are passionate about motorcycles know EVERYTHING there is to know.
I constantly research. In a normal day, if I’m not creating/scheduling content, I’m researching. Constantly. Quotes, news, pictures of bikes, brands, racers, racing calendars, influencers etc. etc. etc. Of course the topics will be different depending on the business but you get the idea. I spend my days completely submerging myself in the world of motorcycle racing. I’ve even spent my weekends watching motorcycle racing and the May bank holiday at a British Superbikes event at Oulton Park. All in the name of research and being good at my ‘job’. It’s still called a job if you get to do cool things right?
ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE.
This is the one of the things I was most nervous about. Again, at the start my knowledge was limited so I was terrified of saying the wrong thing and making the brand look amateur. Hence, the above point. Research.
Engaging with people on social media is a must. It’s the way you develop relationships with people, who then become advocates of your brand. That’s the dream. Without those shares and comments, how do you expect to have successful brand awareness on social media platforms?
Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Another thing I learnt about motorcycle enthusiasts. When they find something great, they tell everyone they know about it. You can’t put a price on that.
One thing I personally can’t stand is link based social media accounts, where the profile page reads like: Text: Link, Text: Link, Text: Link and so on (snore!). That’s not to say ‘don’t post articles’. By all means post them, just think ‘How does this relate to my business?’ and comment accordingly.
A successful social media account should seem like a person is running it, not a bot. It should be interesting enough to catch people’s eye and make them want to engage with the posts. I understand that a certain amount of ‘sales’ posting is necessary, with links to the business website but let’s make it captivating shall we? Matey (design intern) and I made cleaning products into comic superheroes with tongue-in-cheek taglines!
There is nothing more natural than personal posts. Humans by nature are nosy, so post about that event, that award, the fact that you got new shirts, the fact that the business loves what they do and have a damn good time doing it! Feature members of the team in these posts. People buy into people. Fact.
Is a face more attractive than a link? Exactly.
There is a famous line that goes like this, ‘There’s no place like home’. I tend to agree. In terms of work ‘Home’ is Banter Media and there is no place like it. There is also no place like Oz. My Oz is Team 6t9 but instead of waking up and it was ‘all a dream’, I continue to be excited, scared, amazed by it and I go back to experience it every day.
*I’ll let the rest of the guys fight over the tinman, the scarecrow, the lion and the flying monkeys…