Success Story: Renaat Marchand – WannaWafel
I met Renaat a few months ago at the Twestival celebration at the Bard & Banker. It was so loud I could hardly hear him so I politely smiled and nodded.
As it turned out Renaat had been referred to me to help him with social media marketing for his wafel business, WannaWafel.
Renaat is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and that comes through in his use of social media. Interestingly he was skeptical to begin with, but as you see from his story, he’s a convert now.
bWEST: When did you first start using social media (twitter, facebook, other) as a marketing tactic?
Renaat: Some time in March 2010, seeing Jaryd tapping away on his BlackBerry. “What are you texting about?” I asked him. “I am on Twitter” he replied.
Twitter? I had heard about it but did not know much about it.
“I can introduce you to it” he said. Which he did. I will always be grateful to have him visiting our store, what a guy! Look at me go now!
bWEST: What attracted you to social media?
Renaat: It is free! After spending all that money on starting up two trailers and the little store in one year’s time, this was free!
Later on I started realizing how many new people I reached by doing this. Seeing what other businesses are up to and how they promote their business.
The social aspect comes with it, lots of new connections, which can turn in to friendships.
bWEST: What was your first impression of Twitter?
Renaat: It took me a couple of months to realize the potential, but now I am so overwhelmed and flattered when I see somebody posting their experience with my business and sharing it with all their friends. You can’t buy this advertising.
You are able to build your self an image by selecting the people you want to follow, you are able to cut out the stuff that does not appeal to you.
bWEST: What social media tools do you currently use?
Renaat: Facebook, I am taking it more and more serious. Still struggling with staying professional and not getting lost in political or any other opinionated issues.
Foursquare is also making more sense for me, it is all about repeating the message, just like birds do with their songs.
bWEST: How has using social media affected your business?
Renaat: You can never get the same amount of feedback from people other than in real contact. There is a direct communication, if you check your messages regularly.
I don’t have a clear view on how it has affected my business but I would sure like to know how much buzz has gone by.
Just how many times your company name appears everywhere is amazing.
bWEST: Do you have a particular success story you could share?
Renaat: If signing up for a website’s updates is considered Social Media than that’s what got us in to Dragons’ Den. After this experience I wasn’t allowed to Tweet about it at all!
bWEST: What has surprised you most about using social media?
Renaat: Just how alert you have to be not give too much away about your self.
The amount of help you can get for all kind of causes, info or other.
bWEST: On average, how much time do you spend on social media per day?
Renaat: 30 minutes to up to 2 hours, off and on.
bWEST: What advice would you give to a company just starting to use social media for their business?
Renaat: Avoid talking about your own business by sharing, (ReTweeting) other people’s interests or activities. It should be a tool to interact and share.
The Social aspect is more important.
bWEST: What’s next for WannaWafel and social media?
Renaat: You tell me my friend! There is always something new.
Thanks for sharing your story of success with us Renaat…