If you are a biker or are crazy about custom bikes then you must have heard of Rajputana Custom Motorcycles, also known as Rajputana Customs. I happened to land up on their Facebook page while searching for exciting stories. The Facebook page packed with drop-dead beautiful bikes boasts of soaring engagement numbers. With a community of more than 24,000, I knew that Rajputana Customs has something to share with the world.
Rajputana Customs, the motorcycle outfit based in Jaipur is the brainchild of 26 year old, Vijay Singh and I was fortunate to have a telephonic conversation with him. In close to half an hour, Vijay not only shared how he has used social media but also inspired me with his thoughts about his passion, which interestingly, he still doesn’t consider as business.
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_lhi”]It is not business but a loving hobby.[/pullquote]
Vijay started Rajputana Customs in the year 2010 when his first custom-made bike – ‘Original Gangster’ got rave reviews at the New Delhi Auto Expo where he had showcased. In his earlier avatars, Vijay had tried his hands in lot of things from working at a media house, fashion photography, sport journalism, etc. and not to forget 4 years in Canada trying to give Mass Communication a shot. However what is inspiring to me is that the art of making custom bikes came with trial and error.
Vijay who has a fascinating website for Rajputana Customs, followed with creating a Facebook page soon in February 2012. He told me that initially it was just an experiment on Facebook and he started with posting pictures of the bikes he was working on in his garage. “It took time but the response has been overwhelming”, says Vijay who manages the community on his own.
Further on, I was curious about the things that he considers while he is sharing content with his community on Facebook. Vijay said that since people had joined the community, it was natural that they are fascinated by custom-made bikes so he has focussed on that. Vijay elaborate on this, “Besides this with time I have learnt a few things that has helped me to build a good community:
- Being more interactive and responsive has always helped me in getting response.
- Sharing relevant content as told before has worked for me. In my case, it has been all related to custom-made bikes.
- Adding personal experience really works. On our page people not only see our work but come with questions related to bikes, etc. which I make sure that I reply.”
I think these are some of the very simple things that even bigger brands focus on and keep chasing in building a diverse fan count. A key takeaway for SME’s who are confused about what kind of content one should share. I think the answer lies within your objective that has brought you to Social Media.
Managing a 24,000 plus community has it’s own challenges and more so when it is being managed solely by you. Managing time is a big problem for this 26-year-old guy along with answering queries in a timely manner on the Facebook page. “However I try my best to answer all queries posted by fans”, stated Vijay. He further added that a Facebook page shouldn’t be looked at as a number game to feel proud of. What matters for me is the experience they are driving from my community.
But then what about business? Has Facebook helped to get more business for Rajputana Customs? Vijay shared that 50% of business comes from Facebook and inquiries are global these days. He also added that there is no dearth of business but more than money Facebook has helped us create lot of positive word of mouth. Our page is a repository of our hard work that people will appreciate with time if you are focused.
“In India if your product is good, you will get appreciation and it holds true for Rajputana Customs. However if your product is not good then social media won’t do any good.”
A thought that I have always survived with and I am glad that Rajputana Customs is not only doing some awesome work with machines but has also raised a great community on Facebook. A community that grew on organic basis without any ad spends or any contests running on the page. Isn’t that cool?
I wish all the best to Vijay and Rajputana Customs for the future. And if you are a SME reading this inspiring story then do share what is holding you back to test the waters. Dive in and adopt social media with open hands if you really want to connect to your customers today. Won’t you?