So, can social media really help you market or promote something?
Earlier today, I launched a brand new blog. Now, usually when you launch a new blog, the first day sees very little traction; after all, no one knows it’s there. However, thanks exclusively to the use of a few social media tools, the blog attracted hundreds of unique visitors within an hour of its launch. The blog has also attracted some great comments and people have been emailing me and tweeting to me all morning with feedback and ideas.
Here’s how I launched the new blog (quickly)
The primary tool I used, in order to let people know about the new blog, was Twitter.
A few days ago, I set up a Twitter account for the new blog, which had a handful of ‘followers’ but was essentially sleeping until the blog was launched. Over the past 3 days, I mentioned on my regular @jimconnolly Twitter account that I was going to launch a new blog this week. This got people asking me about it and asking to be informed when it launched.
Earlier today, I published the first post on the new blog and sent a Tweet via @jimconnolly, to let people know. I also sent a simple message to a handful of people I know on Friendfeed, all of whom shared the information with their contacts.
This tiny amount of Twitter and Friendfeed activity was aimed at encouraging a relatively small number of people to check out the new blog. It seems they did and that they told their contacts about it too. In no time, traffic to the blog started increasing at the perfect rate for me to be able to monitor it. I will explain why this was important in a moment.
When people arrived at the blog, they saw a welcome post, which also contained a few suggestions:
- I asked people to please check out a page that explained what the blog was all about.
- I then asked people to subscribe to the RSS feed, if they wanted to keep up to date with new posts.
- Finally, I asked people to join the new blog on Twitter @theideasblog – If they were interested in sharing ideas.
An hour later, I published a second post, which was a typical blog post and gave people an idea of the kind of content to expect. It also gave people something of value to read / share.
This was a simple, deliberately planned launch; which gave me the time to respond to comments and check the blog was working – rather than creating a sudden surge in numbers. I mentioned earlier that it was important for me to be able to build the traffic to the blog steadily. There were 2 reasons for this:
- The blog is with a new hosting provider and I had not placed it under a sudden, heavy load previously.
- For the first time ever, I configured and designed the blog theme myself. I had obviously tested it previously, but it’s different when the site goes live and it’s receiving comments etc.
By using Twitter, a message on my new blog and a few messages on Friendfeed, I was not only able to create a successful launch, but even control the initial flow of traffic (to a degree). This was a great, real life example of what’s possible with social media.