Project: Do Stuff is ticking along nicely and I have reveled in the energy that comes from doing things that fall outside of the day-to-day. It’s also been nice to see how these external projects have actually enhanced my day-to day (Google might be onto something with their 20% rule). So how did two of my favourite things – Social Media, and Cake find themselves as bedfellows? Read on..
So there I was, a month to go before Adara’s 3rd birthday party, furiously researching cakes and decorating tips that would meet her highness’s discerning standards (in other words purple and pretty) when I came across a whole new world of cake-design on social media. Apart from the fantastic YouTube tutorials and a bazillion links on Pinterest, a productive chunk of Zuckerberg’s 1 billion are obsessively passionate about all things pretty and cake. I was struck with how active these cake pages were, daily posts – daily responses, helpful, passionate and fun.
Their efforts are solid – a mixed bag showcasing stunning creations, sharing tips, tricks, tutorials, theming days, encouraging opinion, dialogue and conversation. Royal Bakery, Planet Cake, Victorious Cupcakes and Peggy Does Cake have become fast favourites. In terms of numbers, they’re all in the double-digit thousands which I find impressive given these are home-grown pages, and almost certainly an organically-grown audience. From a social media practitioners POV, it was nice to get up close and personal with an interest group – observe and be a part of a new kind of conversation.
I was at a SM conference a couple of years ago and it was stressed even then, that the best social media case studies don’t always stem from the wizardry of a 4A’s digital agency. Sometimes you only have to look as far as your local corner shop, at the individuals and businesses with a real understanding of their customers and what it takes to foster brand advocacy. One post in particular, from Royal Bakery stood out for me and I wanted to share from it some terrific home truths and (perhaps inadvertently) some tips to engage users on Social Media. I also love that Royal Bakery has a Monday Moan:
1. “Grow pages by giving visitors a reason to be there, a reason to come back and tell their friends” Once a user lands on your page, they should be able to understand at first glance – who you are, what you are doing on Facebook and how you engage with your fans.
2. “..By when she found me, I’d already started writing tutorials and making YouTube videos” In other words… content, content, content! Always have a content strategy in place. Whether you’re a media giant or a car repair shop – there’s always something to say, or a story to what you do. Sample your content, ideas, and champion your cause! Try a few things out – unless your post is offensive or spam-my your page will hardly suffer any unlikes for it. Would a behind the scenes look resonate with your audience? Why not? We know that hard-sell doesn’t work on Social Media, and we know the cost of acquisition (getting a user to like a page) is higher than the cost of retention (keeping them there) so you’re already best placed to find out what works and what doesn’t – they’re already THERE.
3.”The way to grow a page, like any business, is by hard work, finding a niche and trying to be original.” This is a great one – there are absolutely no shortcuts, the quicker you accept that, the quicker you can get going!
4. “Give a little bit extra” If you can, if it doesn’t take a lot of effort, and is related to your product or content, why not?
5.” Lots of likes does not equal lots of customers” And the number of people ‘talking about this’ also isn’t an accurate message of how engaged your users are either.
6. “I have my Free-for-all Friday so everyone can show off their work once a week” Welcome user generated content, feature it, celebrate it – this is content for you, and a way to foster loyalty with your audience. Everyone wins.
7. “If I like a page and want to see its posts on my newsfeed — then I’ll like the page” …and there we have it, a truth that hasn’t changed from day one. We’re at the tail end of 2012, and I’ve seen some conversations floating around on LinkedIn on the value of a ‘like’ in 2012. What’s a like worth? What it’s always been worth. There is a small window from the minute a like button is clicked and the first few of your posts appearing on a user’s newsfeed. Whether you stay visible on that newsfeed relies on you. I’m afraid you can’t really have any ‘off’ days. Does your brand consistently offer value to your audience and initiate meaningful conversation?
So thank you, Royal Bakery for this delicious post and of course, for the fabulous and inspiring cake updates. Birthday party season (Oct – Dec) is also my annual excuse to load up on baking love like piping nozzles (‘HONEY, There is ONLY one grass tip. How pedestrian do you want this cake to look?’) Arcane gel colours I won’t ever use, specialty cake pans and more fiddly bits and pieces. And if you’re wondering.. here’s the cake I made on Sunday for Adara’s 3rd Birthday Princesses and Knights party. It passed the 3 year old approval process with flying colours (she wanted to dip a finger into it as soon as she saw it) although she was a bit fixated on cutting the doll’s hair off. Last year of toddlerhood..here goes..