A Social Networking Case Study: Twitter Part 1

First things first, I’ll introduce the client…

Vanilla Inspirations is a local design company that makes beautiful things from paper, ribbon, lace and more. From wedding and christening invitations to table decorations and thank you cards, they believe ‘the beauty is in the telling’ – and I’m helping them go social.

Starting up on Twitter: @vanilla_invites

1. Follow

Once you’ve chosen a name, picked a profile picture and done all the bits and bobs you have to do to set up your account – the next step has to be finding people to follow. For small companies like Vanilla Inspirations, who don’t have a huge mailing list, it’s the easiest way to acquire followers.

But gaining followers isn’t the only incentive. There’s a massive wedding community on Twitter, which means we can find new contacts and opportunities simply by following like-minded companies. And because this social ‘community’ exists, the people we’ve followed are much more likely to follow back.

2. Talk

Next step – start conversations. That’s the whole point of Twitter, talk to people, share information and every now and then, remind them what you do and how well you do it. So once we’d built up a good ‘following’ list, we started talking to them.

3. Test

We also tested various competitions, because for some companies, these can be extremely successful. I’ve seen an uplift of 100 to 500 followers per competition in cases, but for Vanilla Inspirations, they fell flat.

The audience we’re talking to is primariliy industry professionals. Don’t get me wrong, they’re the right people to talk to on Twitter, (and in Part 2 you’ll see why) but they’re not interested in competitions – and as it turns out, they’re not too bothered about discounts either. So going forward, that’s something we’re going to look at differently.

The results so far

By the end of the first week, we had 52 followers.
By the end of the second week, we had 108 follower.
By the end of the third week, we had 128 followers.
And by the end of the fourth week, we had 142 followers.

We’ve also been featured on a blog, after a call for submissions on Twitter – and more importantly, we’ve seen an uplift in Etsy views, especially for new products which are launched on Twitter as soon as they’re listed. So Twitter has already started to raise brand awareness and open up new opportunities for Vanilla Inspirations.

So that’s the story so far. More updates coming soon!

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