Every social media job description asks for a “proven track record of experience”, and rightfully so — everyone want’s to work in social media, but many lack relevant industry experience. Luckily for me my first industry related gig put me in the role of a (social media) Brand Evangelist for high-dollar agency level clients who purchased the service through NetBiz.
The Brand Evangelism service from NetBiz is designed for enterprise level clients. Our in-house social media team will strategize, implement, and manage a brand’s content strategy and value proposition through social media channels.
Long Island Wine Tours had been a long-term SEP client of NetBiz when they decided to pursue social media marketing and the owner, Jim, was looking to become an industry leader in the area.
That’s where I came in.
After an initial baseline report, phone conversations, and understanding the business’s goals I developed a 6-month + social media marketing strategy that would establish them as that leader. In total I worked with this client from June 1st, 2011 to Oct. 1, 2012.
Here’s my experience:
In 1998, Jim Ferrarie opened Long Island Wine Tours® and for more than 15 years has been offering wine lovers exceptional vineyard and winery tours on the East End of Long Island, NY. Long Island Wine Tours had already taken the initiative to establish a basic presence for their business on Facebook, with 246 “Likes” on June 1st, 2011.
Advertising, Branding, and Landing Page Optimization
Using the the demographic information provided by Facebook’s Insights of the current fanbase demographics I utilized sponsored and targeted display ads on Facebook to increase brand awareness and fanpage traffic. I also applied a welcome page to be the designated landing page; this created an engaging first impression and helped reinforce the ads call to action and convert traffic to “Likes.”
To reinforce their branding and professional appeal I also added a new Facebook cover photo. I feel having a solid impression makes it easier for your fans to engage with your page as well as increases the likelihood of them sharing it with their friends.
Along with running Facebook ads I utilized Facebook to network with other Long Island businesses, most importantly the vineyards and wineries. I made our presence known on their page and would share their content to Long Island Wine Tours fans from time to time; these relationships led to valuable referral traffic from their Fan pages.
Targeted Ads began on 7/16/2011 and resulted in 3,500 new likes as of 2/27/2012 (The important thing to look at here is the flat line prior to the ads running)
Use of the Facebook Platform
As LIWT’s fanbase grew so did the engagement on Facebook. By accurately targeting those in Long Island and the surrounding areas with Facebook Ads, their community primary consisted of previous customers or potential customers.
Dan’s Best of the Best 2011
In September 2011, I stumbled across a contest by Dan’s Papers, a local Long Island publication, that was holding a poll where users could vote for the best services across Long Island. I noticed there was a category for Best Limo Service and I quickly jumped at the chance to leverage LIWT’s fanbase for support. After the votes were tallied, Long Island Wine Tours was awared the Platinum Award for Best Limo Services on the North Fork.
Winterfest Jazz on the Vine Coupon
Winterfest Jazz on the Vine is a concert series which is held each year where residents and visitors can enjoy six great weekends of expectational jazz performances in winery tasting rooms across the East End. In support of the event we created a coupon for 10% off transportation to any of the concerts. I shared the coupon to LIWT’s fanbase and found that based on the other relationships I had build with other Long Island related fanpages, they were sharing our coupon to their fanbases as well.
Engagement on Facebook Page
By providing a welcoming environment for our online community I experienced numerous interactions including customers leaving reviews as well as posting this own pictures of themselves on the tours. This helped promote the social aspect of the page and foster conversation.
After reaching the 2000+ fan benchmark I noticed LIWT was becoming a strong influencer amongst the Long Island and Wine Industry Community. Aside from local organizations looking to partner with LIWT, Vine Talk, a unique wine-themed celebrity talk show on Public Television which airs nationwide, contacted LIWT about becoming a partner. Long Island Wine Tours is now poised to break into the national scope because of this new partnership which may not have been possible without Brand Evangelism.
I worked with Long Island Wine Tours through October 2012 and 6500 fans later handed back the new and improved social presence to the owner Jim. Though he now maintains the page, I have equipped him with a loyal social following and a brand voice to engage with them with.
Not only did LIWT benefit from working with me, but I was very thankful to work with them. Sure I made a few mistakes along the way, but I learned, and that real industry experience in community management was invaluable to my own progression as a marketer.