Friday 27 April 2012

Don't Be Scared of the 'Social' in Social Media...Focus On 'Media'

One of the main points which strikes me when talking to business owners and marketing professionals at the moment is that there's a real fear of 'social media' out there.  From digging a bit deeper it's clear that people are (naturally) worried about how their business or products/services can ever come across as social/sociable?

"Chris, who cares what I had for breakfast?"

is a common question I'm asked...the answer is naturally going to represent a low number, but that's a great example of someone who can't visualise the opportunity.  It's not about the menial details of your life, it's about generating awareness and excitement in your staff, your brand and naturally, your offering to the market and your expertise / ability to interact & support others.

Overall, I'd advise that you take a bit of time to investigate what's going on at present.  Just because you don't use these networks yourself, doesn't mean you should write them off.  The key question is whether any of your target market do - because if they answer is yes, why wouldn't you want them to see your logo every now and then as a bare minimum?

So don't miss out on the free coverage available for the sake of worrying about making your brand seem cool!  There are a variety of places where you can grow relevant followers and keep them updated.  You can get in front of them and crucially, inspire them to do something with that information (share it with their network, engage in interations with you or act on it and contact you direct).

My advice is to think about where it would be good to be seen and here's a quick summary of the options available:
  • LinkedIn - naturally you can create and update your own personal profile regularly but you can also set-up a company page where you can add updates.  There are also some nifty advertising opportunities to target people based on their role, location, company size and more.
  • Facebook - this is arguably the most 'social' of spaces currently so ask yourself if people are likely to follow your updates there?  Don't write it off but just ask yourself whether your products/services/insights are going to be of interest to people who may 'Like' your business page and possibly adopt a more relaxed way of speaking to people through this channel.  Again there are some very good advertising options on here.
  • Twitter - this is always on the tip of people's tongues when discussing this area and it offers a great way to target people based on the words they enter in to their updates as well as the people they have in their own network.  Look in to how to hashtag (#) keywords to join in with or initiate discussions on key subjects.
  • Google+ - not to be overlooked despite less well known to the average social media user (despite a big TV campaign and no shortage of online coverage).  Google is so important to our businesses that this is only going to grow and grow in importance as we all strive to get noticed by the search giant.
Social Media is FREE
Not to put you off but it's as free as your time is.  I always urge people to keep track of how long they spend on their own updates and whether they should be working with an expert to achieve better results based on what they want to say.

Follow Us
We're the first to admit that we could do more to raise our 'social' profiles but our own social accounts will give you an idea of what the above discusses.  Sometimes client work gets in the way of our own updates but that's not the end of the world is it...if your strategy works, you should face the same issues which we regard as nice problems to have.
If you need a strategy, that's what we're here for so get in touch to find out more:

We look forward to connecting with you!

Chris Lunn, Managing Director
Digity, Marketing Consultancy

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