Furqan Khan is the 21-year-old whiz kid behind Kicks on Fire, a Ning Network for sneaker aficionados (or "kicks", for the uninitiated). Furqan regularly runs promotions and contests on his Ning Network to engage members and even drive new membership. He chatted with Ning about Kicks on Fire, the promos he runs and what's coming up.
What’s your role with Kicks on Fire.
I am the founder/owner of KicksOnFire.com. My job at KicksOnFire basically involves a little bit of everything; from writing in-depth articles about sneakers to planning future projects to expand the brand and making sure that we provide what sneakerheads are looking for.
What was the inspiration behind creating Kicks On Fire?
Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I was always attracted to the sneaker culture. I found myself being extremely passionate about sneakers. KicksOnFire.com started when I realized that there was a deficiency of reliable sources on the Internet about sneakers. Bridging the gap between major sneaker brands and sneaker enthusiasts, KicksOnFire aims to provide a haven for sneakerheads and collectors by providing them with the most current sneaker news. It is important to me that people know how this sneaker phenomenon all began as well as where a large part of their fashion culture came from.
How would you describe a typical member on your Ning Network?
First of all, the social network component of the site is extremely important. Being the first major network dedicated to the sneaker community, My.KicksOnFire.com gives sneakerheads worldwide a chance to show off their collection. A typical member on our network is anywhere between the ages of 13-25 years old and has a strong passion for sneakers. As sneaker collectors, they are not only interested in the looks and appearance of a sneaker but also pride themselves in knowing the inspiration/history behind the shoe.
You have a lot of kicks giveaways on your network. How do you build each promotion?
To give away the right product, you must definitely be in sync with your readers/users. We usually pick a product with a lot of hype around it. We interact with our users via our blog, forum, social networks and other outlets. We simply ask them: "What would you like to win?" We pick the most voted sneaker and the contest begins!
What benefits have you seen from the promotions?
To participate in the giveaways, you MUST be a member on our network. So instantly, sign ups usually go through the roof during a contest. User interaction also picks up during this time.
What has your members’ participation level been like?
As a network creator, member participation is always our major concern. To boost participation, we do monthly giveaways and keep the contest entry process simple. Giveaways are a great way to convert viewers to members who actually get a chance to use the great tools we offer.
What has the feedback been like from your members?
Who doesn't love freebies? If you keep the giveaway simple and don't ask too much of your members, they usually love the contests. Our giveaways basically give our members a "nothing to lose" mentality. All they have to do is sign up!
Do you plan on running more promotions?
Definitely. Giveaways have proven to be very helpful in increasing interaction and sign ups on our network while furthering our brand. We plan on consistently doing monthly giveaways.
What advice do you have for other Network Creators who are looking to engage their member through contest and giveaways?
• Make sure you know your member.• Keep the entry process simple.• Give away something desirable.• Interact with members.• Use the broadcasting tool to your advantage.