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Getting smart with Social Media

Posted on 31 Jul 2014

Blog by Abi Blundell, PR Account Executive and guest writer, Harleigh Tanner

This week we attended Downtown in Business' 'Social Media: Successful Strategies' workshop, which was presented by Nathaniel Cassidy of 3ManFactory.

With the popularity of social media rapidly increasing it is now considered vital for businesses to use it in the workplace. Statistics have shown that a huge 93 per cent of marketers use it within their businesses, which proves that people understand the value of social media and regard it as an effective and powerful marketing tool.

Here are eight fundamental principles for social media marketing that will help any business:

1. Customer Service

Social media is a perfect way for businesses to collect feedback and communicate with customers promptly. Twitter, which has 271 million users per month, is becoming so widely used for complaints that some companies have Twitter accounts specifically to deal with customer feedback.

Social media allows direct communications between the business and the customer, which allows faster and more personal responses that can be resolved almost immediately. It is important that businesses deactivate their social media accounts if they are no longer in use because customers will end up getting frustrated if they don't get a response.

More and more brands are using social media as a tool to ask consumers what they really want from a product. A great example of this is Walkers' 'Do Us A Flavour' and 'What's the Flavour?' campaigns - the company engaged with its customers and sought their feedback.

2. Loyalty

Brand loyalty is such an incredibly important part of maintaining a business' popularity and ensuring that customers keep coming back. Statistics have shown that a massive 90 per cent of customers trust recommendations by a friend or family member, but even more shockingly, a huge 70 per cent of customers are willing to trust unknown users. Whether on eBay, Trip Advisor or any commercial website I bet you've all read the reviews or seller details before making your purchase. This just shows the amount of power word of mouth can have on a business.

3. Public Relations

Social media is a cost-effective way to interact with your audience and build strong relationships with both customers and the media. It's a great way to promote your clients and your company's achievements, to communicate with customers and as mentioned above, to respond to questions or problems.

4. Brand Awareness

Get your brand out there by utilising social media to raise your company's profile. Dedicating about one hour a week commenting on customers, potential customers and news sources' social media posts is an effective way of creating awareness about your brand. Instead of doing a hard sell, offer advice, your expertise and answer and ask questions. People are more likely to engage with you if you're friendly.

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Having a presence on social media is important as it can help boost your search engine optimisation. Facebook and Twitter have teams who are dedicated to SEO so why not take advantage of these free tools?

6. Be Creative

Thinking outside of the box is key when selling your brand. Why be boring when you can stand out from your competitors? Be innovative. Use social media networks such as Vine to do quirky videos instead of generic and lengthy time consuming documents. Consumers need to be kept engaged and interested.

7. Monitoring

It's equally important to keep an eye on what people are saying about you and what your competitors are posting, as it is to spread the word about your brand. Make sure you log on regularly and respond to customers promptly.

8. Networking

Know your audience. It is important to connect with your audience at the time that is best suited for them. You wouldn't try to connect with an audience of teenage boys first thing on a Saturday morning nor would you try to reach out to mums during school pick up time! Statistics show that 36 per cent of users use social media to connect with brands they are interested in, so it's important that you send them the right message at the right time.

It will be great to chat with you all about the wonderful world of social media at the next Downtown in Business event on Tuesday 30th September. See you there!

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