Becoming FANtastic! Growing a social media fan base.26.09.2013
Trading Times sits on the brink of an exciting new chapter in our journey. We are now in a position to build on our excellent yet humble beginnings as a small-scale North London pilot and extend the Trading Times service and expand across all of London and beyond. Our ambition is for Trading Times to be recognised as a highly valued UK-wide social enterprise, delivering meaningful social impact at scale. Yet how do we do this? Trading Times is an online platform that connects plus50s, carers & single parents with flexible work opportunities with local employers. How do we build a fan base of committed users and inspired supporters?
In the rapidly growing world of social media, crowdfunding, blogging, online marketing and ecommerce, brands live and die in cyberspace. Transparency, social ethics and speed are critical for survival, but to really stand out from the crowd a brand needs to achieve fame. There are no real metrics thresholds that define fame. Twitter followers, Facebook likes, LinkedIn connections can all be cajoled, bought or nagged. And fame does not have to be national or international. Instead, fame can be determined by the viral speed of growth of committed fans who really get what you’re trying to do, really love using your service, and can’t wait to tell the next person all about you.
It is still very early in Trading Times’ lifecycle, and we have a number of engagement strategies still to test, but we have an inkling we are on the right path. The Trading Times building blocks are in place: an award-winning service innovation; a commitment to delivering exceptional value for money; an engaging user experience; positive user testing; and a large community of institutional and individual supporters. We now need to shift our attention to becoming famous. Engaging hearts and minds, telling captivating stories and empowering our followers to contribute their own experiences and perspectives. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, forums, newsletters, stakeholder channels all need to be blended into a single interdependent ‘Big Conversation’ that is owned by our fan base. When the ‘Big Conversation’ begins to lead the design of Trading Times, that’s when we’ll know we’re getting there.
We’re going to be blogging regularly now on the Nominet Trust blog (http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/what-we-support/blogs) to chart our progress over the coming months towards the London-wide launch. This blogpost serves as a record of Trading Times’ baseline position for recording our social media marketing progress.
The future is uncertain, the future is exciting. The journey will be exhilarating.
Follow our journey on Twitter (@TradingTimesUK), Facebook (TradingTimesUK).