“I just needed a place to work on my [then one-year-old] startup—somewhere that wasn’t a café, bookstore, or my apartment.”
Two years later, Mike has gained a whole new group of friends, a weekly poker crew, important business connections, a new PR strategy—and 26,000 new Facebook likes in the last month alone. All of which he credits to a business relationship he’s formed at Workbar.
Mike joined Workbar way back in February 2010. Shortly after, fellow Workbar member Nick Taylor left his Albany office to start working remotely in Boston.
“I vividly remember meeting Nick for the first time. He was working with some of his friends at the other end of the table and introduced himself to me and asked what I did,” Mike recalled. “It was very organic. He was the first person I connected and became friends with.”
Over the next two years, Nick and Mike became important building blocks of the Workbar community. They became friends, roommates, and exchanged business ideas and strategies over lunch, beers, and with others in the space, regularly.
When Nick began to build the back end of his new company SocialContests, he approached Mike to beta test the new product with SnapKnot.
Nick’s new venture, SocialContests, is a company that designs targeted social media contests for brands using their existing fan base and social reach to exponentially increase brand exposure, sales and collect key customer insights. “I knew I could do it; I just needed someone to use as my guinea pig,” Nick said about the pilot program with SnapKnot. “I don’t know if I would have truly pursued this idea if it weren’t for running into Mike and for us both realizing that we could help each other out with this project.”
This was the first time SnapKnot would launch a contest of this scale, so Mike’s expectations were limited. “We were giving away a high value prize, so we expected interest and activity, but we had no target for traffic or new likes,” Mike recalled. “We just wanted to increase exposure – at the time, new member sign ups were a side goal. We really wanted to see what we could do using this platform.”
The proof is in the pudding – 26,000 NEW Facebook fans and counting!
To put it modestly, the contest has been a roaring success – in other words, it’s gone viral! SnapKnot has gained 26,000 new Facebook fans in little over ONE month since launching the contest. Twitter mentions have increased from 2-7 per day up to 154/day and just under 7000 total mentions since the contest launched.
Along with increased exposure, likes and web traffic filtering directly to SnapKnot.com, they’re also capturing important data with each entry and building an email list of qualified leads to target in the future. Nick’s built a high level tracking system into his platform as a key feature and so they could both watch how the contest lives and breathes, as well as measure the contest’s exact reach and progress.
They have found that 50% of people who land on the contest page complete the entire entry process. But what’s interesting is that 70% of all contest entries were referred by someone who had already entered – the power of social sharing!
To date, they’ve had over 6,300 entries from professional wedding photographers, over 100 new Diamond members sign up and an interest in annual memberships from several customers.
For now this is only the beginning, there are still 2 months left in the contest and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In the last 24 hours of writing this article and, thanks to a partner mention, SnapKnot snagged another 2,200 new fans. They’re already thinking ahead to their next contest which will target brides, their second audience.
Looking at these initial results, Nick feels confident that he has a valuable solution to offer brands and marketing teams. He’s currently packaging his product and laying the ground work to start approaching companies and exploring potential partnerships. “The results we’ve seen have been amazing, far exceeding either of our expectations. It’s given me the motivation to take what was just an idea and turn it into a business.”
An environment fit for collaboration
Both Mike and Nick admit that Workbar collaborations extend past their own experiences living and working together, well into the rest of the community.
With the help of Torch Communications, a boutique communications firm at Workbar, SnapKnot released its first press release and is currently working on an extended media plan. Mike also continues to contract marketing and copywriting work to an alumni Workbar member who recently moved to London. That’s 3 separate companies, all members of Workbar, helping SnapKnot grow like a weed in its fragile startup years.
In Nick’s case, he has both hired and been hired by several Workbar members for freelance web and graphic design work. “The Workbar member email groups have been huge for me,” he says. “I’ve picked up many paying clients. I’ve also leveraged internal communications for introductions to people outside of Workbar.”
They both agree that when they came to Workbar, something clicked. Nick told us, “I really feed off the energy. Workbar creates a nurturing environment for new ideas. It’s been a while since I’ve had this type of exposure. Even with a full time job, on the fringes Workbar allows me to be an entrepreneur.”
If you’re interested in talking to Nick about his product, how it could help your brand gain exposure, and becoming the next SocialContests beta client, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone 518.225.7321 or @ntaylor360.
About the Author: Evona Niewiadomska is the Events and Digital Media Manager at Workbar. As of January 2013 she is an independent Digital Media & Design Creative with a specialty for infographic design and social media strategy. Check out her website, evonawiktoria.com or contact her via email email@example.com or twitter @evonawiktoria.