Archive | Start-up

We’re riding this bike!

I’m riding this bike now without training wheels. I’ve had some falls and scraped my knees, but I am loving this. Building a business from scratch, learning new things at a manic speed, and most of all, working with some fascinating businesses and people.

One of the falls was neglecting this blog and our social media channels. Working in online marketing, I feel the pressure of practising what I sell. But in the past couple of weeks I also understood two things. The first is that social media marketing is important, but other things (like selling and customer service) are more important. The second is that activities on social media place a cognitive load on a person, and sometimes it’s good to step away from it to get clarity of thought.


5 tips for brand new social media accounts

We launched our Twitter and Facebook accounts just over two weeks ago. We’re still quite far from superstar status (48 followers on Twitter and 190 on Facebook), but we are pleased. We thought we’d share some of our experiences, along with things that worked and things that didn’t. Let us know in the comments if you have something that works on your fledgling accounts.

#1 Share original content

Our most successful tweets included a link to one of our new blog posts. Most tweets had an engagement rate of 2% and below, but as soon as we mentioned our own content, engagement shot up to between 5-9%.

#2 Use pictures

Acting on a tip from our friends at @gunsandrain, we started adding images to our tweets. The result – apart from a more beautiful Twitter feed – was better engagement (especially more link clicks and detail expands). We’re still finding this a bit tricky, as we don’t have a bank of appropriate images. But, @buffer recently launched Pablo, a super easy way to create images for sharing on social media.

#3 It’s okay to say things twice

This is really cool. We posted our best performing content more than once over a couple of days, at different times of day. The thinking is that not all your followers will see your tweet / Facebook post the first time. We also used different hashtags and messaging, just to see if we could reach a different / broader audience.

#4 Be a real person

We think it’s important to show that we’re not just a company, but a bunch of interesting, friendly people. Like this:

#5 Remember why you’re doing it

We have a couple of goals with our social media, but the most important for us is to drive traffic to this blog. Even at this early stage, it’s easy to get sucked in, and for Twitter and Facebook to seem more important than they are. So, while we’re delighted with each new follower, we’re much more excited when someone clicks through to our profile or, even better, to the blog.



We tell stories because we’re human

Even though I started Stories & Science around this time last year, I’m only now putting my back into it. I was lucky – I landed a big contract that bought me time to build the business, win new clients, figure out exactly what I wanted to do. Except, I didn’t do any of that.

Now, one year on, I’m doing the basics: I wrote a decent business plan and cash flow forecast, set up a Twitter account, and put together a minimum viable product. There’s so much more to do, and if you’re interested, come back every week for an update.

Stories & Science is built on two pillars. Firstly, despite advances in technology and science, humans have not changed much from the days of sitting around the fire telling stories. We are connected to each other with threads of curiosity and wonder. Brands are increasingly becoming the custodians of storytellingart and music, but more than that, brands are the product of humans, just like you and me, behind computers.

Secondly, we now have more data about human interactions than we know what to do with. By applying a scientific model to this, and understanding the context in which our brand operates, we can refine how we communicate and generate better results.

The one question that data can’t answer, though, is why. The philosopher would say: We tell stories because we’re human. But what is the answer for you, and for your brand? Why do you seek knowledge and share your stories with friends and colleagues? And why is your brand on social media, why do you have a website, what’s the purpose of your YouTube channel?