Hoo, hoo, watch this!
What do I want to show? The birth and evolution of a social media publicity campaign.
An individual with whom I work on Handshake 2.0, who discovered even more ways for it to work than I originally saw, now wants it to work for her.
I didn't originate these questions, but I've found them the most important ones to ask a client:
1) "What do you want to have happen as a result of a social media campaign?"
2) "How will you know when that's happened?"
As did Handshake 2.0, SmartCollegeVisit will begin its first phase of existence primarily as a content site. When I launched, I followed the advice of Pat Matthews and found it correct: "Build a large, loyal readership."
All content sites have to build a readership - an audience, or return visitors - and a high volume of traffic, one-timers or more, to validate the quality of their content and to convince potential customers, clients, and partners of their business models.
Answer to question #1, "What do you want to have happen?": Traffic.
What builds traffic to a site? Great content on that site. What builds awareness of that great content on that site? Great content in social media channels to populate the top of the sales funnel, i.e., in this case, to bring the interested and curious to the site to see if they value what they find there.
And we joined ZKQ in creating a whole lot of channels for SmartCollegeVisit.
Here's the footer on a series SmartCollegeVisit is sponsoring on Handshake 2.0:
First College Visit on Handshake 2.0, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals, is sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit, a college visit portal with tools and resources for planning campus visit travel, college visit advice from parents to parents, not-to-miss college campus sites, and more. You're invited to subscribe to SmartCollegeVisit updates, to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, and to become a fan of SmartCollegeVisit on Facebook.
How do we love SmartCollegeVisit? Let us count the ways: A web site plus a blog, a weekly sponsored series which reciprocates with weekly links in to that site from a well-trafficked blog with a solid Google PageRank (Handshake 2.0), an email subscription that gathers a database of users and distributes content to the self-selected and interested, and Twitter and Facebook accounts with which to share information and engagement.
That's a lotta love.
And that's just for tomorrow's launch.
Speaking of love, or at least a labor of love, I've been very lucky as a start-up to attract clients about whom I can care. My first client was Jim Flowers at VT KnowledgeWorks. I cared enough and believed enough to apply to become a member company myself! And another, Barry Welch of Internet Databases, developer of FurnishWEB, is, frankly, a good man who shares his experience and wisdom with me and others generously.
For ZKQ, having worked with her almost a year (one year on November 13, 2009), I knew the founder and her vision for her enterprise well enough to write my own vision for how I wanted to be of service.
For me, that was a moving and powerful launch of an expanded vision for my own company.
Answer to question #2, "How will you know when it's happened?": We've got our numbers in mind.
They're in the stratospheric rocket launch category.