The Power Of Social Media - Its probably the easiest way for Mums to make extra cash, yet still spend quality time with their Kids. Ismail's story is perhaps not the best way to discover her idea, but it has been Social Media Power that has launched her into financial freedom for her and her family.
A colicky baby turned Syazrina Ismail into an entrepreneur. It all started during the first few months of her eldest son's life. Ismail couldn't put him down for very long, which turned her into a sleep-deprived zombie. "He would sleep on his tummy," she says. "Gassy boy. The only way to get him to sleep longer was to carry him upright."
Buying a baby sling isn't a big deal for most, but Ismail lives in Malaysia. So instead of going to a store, she bought a sling off eBay. That led her to wonder whether others in her country had the same need. Her hunch proved correct. Ismail made 10 slings and sold them all in four days. After that, she realized it could be a business and created a website.
A few years later, Ismail's company, JumpSacBaby, has an impressive 12,700 Facebook fans and a viable business. But Ismail feels like she hasn't maximized JumpSac's social media potential. Until very recently, the company didn't have a Pinterest presence and had a modest following on Twitter. So Ismail replied to Mashable's request for a new series that pairs a small business in need of social media marketing help with a consultant. The idea, modeled a bit on the old TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, is to execute a full turnaround in a month or so. Or not.
In this case, we paired Ismail with Katy Lynch of the Chicago-based SocialKaty. Considering JumpSac's relatively large following, Lynch didn't have to start a company from scratch. Instead, Ismail wanted to get bigger but also differentiate itself from others in the same category and, eventually, build a customer database.
Before she gave her list of recommendations, Lynch had a dialog with Ismail. The story of JumpSac's rise was a happy one: A few months after starting the company, JumpSac had about 1,000 fans. Ismail got to that number by being active on a local forum. The group started out with 10 members, but soon got to 150. After that, it migrated to Facebook.
The group helped Ismail catch the attention of the producer of a local morning TV show, who booked her on the show one morning for this segment: (the YouTube link is at the bottom of the page)
Shortly after that aired, JumpSac's Facebook following had ballooned by 3,000 to 4,000 fans.
Three years later, Ismail is looking to recapture that momentum. Lynch had a few suggestions about how to achieve that, including:
- Hold a "Pin it to Win it" contest on Pinterest. By the time Lynch had offered her suggestions, Ismail had created a Pinterest page for JumpSac. At the time of this writing, there was nothing on it. Lynch suggests JumpSac pin a photo of its best-selling product and then ask users to repin it for a chance to win the item.
- Create user-generated boards. Invite (via email) JumpSac's top customers and brand advocates to post products under JumpSac's Pinterest account. "That way first-time users who are looking at your products will be able to see solid examples of how the product is used by real users."
- Run Facebook ads. "I recommend spending at least $100 to $150 a month on Facebook ads." Such ads would target fans as well as members of the target audience who aren't fans.
- Grow your Twitter presence. JumpSac has a much smaller following on Twitter vs. Facebook. Ismail suggests remedying this by participating in conversations on Twitter related to moms and mom/baby products. (For example, those that use the hashtags #momchat and #GNO for "Girl's Night Out.") Another idea is to reach out to thought leaders and influencers in the baby products space, which she could find on Topsy under the "experts" section.
Ismail seemed game to try. However, she had already tried Facebook ads and wasn't completely satisfied. Her next ad brought in 150 new fans a day, she says and cost her $50 a day. "Is that good?" she asked Lynch. "It's good if you are collecting data about those 150 fans," Lynch says. "Otherwise you're just collecting Likes."
Will Ismail follow Lynch's advice? Will it work? Check back here in about a month and we'll report how it went. Meanwhile, join the discussion on Twitter by using the hashtag "#socialmakeover.
Image courtesy of JumpSac