The brand + the start

Linen House logo This is where I start. We set up half way through 2010 and after a few months of fumbling around and operating with a poor site we have finally got things tip top and running smoothly – we even have a regular flow of orders coming through. I’m now embarking on a brand building exercise in this highly competitive marketplace. We have no history online and a fairly limited budget on which to try and raise the brand profile/position amongst the target audience.

We have been working on the core channels for the first 6 months; PPC, SEO , Affiliates and we’ve dipped into market but until now we have’nt had a sufficient database to make this channel worthwhile. Now I want to put Social Media at the heart of the communications plan (I say plan in the looses sense of the word). We’ve had a Facebook page, a blog and a twitter account since we launched but due to circumstances we have not utilised them as much as we were hoping. Different story now though.

I started out be thinking about our position in the market and how we would have been perceived and my conclusion was that no one had actually heard of us. Big problem. We have no brand equity at all and had no where to talk really -we pay almost all of our customers to come and shop with us. First thing to do was gain some exposure and pick up some fans and followers and get some good content onto the blog.

I wanted to create high numbers of followers quickly so I did something which I shouldn’t have – paid for followers on twitter and likes on Facebook. I used a site called fiverr on which people will do jobs for you for $5. it’s quick , easy and cheap. I did this with the view that I didn’t want my ‘real’ audience coming to a Facebook page with only 5/6 ‘Likes’ or a twitter account with only 200 followers. probably not best practice but it gave the brand a sense of community – even though there was no community or engaged audience at all. I’ll have to deal with this as the numbers increase.

It’s cheap – but I think for visitors to these channels the new numbers (c2000 twitter followers and c400 Facebook fans – still small) give a reassurance about the brand. The nest step is building on this group with an engaged and earned audience.