Horn Ok Please, a community of more than 30,000 fans has been organically built with sheer hard work by the author Kartik Hopper Iyengar himself. I was first introduced to his community when his first book Horn Ok Please-Hopping to Conclusions was out on the store. We had covered the news here. After that I have very closely followed the community Horn Ok Please and believe me I have learnt many things from this very talented man. The simple ways derived by Kartik to engage and grow his community on Facebook may help SMEs.
1. Finding your own voice: In social media, you can’t survive by copying Flipkart or MTV India. You will have to figure out your own voice for your brand. Kartik has done the same. People might debate that the tone and the style is not sensible or cool but if you check the fan page then you would know what kind of discussions he is driving from it. So what matters is what your community is expecting from you. If they are out there to know about your book and you serve them with India-Australia test match content continuously then for sure they will call you a moron and desert your fan page in no time.
2. Creating cool content: I have followed Horn Ok Please for some time now and believe me the 30,000 plus fans are with him because of his amazing content. Kartik was very clear from day one. He carried the same tone and content that he had discussed in his first book, which is a smart move. He talks and generates the content in the same style in which he has written the book. It’s very obvious that if I am reading his book, I would love to communicate with him on his fan page in the same tone. With this Kartik makes sure that he keeps his content fresh and topped up with current affairs and he keeps experimenting with them. As an author he knows the pulse of his readers and the same reflects on Facebook. Social media is simple only if you be what you are.
3. Always out there for the community: Kartik is always out there for his community without any airs. The way he is active, he also makes sure to leave a reply to everyone who is talking with him. However sometime back I have felt that the updates were spamming my timeline too often. Nevertheless his fans don’t seem to mind it. The updates seem to be well under control now so I am happy about that.
4. Appreciating Fans: Kartik has an unique way of saying thank you to his fans. He doesn’t have a logo on Facebook fan page instead it is his fans who become the face of the fan page. What more can you expect J However I have only found girls being showcased on his fan page profile picture. On second thought, why would you like a guy to be your cover face 😉 The essence is that you will have to find ways to say thank you to your fans. For a SME, I know it is not always possible to offer free gifts but then a simple thank you will work. So make sure you appreciate your community and add a personalized essence to the message.
5. Engaging with Videos: Along with the content Kartik has played with videos and I think it is a smart move. Kartik just didn’t upload random videos but he went on creating Channel 69. So it is ongoing live updates from Kartik when he is on the road, which he is most of the time. Videos are the best way to put across your message with fans and one can take the same thoughts and think how it can be implemented.
6. Taking a stand: In social media there is no place for diplomats. So as a SME if you really want to make a mark then please take a stand. Don’t worry, everyone has an opinion but if you don’t take a stand believe me no one would want to talk to you. Kartik does it loudly so if you are a SME then please don’t hide behind your logo and be blind. Your fans would be happy to be associated to a brand that is true and has a backbone of its own.
Apart from the above ways, I have seen that after book one Kartik has continuously engaged and come out with new ideas to increase his fan base. Not only has his fan base increased over the period but also Facebook helped him to do indirect marketing for his second book. He has blended content smartly and shared tidbits about his writing journey, which I consider to be a very smart way of marketing yourself on social media.
Kartik has a target to write a series of books or blooks or best-loo-books (in Kartik style) and by the end of his series, I am confident that he will have a huge army of hoppers with him. It goes without saying that there would be a big chunk of people buying his books and I would also love to see if Facebook users can buy books from the fan page having a Hopper discount in the future. What say, Kartik?
I have learnt many simple ways of interacting with fans from Kartik and I am sure you may have found some inspiration too. I would really appreciate if you could share your thoughts in the comments section.