A couple has launched a new book via a 24-hour online marathon using social media, although start-ups have been advised to be wary before embarking upon a similar campaign.
Running enthusiasts Sue and Andrew O’Brien recently took to Twitter, Facebook and a host of other online platforms over a 24-hour period to launch their book Couple on the Run.
Detailing their experiences running together, the couple spent 24 hours doing everything from live presentations and uploading YouTube content to tweeting and posting material on Facebook.
Andrew O’Brien, who spoke to StartupSmart in the early hours of the campaign, says he and his wife were inundated with questions and comments from people around the world.
“One of the people we interviewed [before the launch] was a social media expert who made the point that people who are passionate about something – such as running – are increasingly communicating with each other online, so we were looking to engage with people in that community,” O’Brien says.
According to O’Brien, the launch required six weeks of preparation including two weeks of intensive preparation.
“It’s costly in terms of time but it doesn’t require a huge outlay, so it’s lucrative in that sense. But it depends on your business and the market you have,” he says.
“Something that people are passionate about, and has a community feel to it, could work very, very well.”
“But you need to be prepared for the flow-on effect. We’re hoping to significantly increase our Facebook and online presence; continuing conversations with people will be really good.”
According to Con Frantzeskos, digital strategy director of DDB Group, there are positives and negatives associated with this kind of campaign.
“A couple engaging in social media is fantastic – it’s great they’re going across a wide variety of social media,” Frantzeskos says.
“As long as they’re adding value and not spamming or overly promoting their book, social media is really effective, especially if they’re incorporating video because it is a rich media source compared to a book, which might not be able to add a visual element to certain things.”
However, Frantzeskos says such a campaign, which is promoted within an exhaustive timeframe, may be viewed as a one-off effort as opposed to an ongoing relationship with customers.
“With any engagement with social media, you need to have an ongoing relationship. [The O’Briens] are potentially building an expectation they will be around for ages, which means they will have to maintain a high level of engagement and uphold those conversations,” he says.
However, Frantzeskos says the most effective communications are those with a strong real-life driver, such as running, which puts the O’Briens in good stead to maintain interest.
“If you look at sports forums and sports websites, they’re very popular because there’s an ongoing stimulus there; sporting events happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he says.
“[Running] is a real-life activity with a strong element of a passionate fan base, which is a great example of a strong digital driver.”
Frantzeskos offers start-ups the following tips with regard to social media campaigns:
1. Add value with every interaction. Try and build a relationship with people by working with your potential and existing customer base.
2. Have a consistent relationship. You don’t need to be accessing every single online channel but if you do have a role, have a very consistent one. There’s nothing worse than starting in a flurry and then fading out.
3. The best tools are either free or nearly free, so use those tools to your best ability. YouTube and Facebook are wonderful examples of free channels through which you can build and manage relationships.