This week we introduced TinyOffice to the world. We showed it to strangers and we have started advertising that people can come in and see the TinyOffice we are working on right now. It was probably one of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in awhile.

There is such vulnerability in putting your life's work into the public arena. Something strange happens when you start using social media as a marketing tool rather than just a space to see what your highschool friends are up to.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I go through phases of being in control and other times when it controls me. It is widely recognised that social media addiction is a  behavioral addiction. Every time you use social media your dopamine signals in your brain increase, as this positive feeling wears off we go back for more. 

I truly feel lucky that facebook wasn’t a thing when I was at highschool. I can only imagine how devastating those tiny thumbs up would be during my teenage years!

I read an amazing book called “Bored and Brilliant” by Manoush Zomorodi a few years ago which totally changed how I let social media exist in my life. 

We use social media on our phones so absent mindedly. How often do you pick up your phone without actually needing too? I used to check the time and look up realising I’d just wasted 15 minutes watching some video about a man digging a hole that facebook thought important enough to add to my feed.

It made me angry.

Angry at myself for getting sucked in and angry at social media as a whole. It's even more upsetting when you have kids watching your every move! My kids have always been interested in my phone and the reason is because I was so interested in my phone. From a kids perspective phones are probably their biggest competition for their parents' attention. It's pretty crazy when you think about it, we look at this tiny black bit of metal/plastic that is the equivalent of us basically leaving the room. The kids don’t care that you're just quickly checking the weather, you just put up this force field around you that completely blocks them out.

I’ve changed my social media habits a lot since reading ‘Bored and Brilliant’ - the best tip is to give yourself restrictions, like only being able to check your phone at certain times of the day. Time limits are helpful. Set a timer for 5 minutes when you first jump on your phone and put your phone down when the buzzer goes off. I even bought a digital alarm clock so I didn’t have to have my phone in my room at night. Don’t bring your phone out when you're with other people. This one is really obvious when you start to do it. It's such a habit just popping your phone on the cafe table when you're out for a coffee, what it’s actually saying is that, Yes, you're important but not as important as the comment I might get on my latest instagram post!  

I have some pretty good strategies in place for not letting social media get the better of me but this week I had to drop them all to promote TinyOffice. I often design social media packages for my clients. Cult Copy is a perfect example of handing over the design assets and guidelines then its up to the client to do all of the posting and interactions with their customers. TinyOffice is the first time I’ve been on the front line! 

To be honest social media manager is probably my least favourite role! I think it's because I have such high expectations of what I want our customers experience to be that I stress over simple things, like responding quickly to queries for example. I also have people asking quite technical questions about our building system that Matt needs to be answering, so every 20 minutes I’m asking for his response. 

When you launch a product or service there are two really important things social media plays a big part in. Firstly you need to create ‘buzz’. You need to get people excited about your product. In our case we invested in quality 3d renders of what our TinyOffice was going to look like, before we even built one. We want people to imagine this amazing premium space that sits beautifully in their backyard. We want to inspire and help people imagine what their life could look like with a TinyOffice in it. 

Once you’ve got your ‘buzz’ on the next most important investment is ‘word of mouth’. In my opinion this is the most important outcome of all of your interactions with customers. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on advertising, if your best buddy tells you that this product is amazing and you should try it out then you are way more likely to do so.

In 2020 especially, Facebook and Instagram are the main stages for creating ‘buzz’ and for people to express “word of mouth”. When people like what they see they share it and that makes your reach so much more powerful. When you are trying to sell a premium product, like TinyOffice you need the word to spread far and wide. If it was just T Shirts you could rely on family and friends but not everyone needs a $30K garden studio!

I’ve just now decided to implement my social media restrictions for TinyOffice. I’m not a full time social media manager and I have the utmost respect for anyone who is. I’ll give myself half an hour to check and respond to messages in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon/evening. I’m not going to give a time but I will use the timer on my phone! 

The key in consistency. Consistency builds trust and shows commitment. For TinyOffice I’ve opted for 3 posts a day, 2 days a week. No more, no less. It's probably recommended to do more but I can’t commit to that so I don’t. People start to expect the post and look forward to them. Much like this blog, I get it out every friday before lunch (sometime, just before lunch) but that is what's expected and me delivering on that expectation builds trust! At the end of the day people want to engage with people they trust!

It really is exciting. I posted to the Tiny House Australia facebook page advertising our panels for DIY projects and we posted on Ballarat Buy Swap Sell to rustle up some local business. Both were really well received and we have 6 email enquiries. No jobs yet but we have 6 more connections than we did before!  

I hope you enjoyed reading my social media meltdown this week. Remember if you are interested in getting these bulletins straight to your inbox, simply fill in the form below! You’re wonderful!

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