Small business: Social media with Tasty Pot

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Natalie and Andrew Vivian of Tasty Pots. Photo / Natalie Slade
Natalie and Andrew Vivian of Tasty Pots. Photo / Natalie Slade

Natalie Vivian, co-founder of Tasty Pot Company with husband Andrew:

What were your main ideas when you started out with social media?

Starting off as you mean to continue. Both Andrew and I are the one's that manage our Facebook page. Aside from not having the budget to invest in a social media agency, we both feel that at our stage of business it's important to have the people that know the company best looking after this side of things. Through our Facebook page we are interacting with avid fans and it's important we (as founders) always stay connected with them. In our minds they're 'the boss'.

Our main ideas:

- There are two main ways to get the most out of Facebook. 1) Informing, understanding your followers. Giving them what they want to read and hear. 2) Listening, taking the time to hear what it is that your followers are saying.

- Communication

We book in regular meetings (our monthly newsletter, consumer surveys) with 'the boss' (Tasty Pot eaters). It's important to check we are on the right track, keeping ourselves in line. Also allowing them to stay in touch with us.

- To build the Tasty Pot brand

Quality is the lynchpin of everything what we do. From the product itself right through to the people who work at Tasty Pot. We hope this rings true by the way we manage our Facebook page.

- It's a creative way to spread the word. The more people that opt in to like our page means that more people are getting to enjoy the Tasty Pot experience

- A way to reward our Tasty Pot eaters. We feel that if people have taken the time to follow us, that in turn, we should take the time to give something back. It's rather nice being liked.


What have you learned?

For us, it's understanding as much as you can about the people that decide to opt in and like your page and potential future likers. Sometimes things work best just because you post them at a certain time of the day and a particular day of the week. For example a post at 8am on a Monday morning might reach far more people than posting at 5pm on Friday afternoon.

Involving our followers. Getting them to interact with us. For example, when we go on a sales trip round the country, we always ask on our page where they would like us to be. Often the response has been extremely helpful and enabled us to get our little pots into the right places.

Consumer research - when looking to launch a new recipe or range, running it by our Tasty Pot followers and family, making sure we are on the right track. They are ones that will be buying the new products.

What hasn't worked?

Putting up a post for the sake of putting something up, we learnt quickly from that one. You definitely don't want to annoy your followers.

What misconceptions do you see with other companies about the way they interact on social media? Jumping on the bandwagon without truly understanding what social media is about. Companies getting someone to run their page who is inexperienced. Who doesn't know the company inside out. Bombarding followers with irrelevant information.

Who's doing it right?

Our most inspiring brand abroad for us would be Innocent Drinks, they really know how to make you smile. In New Zealand, Collective are doing it pretty well.

What is most effective for you? Facebook, Twitter etc? Are there any new players in the arena who are making a splash?

We haven't yet delved into the world of Twitter. Although we do keep our eye on it in case it becomes more relevant to us in the future. We're currently concentrating on Facebook and our monthly newsletter and trying to get that right. We keep a close eye on businesses and brands that we are very fond of. It's fascinating seeing how well some businesses interact with their followers.

Next week, we will be looking at some New Zealand entrepreneurs and how they get the word out about their inventions. What are your channels? YouTube? Through company websites, blogs?
Tell us your stories. Email me, Gill South at the link below:

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