- Start using twitter to both engage with customers and to help spot brand issues (e.g. unhappy customers) before they become a problem.
- Ensure a consistent brand across all communication mechanisms (more on this below).
- Write a blog. This should be relevant to our target market/customers, and help communicate the values of our brand and what we're aiming to do generally.
- Think about how other social networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) might be used to improve our business.
Doug was his usual entertaining self, and presentations from Shaa Wasmund of Smarta.com and Ilana Fox (formerly of ASOS) were also quite illuminating. There was also a bloke in a flowery shirt that reminded me of Paul Giamatti's character in Sideways, with Pinot Grigio substituted for Merlot as the reviled wine of choice.
Enough plugging for @s4startups and friends; what have I actually done?
Start using twitterI created a (personal) twitter account @Russ_Ennis during the #s4startups event above, with my first tweet acknowledging my caving to peer pressure. Since then my tweets have reflected my deep interest in science and technology, with a smattering of observations from my daily life.
It is my intention to create a separate Gastrocon twitter account for purely business orientated tweeting, but activity there will wait until nearer the time the site goes live.
Create a BlogMore recently (i.e. today), I've set up a Blogger account and you're looking at the first post. My main audience initially will probably be friends and colleages, but it should provide insight into the "brand values" underlying the site, for customers and users that want to dig deeper.
To make the most of social networks, ideally for this blog I would allow comments from users whatever their choice of authentication mechanism (maybe using DISQUS or IntenseDebate), but I'd also like to have a "Twitter reactions" feed that updates with what people are saying in Twitter (ideally pulled inline with the other comments, as a unified forum from the point of view of web users). I don't want just "tweet this page" links; I want something like live updates using something like the BackType API to pick up any mentions of the page, even via URL shortening services like bit.ly and tinyurl.
As well as for this Blog, ideally any such mechanism would extend well to a separate "reactions" feed for every distinct content page on the Gastrocon.com site (of which there may be tens of thousands eventually). Any thoughts would be appreciated! My current ideas involve getting a BackType feed for the domain as a whole, and as a background process insert such twitter messages into commentary for the relevant page. This avoids requiring thousands of distinct feeds, each of which has minimal traffic.
Consistent brandingI've started by giving the CSS styling on my prototype web app a facelift. It is still pretty rough-and-ready, but at least now the style will not be a major distraction from the actual function I'm trying to sell (more on that in a later post Why Gastrocon?).
Baby Luke is being fussy, so I'd better go help!