So what happens when you have built a new business in 12 hours? Apparently, according to lean approach to start up’s, you need to do some measuring and review some data. What on earth does that mean ?
As I hadn’t read the books on lean I went with my gut and figured the goal had to be someone placing an order for a product on the Kalari Kites. Which means interacting with some potential customers. As I built my minimum viable product in 12 hours I decided I wanted to do this stage in the same time frame.
Richard did it but was it really possible to get a purchase in 12 hours ?
In the first phase I had launched on Twitter and got a smattering of followers. So I decided to look at tools to grow my following. As SocialOomph‘s name came up in several blogs posts, I set up an account for a free trial. First impression, the interface needs a massive overhaul. Secondly it was really time consuming to understand. I wanted new followers and it took a while to navigate around and find the right menu and start “Find New People To Follow” scripts. Once set up I waited patiently to get an email telling me the followers has been found. I was looking for people who like India and like sport. The results arrived in a long online list where I had to manually approve users. This was a tedious task. I did this for about a week. Along side I removed people who hadn’t followed me and didn’t seem as interesting as the new followers I had found. This seemed important because I didn’t want the account to look fake as it followed hundreds of people but only had a handful of followers. I found the refining and adding process time consuming and fruitless as no one really followed me back. One evening I manually followed a group of people who clearly were part of a north american university asian group and was able to pick out the sports buffs They didn’t follow me but the did look at the website and retweet some of the campaign (see below) so at this point I called it quits on SocialOomph.
Personal Learning : Ignore new twitter follower. If someone is building followers they might just unfollow using this process.
Project Learning : Don’t build followers build purchases
The one thing you learn at Agent Provocateur is to live your brand. I hasten to add that the staff were not dressed just in lingerie but the fabulous black flowing outfits they wore could easily have been sold by Agent Provocateur. Using this approach upon starting at London 2012 I wore badges, lanyards and t-shirts to show my brand loyalty. Kalari Kites is no different and when I received my sample t-shirts I wore them to family gatherings and dinner with friends. The feedback was insightful
- That is funny upon seeing Haryana Chess Club
- That blue is the right kind of blue also Haryana Chess Club
- Does anyone pay 30 dollars for those shirts ? (No I replied truthfully)
- The font works and I would reposition the layout
The feedback was a surprise. I hadn’t considered that a sports brand would be fun or funny. Think Nike or Under Armour. Not funny. Sun employ headline writers who can be funny and it made me conclude ;
Project Learning : Future products would have fun slogans and the brand assets online would reflect this
I immediately updated the twitter profile and started thinking about ordering more Haryana T-Shirts to test out with friends.
I came up with the idea of Live Tweeting the US Open to attract attention. It was something we spent hours practicing at London 2012. The year after it worked for iris with their wimbledon Andy Murray game. Sania Mirza along with Martina Hingis was likely to win the the US Open which they did. Sania Mirza is one of the highest searched tennis star on the planet. And as far as I could see no one covers Indian Tennis like the BBC or Sky covers British tennis. Although I had big plans, new T-shirt range, live blog, in the end the time involved meant I settled on live tweeting the event. A week before the open I manually followed all the Indian tennis players who were listed on the US Open website. I buffered some standard excited tweets about the forthcoming us open as well as some product related tweets. Which took about 50 mins. Each morning for about thirty mins I buffered in the days schedule. In week two I was vague about times I had a tweet asking for more specific schedules. When I was around during the matches I followed the live score on the US Open site and tweeted out the start, first set and results of the match. Also during the match I monitored who was talking about the match and followed or liked relevant tweets. The results were fascinating
- It didn’t result in any sales.
- Traffic to the website was 6 times higher on live tweet days
- Traffic to the website was 10 times higher when I linked to content on the site
- No one looked at the product pages
- live tennis tweets could reach 4 or 5 time bigger audience than our actual followers
- retweets by other tennis news outlets or fans resulted in 20% reach for our tweets
- retweets by the tennis player resulted in a 300% uplift in reach.
- Being the fastest tweeter of the result gave the highest interaction numbers
On this last point remember I was in competition with robotic scripts, so by using emotional human language the Kalari Kites tweet were more chosen for retweets. Including at one stage by the tennis player.
Personal Learning : The social media job is dull, time consuming and stressful. I have more compassion for those people I have managed doing this activity.
Project Learning : This activity is good for brand awareness.
Project Learning : Sponsorship deals should be linked to twitter engagements.
At this point depending if you count breaks while tweeting or not I had used up more or exactly the 12 allotted hours. So unlike my guide Richard I had failed to sell any t-shirts. I do however have some stronger brand values and lots of ideas for the next lean iteration. As well as some excellent insights on social media for my other projects and future corporate jobs. And I have a t-shirt that I love wearing which I designed myself.