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We are at a point where our old social media strategy is no longer working for us.
Our Strategy from 2010 — Now
Let’s look at where the business was and what we were doing.
We started in 2006, Steve joined full time in Fall 2008 and I followed in Spring 2009. We were just getting going and we made a detour. Fast forward to the end of 2010. We were exiting a startup partnership and woke up to very little work on and a scarce amount of money. The economy was in the tank, but we needed to drum up business.
We revised our website first and foremost. Your website is your home base for everything else. Then we put the following strategy into place.
- We have a twitter account for our business (click here to follow @sawayaconsult). We were posting a few times a day.
- We were reviewing everyone that followed us and following almost everyone back.
- We read all the tweets that came through.
- We performed a series of searches daily to find people that were looking for what we had to offer. We picked up a few great projects and met some new people this way.
- We have a Facebook page for our business (like us here).
- We didn’t post to it very often.
- We did hook up our blog to it.
- We posted some images from our portfolio to Facebook. This actually posed another problem I’ll talk about below.
- We were rocking the blog.
- We were posting series, we had a great posting schedule (series on Tuesdays, whatever on Fridays).
- We had some fantastic Google rankings because of it.
The Benchmark Right Now
- Our business is crazy awesome busy. We are building some really cool corporate tools, we’re doing a ton of web and mobile apps. We have another developer working here full time and are looking to round out with another Android developer and looking at bringing another designer in on several projects.
- We haven’t kept our portfolio up to date (see top bullet point). Posting portfolio images to Facebook was slowing us down — we were quadruple posting our work to our blog, our site, Behance and Facebook — each piece with it’s own resolution and support in graphics. Too daunting. Didn’t get finished.
- We haven’t kept up blogging, sort of due to time, sort of due to having no blog focus. Is our blog for clients? potential clients? other designers/developers? is anyone but Google listening? Does it matter if no one else is? Overwhelming questions when you’d rather be building a new interface for an awesome client project.
- We haven’t been blogging so our SEO has tanked. Hard core. But it’s hard to worry about the phone not ringing all the time when it IS RINGING ALL THE TIME. New people are still finding us — and our existing clients are doing more and more projects with us. And unlike so many service companies (looking at you telco and TV providers) our existing clients are more important than potential new clients. We give them the best and only take on more if there is anything left over.
- We haven’t even been reviewing new twitter followers, haven’t been reading tweets beyond the private list of “friends in RL”. We hardly tweet. Again, see top bullet — but also add in a sprinkling of overwhelming.
- Update our portfolio. Not only is it out of date, but it grew organically (like a weed) and looks bad. We are revising it, adding some sorting and moving our client list to a new page. That is about 80% complete.
- Clean up Twitter. See who is following us, see who we need to follow back. Organize some new lists and check those lists that are most interesting to us regularly. We can do this in Hootsuite. I will start working on that today.
- Either pick a blog focus or don’t pick a blog focus—but make that choice. I’m going to say that we aren’t going to focus on one audience. We are going to continue to post whatever is interesting to us, relevant to our business, and/or helpful for people (our how to articles that are unrelated to our business drive the most traffic, but zero conversions). Also, we need to accept that if we aren’t going to focus, we aren’t going to grow a huge audience and therefore not have huge blog numbers—but it all helps drive SEO. More water in the harbor, all the boats rise.
The new strategy for 2012
As far as I can see, we’re going to be busy. We’re going to add capacity as we can and be grateful every day for what we have and where we’ve come from. We’re going to stay just hungry enough (like I could eat a string cheese, not like I’m starving and want to eat a horse) to make sure we stay on our game, and we keep making clients ecstatic.
- Organize into lists. I’ll have another blog post on this in the future.
- Interact with lists as appropriate.
- Check daily – tweet daily.
- The way our blog posts to Facebook looks overwhelming (text comes through in a big block). I’m either going to find a better plugin or hand manage this.
- Clean up our photo sections — but just repost from our website, no customization.
- Create a custom Page.
