My beginning with Sprout Social starts, where a lot of my stories start – Lindy Hop, a social dance that started in the early 19th century. I have been running a lindy hop, or swing dance, event at Fizz Bar and Grill for the last few years. I had inherited the event while it was a less than successful weekly dance party. Since the very start, I didn’t use the typical routes for advertising the dance event. No flyers, No ads. All of my promoting has been online. I was quite under employed so it was out of necessity. In the beginning, I completely relied on a Swing/Lindy Hop site called Windyhop. I’d simply update the calender, write an article for an event, or start up a thread in the forums.
Then this Facebook thing comes along. I create a group for Swing Dancing at Fizz and then a fan page.
Then this Twitter thing shows up. After having @nuprinz (my personal account) for a bit, I give starting up@SwingAtFizz a whirl . Outside of the incredible word of mouth from Swing Dancing at Fizz’s reputation after all these years, these three social media aspects are the only forms of promotion I’ve used. Most dancers at Fizz might not remember a time where we were ecstatic to break even or have 20+ dancers visit us. I have to look back at this time and laugh while getting my foot stomped on in a 100+ dancer crowd this past Monday.
This increase in business did not escape the eyes of the manager of the venue where I hold the dance event. After a while, Fizz Bar and Grill approached me asking me to take the reins as their social media manager. This opened a whole other world of online social media to me. Foursquare became a force to be reckoned with, as was Yelp.
I was struggling to keep my personal, Swing Dancing at Fizz and Fizz Bar and Grill various accounts in order. Then comes along my swing dancin’ knight with an ever-present iPhone, Sam. He tells me: “Check out this site…it should help you out.” He sends me a link to www.sproutsocial.com.
I use Sprout Social over the next few months to not only juggle the Facebook posts and tweets between my 3 accounts but to also to monitor my new foursquare and yelp accounts. And lo, they have various searches that help me find other tweeters that have interests in lindy hop and/or beer gardens! Amazing! And what? I can schedule my posts/tweets so I don’t have to wake up at ridiculous hours or hide my internet time from my “real job”? Saviors!
But Sprout Social was in beta. Since I’d beta tested Windyhop a couple of times, I had no problem whatsoever to point out what I did and did not like about the site. Soon, I’d gotten a tweet from the CEO @Justyn asking if we could meet to discuss how I use the site. I ended up meeting the entire founding crew over a few beers at Fizz.
A couple of more months go by and I get an email from Justyn asking if I could do what I do for the Fizz accounts but for Sprout Social. Just a few hours a week to start…
And now, here I am, in the Sprout Social office, getting prepared to introduce to our incredible Sprout Social community an improved and evolved product. Just a little more than a year after initially meeting the Sprout crew, I continue to grow my various communities with Sprout Social. Just like my swing dancing, I truly cannot imagine a time that I won’t be involved with community building with social media.