Hey there! This is Austin here. I just wanted to share an experience I had the other day that reminded me of the power of a well-run Social Media campaign in this day and age.
For me, as much as I absolutely love Online Marketing, what really gets me going is my favorite sport/hobby: Rock Climbing. I try to climb 3-4 times per week, and when I am not in front of a computer screen or studying, my hands are baked in chalk clinging onto holds either in a gym or a canyon. Unfortunately however, my chalk bag had recently depleted and I had had it on my mind to buy more for a few weeks. Normally I stock up at my local gym, but it seemed to slip mind every time I went. So, like all people who don’t live under a rock, I have an Instagram account, and surprise, surprise, about 50% of my feed consists of rock climbing gear companies, professional rock climbers, rock climbing photographers etc. etc. etc.
So, yesterday during a dull moment in my day I was scrolling through my news feed when I ran by this post of the one and only Joe Kinder:
This post caught my attention, as I had never seen this product or brand before in my life and here, a climber who I admire was featuring it on his Instagram. So naturally I clicked the @frictionlabs and found myself here:
a beautifully well-kept, climbing themed Instagram account. I noticed as I went through their posts that they had a high amount of interaction on their posts. Everything from climbing enthusiasts to pros who they had sponsored thanking them for their product and praising their merchandise. It was apparent that Friction Labs was a pretty legit chalk company.
My curiosity peaked I clicked the link to their website.
The site is beautifully simple: well designed and straight-forward. I read a little bit about them, checked out their products, testimonials etc. and sure enough several minutes later I found myself here:
$9.50 later (they offer free shipping on all state-side orders) and here I am anxiously awaiting a sample pack of some new, great-sounding, highly praised climbing chalk. A few minutes later I receive an email saying that my order had shipped that same day and I could expect it to arrive a few days later.
So, why I am writing a blog post about this? I think there are a few very valuable lessons to be learned here.
- Social Media is (or at least should be) Everything in your business!
I am not sure what other methods Friction Labs uses to market it’s products and I am sure that Instagram is not their greatest source of revenue. But, here I am just an average climbing amateur who went from never hearing about them to buying their product in 10 minutes simply because they have a great Instagram presence. Social media is not hard to do. It takes only a few minutes every day but it goes a long way. The key is to get it going consistently, posting a minimum of 4-5 times per week and being involved. Respond to comments, comment on other’s posts, give credit, shout-outs, run contests, and have fun; with time you will see the results of your efforts. One of my good friends started an instagram account in November that simply posts positive, uplifting messages. In just a few months she gained 5,000 followers!
Figure out what social media platform your users are using and get posting and sharing!
- The importance of simplicity
One thing that really caught my eye through this process was how simple everything was. They had a simple and fun website. It was not some crazy overly sales-y page with percentage discounts and “buy now” pop ups all over. It was clean, appealing and sounded like it came from real people who were confident in their product. In addition, there is a lesson to be learned here about specialization. Climbing chalk is a pretty small niche and yet that is pretty much all this company sells.
- Mobile optimization
The biggest take away from this experience is this: if you are not marketing, interacting, and mobile-ready, you are out of date. In recent tech news it was announced that for the first time ever, more web searches were done on mobile devices than desktop computers! Be sure that your site is mobile optimized!