One of the aspects of starting Quoats which has been most rewarding and simultaneously most frustrating to me has been social media. Before I started my own business, I was aware of the power of social media, but I now have a much greater understanding of how companies use it to communicate and influence and am constantly thinking how best to use it for Quoats.
The best thing about social media is that it’s fun to do. To my great surprise the posts which seem to get most interaction are the behind the scenes ones (turns out it wasn’t just my Mum reading my blog) where we tell you what’s going on and what it’s really like to run a start-up. This is a definite positive because my expert subject is what’s happening at Quoats! I consciously stop myself talking about it when I meet friends for dinner, in case they have more important news than my technical specifications, like the fact they’re moving to Australia…. My favourite social media moment so far was the video I put on Instagram of Rob’s Grandad teaching me how to plough, partly because I love sharing what we really do on the farm and partly due to Rob’s cousins amusement that her Grandad was on Instagram!
I will admit that I initially thought social media would be one of the easier things on my Quoats to do list, because I already used it, right? Wrong. It turns out there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. I’ve learnt a lot, but there’s still a long way to go. I thought I’d reached a huge milestone when I managed to do our first (and so far only!) Facebook ad. It took me a long time to work out how to do it, but it turns out if you spend £14 it doesn’t get you very far…My next task is Google Analytics but when I feel a bit bewildered I tell myself that big companies have teams of people whose job it is to do this, I’m imagining these very clever people don’t also move the stock into the store room by hand, go to the post office to send out orders and liaise with the designers on packaging regulations!
One of the hardest parts of social media for me is balancing it with other tasks because it has a tendency to take over. The best social media pages are immaculately curated, whereas I am constantly wondering what to post next, and it takes me a long time to put something together because I’m still learning about this stuff. Social media can also get a bit absorbing - it’s a huge buzz having people interact with your start up on social media, especially if it isn’t a friend of mine obligated to be supportive (but thanks so much to those friends who do, please don’t stop!). I once heard someone say “likes are not sales”, so I try to balance the social media with other parts of running a business.
However, this brings me onto exciting news – in the spirit of learning something new we’ve put together our first social media competition! We’ve teamed up with the lovely people from Dandylion Teas to give you the opportunity to win a Valentines hamper. Not only is the tea delicious, but founder Francesca is one of my favourite people to bump into – she’s brilliantly bubbly and always fun to be around! So if you’re looking for inspiration for Valentine’s Day and would like to win some delightful tea, paired with some nourishing porridge for your chosen one (or yourself, because why not!) head to Twitter now…you’ll find us @QuoatsUK – good luck!