Oh the glamour! Creating a fan page for a group

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
This week, I have created a fan page for Clowne Enterprise, a local support group for small businesses. The idea was inspired by a course on social networking earlier this year, when we were shown a video of an apparently very successful Ikea campaign, on Facebook. Ikea ran a competition featuring photos of their furniture on their fan page, inviting people to tag a piece of furniture, in order to win it. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10404937-71.html

Although I don't want to do this with my paintings, it did at least give me the idea for the group to try. There are about 60 members, including myself, and I had heard somewhere that about a third of the UK population are on Facebook, so it seemed viable. The group were in favour of it so, after meetings with them, researching and obtaining professional advice from Nick Cable of I-Run http://www.irun-barnsley.co.uk/ on what type of group was best, I created the page.

Clowne Enterprise building about to be renovated
To make the page more interesting, I included the story of how the organisation came about. I was able to find out the origin of the building by asking an elderly resident who has lived in the village for around 60 years. She had lived on that road as a child and told me it was the stationmaster’s house. I would ideally like to confirm this, so if anyone reading knows, do let me know. It then became a sheltered accommodation house before falling into disuse. For a fuller story, follow this link  http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=16639603

After renovation and extension - renamed Station Business Centre
This week, I am adding a short video of one of the members for the welcome page. I will shoot the video of her, then teach myself how to use Windows Live Movies, and post the video on You Tube before adding it to the page. I am pleased with the page, and would recommend Leanne Chesser’s blog, which was a great help. http://www.building-blocks-coaching.com/facebook-strategies.html

I have even managed to add one of my own graphics to the page
I was able to have some of the members photographed, for a press release, and to add to the page. A handful of unsuspecting small business owners turned up for the regular lunchtime meeting at Sandros, looking forward to some pleasant Italian food and sharing news and tips. Without warning, they were asked to pop around the corner to the Clowne Enterprise premises for the photo to be taken, but nobody seemed to mind – it is all publicity, after all. I sent the taller people to the back, and the shorter ones to the front, and there were one or two giggles when I handed them A4 sheets printed with the Clowne Enterprise and Facebook logos (which I’d taken the precaution of laminating as rain was forecast). These sheets were printed with very cheap ink on cheap paper – it must have cost less than a “squid” to do, and I can re-use the Facebook ones at exhibitions. The Clowne Enterprise CEO, Paul, took several photos, on my camera and I later e-mailed the photos to him for him to draft a press release to publicise the page. I drafted some information about the page for the other members to use, and sent it to him to circulate. I am on the front row wearing an orange top. The wind has blown my hair to pieces – oh the glamour!

Unsuspecting CE members outside the premises
The whole project has been done for practically no cost, or “summat for nowt” as we say in the UK. I gave my time for free, and there were no web techies, no hosting, no advertising, no film editing costs, no photographer, and for the Welcome page, I even learned to save the page I’d designed on Word as a J-peg (in order to upload to Photobucket), by saving it into Paint. This saved the cost of printing it out and then scanning it in on the scanner, as I did when I created my Welcome page for my Artists of Derbyshire fan page. I hope it will help me get orders if I can use it to get people to look at my gallery website. I am also pleased to be able to do something with such possibilities at no cost, as it is a non-profit organisation, benefitting a poor area. The more use is made of the fan page, the better it will be. I keep watching new people joining the page daily. Even if they don’t make full use of it, at least it hasn’t cost anything. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Clowne-Enterprise/147514038618496

On the artistic front, I have booked a place on a course for artists who are starting out, on how to approach galleries about having exhibitions, and also how to make the most of websites and social networking. I’ll let you know how I get on, and may feature some of the other artists’ work.

This week has been a busy one as I have completed painting our dining room as well as looking after the little one. So that my husband could complete tiling the floor, I didn’t go to art group this week and instead settled for doing a quick self portrait done whilst looking after the little one (below). On top of all this, I have had a cold as well, and this was how I felt by the end of the week!
"Cream crackered"
This week I am taking things a bit easier. More news next week.

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