Creative marketing & social networking

I wanted to write something on this subject because its something I’m being asked virtually everywhere I go in business at the moment.

Do you tweet? Is your brand on Facebook? Do you have a clue what YouTube can do for your business? And how about blogging? LinkedIn? Email marketing? etc etc etc!

Well I am a definite convert to the use of online social networking tools. Its important to look at how some of these strategies can really bring your brand to life and help others to begin to develop a relationship with you.

Its also a vital tool in ENGAGING with people who might be your customer. These methods allow you to strike up a conversation with people – some more immedate than others – but all with a purpose of reminding people what you are all about and helping them to see how they can buy from you.

And of course another great feature of all this is that its FREE to use!

“Free?” did I hear you cry? Absolutely – the only resource required is your time. So now is it beginning to make more sense to you?

But a word of caution before you all dash off to sign up everywhere – remember that once you start you cant walk away from it or post content which could damage your brand.

You can use Facebook to create a page for your business where you tell people about offers, events and business developments.

On Twitter, its about engaging with a wider audience and interacting more with people to tell them what you are doing, what is happening in your company and what your products are all about. Did you know that you can search for keywords in people’s conversations and strike up a dialogue with them?

Say for example, you sell widgets, and you find that a group of people in Edinburgh are tweeting about how dreadful their supplier of widgets is – well you introduce yourself and tell that how fantastic your own widget is! They’ll have a look at the kind of tweet you’ve published in the past to help them decide if you are on the level – then you could be well on the way to a new sale: all from the comfort of your office or sofa!

And LinkedIn is a business community where you connect with people – usually those that you know initially, or contacts of other contacts. You can also join virtual groups of people who share an interest of business expertise such as ‘Widget Developers’ who will post discussions, help each other with problems and perhaps meet at events in the real world.

Blogging is a way to post short articles around your area of expertise – although often people will blog about anything and everything that comes to them at the time!

You can post videos onto YouTube which can be a great way of bringing you and your brand to life – have you heard the story of the girl who posted make-up tutorials and is now making her very own range of cosmetics and working with one of the big firms in the industry?

Email marketing – to people who you have engaged with and who have opted in to receive emails from you – is a VERY good way of keeping you in touch with people. Return on investment is reported as two to three times higher with email marketing than standards marketing. It can give you a cross selling opportunity, highlight special offers to your customers, and tell them about developments.

But what do you do if you feel that you’d like to engage with some of these practices but just havent got the time to spend on all of it? Well how about have someone do it for you?

Appoint someone in your office as the person who updates the Twitter and Facebook accounts – as long as you have regular updates on what is there, what will be posted etc so that you can be sure it fits with your marketing strategy and wider brand values.

Use your own contacts within business to populate your LinkedIn page and make sure that everyone in the business knows how to add contacts into the email marketing database.

Its all about doing small things often to keep on top of these strategies so that you are more disciplined and likely to keep it going. Simple, often and sustained – that’s the best way of making sure you keep it going for a long time to really create a strong online presence and dialogue with contacts.

And why not build it into your strategy going forward? Use a consultant to work for you on a part-time basis to help you engage with people and keep ahead of your competitors by using the latest methods to get your business message out there and prominent in the minds of your customers to keep the tills ringing!

Facebook has more than 300 million active users, with 50% of those logging on to Facebook in any given day. The fastest growing user is 35 years old and older. More than 6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide) and more than 10 million users become fans of Pages each day.

Can you afford to ignore this opportunity? Its a fun way to engage and promote your business and products to the wider community with a minimum spend and huge potential.

Click my links below to connect with me on some of these sites and remember and talk to me and engage – that’s what’s important: Enjoy!


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