Social media has transformed the way businesses market to their customers, as reliance on traditional marketing techniques decreases and social media becomes a significant part of a company’s marketing strategy.
Four years ago I was asked to take over the management of the Chamber’s social media. At the time I didn’t used any social media at all and it’s fair to say there was a bit of a learning curve!
Social media marketing is not just about selling specific goods or services, but also about brand awareness and engagement. Whilst the initial investment is free, there is an ongoing staff cost in creating and issuing content, which should be considered by businesses. In this day and age there is no doubt social media is highly cost effective in its ability to retain and attract new customers and has become an essential part of the Chamber’s marketing strategy.
Here are some of my top tips for using social media for your business:
• Your social media strategy
needs to be created and delivered as part of your company’s marketing strategy. It’s just one element of a business’s marketing toolkit and should not be seen separately.
• Planning your content is essential
- At the Chamber we use Hoot Suite to monitor our daily activity and schedule our planned tweets in advance – it certainly helps us ensure we don’t overload our followers at certain times of the day or repeat ourselves.
• Brand your social media platforms with your logo
and ensure you use header pictures and images which represent your businesses brand. It’s a great way to remind your followers who you are and portray a professional image.
• Give people a reason to follow you
on social media by sharing your knowledge. Giving hints and tips rather than posting content which is just selling your products and services - as this can switch people off.
• Share your press releases across all channels
– at the Chamber when we publish a press release, we will share the story on both LinkedIn and Twitter as well.
• Develop a social media policy for your business.
Things to consider are whether it is appropriate for staff to use personal twitter accounts to promote your business and recommending employees choose a professional picture on their LinkedIn profile.
The main thing I have learnt is no matter what size your business is, there is now an expectation you should have a presence on social media. A few years on and we have grown the Chamber’s social media reach significantly and I’m now even doing a dissertation for my MBA on how people use social media as tourists – please help me and take a few minutes to fill out my questionnaire
Donna began her career working Barclays, Shrewsbury before moving to Barclays technology site in Knutsford, where she worked in IT Service Management for a number of years. Donna joined the Chamber in 2010 and has been managing the Chambers website and digital marketing for the last four years.
She is currently studying for an Executive MBA in Leadership & Management at the University of Worcester and is expecting to graduate in November.