Building Business and Brand Awareness With Twitter: An Interview with Fast Track

Interviewer’s Note: One useful thing to note in this interview is how Matt and Fast Track used a very specific campaign strategy to move tickets.  Whether you’re selling books, services, or tickets, reaching the right people in the social media universe is critical to achieving your goals.  Check out what Matt did, and think about how those lessons could apply to your business.

Hello Matt, welcome to the Pluggio Blog!  In a nutshell, what does Fasttrack do?

Our ethos… our main mission in everything we do is to help other companies use the internet to enhance their business. Whether it be through branding, sales, or other growth, that’s what we set out to achieve..  I think in this day and age, with the huge number of avenues there are to be profitable, it’s hard to nail internet marketing and web solution companies like ours down, but I’ll try my best!

How did you get started?

From my own personal point of view, I got started in this career as a work placement from University, and joined the company a few years ago. Since coming on full time, we’ve been growing, taking on new staff and changing with the technology curve. We’re always looking to innovate, and do something new, and I think our MD, Graham, started the company all those years ago to do just that – to grow, innovate and change the way people see and use the web for business.

What role does Twitter play in your business?

At this moment in time, Twitter plays a reasonable role in what we do. We understand the importance social networking plays for businesses, especially those like ours, and we use Twitter for pushing out internal messages and growing brand awareness, but we also use it as a medium to promote our clients. We have various social media services for our clients, where we utilise Twitter on a client-by-client basis to strategise and promote them, whether it be locally, nationally or globally.

What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing?

We’ve seen a huge impact down to Twitter and general social marketing. The thing I find most interesting about social marketing is watching how companies make use of current social trends to market themselves. For example, when there was the whole eBuyer crash when they did their £1 sale a good few months ago, we simply wrote a blog article saying what had happened and what they should have done, posted it in on Facebook and Twitter using the right hashtags and trends, and our visits jumped literally 1000% above our normal daily average on that day.

Are there any of your accomplishments with social marketing that you are particularly proud of?

I have one particular example, actually, that I will always be proud of from a social marketing point of view. Last year, we were approached by the organisers of the biggest UK Bastille Day celebration, which is held in London behind the French Embassy. They were having very slow ticket sales, and approached us to help promote through Twitter to increase ticket sales. Within two weeks, we had completely sold out the event.

Nice!  How did you do that?

We identified key Twitter influencers in relation to this event, and went on a huge following spree of everyone and anyone talking about Bastille Day. We then used our new-found relationships with the key influencers to really push the word out, and dramatically increased visits to the website, and in-turn spurred a massive increase in ticket sales. That has to be one of my favourite accomplishments, helping out such a great charitable event such as that.

How do Twitter/social media help you achieve the company’s goals?

Now that is a very, very tough question. It’s getting to a point with where every client’s goals are intertwined with Twitter and social media in general. The simple answer would be that we take social media into consideration for every goal, campaign and task we do for a client. It’s not at a point anymore where an article can just be written, put on a website and left to its own devices.

So what’s your approach now?

We now find that whenever we post an article for a client, or have something we want to promote, or anything else really that needs some marketing, we take to Twitter and go to work. It’s becoming almost second nature to us to make sure Twitter hears what ourselves and our clients have to say – but it’s getting those messages in front of the right people that’s the real task.

How did you build your following?  What kinds of people/businesses are they?

We have a few ways that we build our following. We try not to rely on the odd person who visits a website, click on a social network link and follows. We place ourselves directly in the line of the target consumers, and we do this based on demographics, by the type of person or business we want to communicate with, and then we build, nurture and grow relationships with everyone we can. People don’t want to see message after message promoting the same product, or the same service. People want to follow a business for a connection, and if business grows out of that connection then… well, great!

How will you choose who you will follow?  What do you look for in a follower?

That, again, is a very tough question to nail down.

:)  That’s what I’m here for.

We follow people who are not only of an interest to us or our clients, but for those people we want connections with. We can assure you, if we follow you, we want to talk to you. Social media is such a huge, diverse platform with literally every type of person you could possibly imagine, and that’s what makes it truly incredibly. You’re connecting with the world from a tiny screen in your pocket or the laptop in your bedroom. Whoever you want to follow, to talk to or to learn about or from, you can, and that’s the way we like to go about it. We follow people that can help us grow as a business and as individuals.

If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?

I really don’t know, to be honest with you.

What does Twitter do for you that nothing else can do?

If you can name another free platform that lets me instantly talk to people around the world, I’d like to see it… but seriously, that’s just it. It’s open, it’s free, and you’ve got a wealth of information and knowledge at your finger-tips.

What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?

People DO NOT want to be sold to on social media. Businesses should grow connections with their target market, and when the time comes for the consumer to purchase and make a decision as to who to go with, you can be sure they’ll choose the company that took the time to become their friend.

Follow Matt on Twitter here.

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