- Tie into Facebook-specific features. Run an ad, run a poll, maybe a contest. See what comes of it.
- Get back to posting, at least once a week. This needs to be a priority—prep the ground for gardening so it’s ready when you need it. If we make Thursday our goal posting day, and I make sure that I write on Friday or the weekend for the next week (for those times that I don’t have a bunch of them ready to go) then we should be good.
- Look at syndicating some articles if only to provide an extra focus/motivation.
I’ll report back after this has been underway for a while! Is it time to revamp your company’s social media strategy? What changes are you planning to make?
We received this recommendation from our client Dave Brach of Brach Design Architect (he designed the passive house our friends built).
Almost three years after the initial launch of my firm’s web site, the original company who designed it had closed its doors, and the site was neglected, incomplete, poorly functioning, and basically on life-support. Sawaya Consulting was able to look at the situation and propose a package of solutions, additions, and re-designs that were catered to me and that quickly and effectively transformed the site into an asset that I have been able to edit and manage with success. Amber was responsive, always staying in touch, returning calls, and solving problems. The process was enjoyable and efficient and I would gladly recommend Sawaya Consulting.
Check out his site: www.brachdesign.com ›
“That’s my week,” one of my clients showed me his screen. It was a calendar completely filled with blocks. Meeting blocks.
“When do you do real work?” I asked him.
“Between 11pm and 1am,” he replied.
This is all to common in offices. People are working 40-60 hours a week—but they are really just attending meetings pretending to work. This client I speak of, he’s super talented, he has a lot of really awesome projects to be working on, but instead he’s chatting about the weather 5 times a day.
In a perfect world we’d all do the following things and consider meetings a “get in get out” kind of thing.
- Only invite people to meetings if they are going to contribute. If they aren’t presenting—send them a recap later.
- Start on time. End early. Why are we spending so much time talking about the weather? I can check it here or here.
- If you are presenting, you need to be early. Set up the room, have your agendas handy. Be ready to greet people and be the person that starts on time.
- Have an agenda – send it out before the meeting. Allow people the opportunity to be prepared.
- Send out a recap. We have a semi-weekly meeting with some clients. We set up a wiki where we post the agenda for each week’s meeting — then after the meeting we update the agenda with what we discussed and change the page name from “Agenda 1-18-12″ to “Meeting 1-18-12″. Easy.
- Make sure meetings end with to-dos. That they are written down by someone and they are very clear. “A to do B; S to get info on D to A”.
- I don’t want to make this point, but I still have to. DO NOT pick the one girl in the room and say “Can you take notes?”. It has repeatedly happened to me, it’s repeatedly dumped on my copywriter friend. If you host the meeting, take the notes. Or round robin the notes, having someone do it each time. You are not Don Draper.
- Don’t derail status meetings. Status meetings are specifically to stand up together and say “this is where that is”. If you have a major project question (how something works, a change to a feature, etc) call a side meeting with the appropriate parties. I attend status meetings like I’m a horse in the Kentucky Derby.
- Don’t bookend your meetings. Please don’t look at your coworkers calendar and see their only free time is 2pm – 3pm and snap that up. Could you get it done from 2:15-2:45? How about even 2:05 – 2:50. Let people go to the bathroom. Allow them the opportunity to be on time to your meeting. In high school we had a few minutes to get between class.
- Take care of comfort and technology. If you are hosting the meeting, make sure the projector, etc are working and ready. Online meeting? Make sure your mic and earphones are working. A longer meeting? Bring some snacks, or bottles of water. Really long meeting? Offer a bathroom break.
When we design and build mobile apps for clients we often ask for your UDID — this is a unique number assigned to your iPhone or iPad. We put these in Xcode to allow your device to view the in-progress app.
You will need to provide a UDID for every device for every team member that will be part of the review/approval process.
- Go into iTunes, select your device.
- Click Serial Number until this changes to display your UDID.
- ⌘ + C will copy this — NOTE you won’t be able to select anything on this screen, but it will still copy it.
- Paste this into an email and send it over to us.