May 2010 archive

Social media – do you or don’t you?

I’ve been working this morning creating a couple of new social media pages for the businesswomen’s network that I Chair: Women Ahead.

Have a look at the twitter page @womenaheadgroup and join the Women Ahead facebook page

I am finding more and more when I am advising my clients on their marketing strategy that people are still very unclear on how or why they should use social media. I always say that using social media MUST be done as part of your overall strategy – after all its just another piece of your marketing toolkit.

So first of all, what are some of the options?

These are just some of the sites which will appeal to a large cross-section of people who are active in social media. There are others which can be of specific interest, depending on your business & customer type.

The other consideration is of course your time – you need to be putting in a little bit of regular time to keep the communication going, otherwise your ‘connections’ will lose interest and all the hard work you put into attracting them will be lost.

Here are a few examples of how businesses can use social media to reach audiences.

If you are a customer facing business like a hairdresser, using a Facebook page & Twitter to tell people in your local area about any offers you have on, or new products that they can try, should work well. You should also be sending out hints and tips to showcase your expertise and give a bit of extra added value to those people who connect with you. You can also use competitions to encourage people to become connected and recommend your page to their friends.

If you are a photographer, having a Flickr photostream lets you display your shots, tell people what projects you have been working on, and link to your website to raise your profile.

YouTube is a good way to either give people an insight into you and your service, by recording a short video telling them what you do, or to show your premises, highlight an event you ran etc. Again, linking to your website will drive inbound traffic, and will improve your Google rankings. And you can publicise the video via other pages like facebook and twitter too.

LinkedIn is an online network mostly used by people in business to allow them to connect to business contacts, take part in group discussions and ask for online recommendations of their product or service by their peers. It is also used for recruitment. I recommend LinkedIn for firms who are selling a product or service to other businesses – its less relevant for consumer facing targetting.

The social media arena is a bit like shifting sand, as the popularity of sites rises and falls – for example, Bebo.com, which was heavily used by a younger audience and has now been left behind as people shift to Facebook.

Not so long ago, it was unusual for businesses to have much of a website, now you need not only a good website, but you should be using social media to interact and have conversations with your audiences. You need to take the news about your products and services out to people – your competitors will definitely be doing it!

I run several pages for my clients, who find that this is the best way to tackle social media – its easy for me to do it. Their audiences aren’t aware of any difference, and the business owner can get on with what they do best – delivering their product or service.

If you are interested in finding out more about how I can help your business communicate through social media, or want some help to get the ball rolling, get in touch!

Have a good week,

Alison x

Dundee’s Business Show

Well I am shattered today!

It was an early start for the My Pinkie Promise team today. We were exhibiting at The Business Show at Dundee’s West Park.

It was Donna’s first exhibition with me to promote My Pinkie Promise, and today we talked to a LOT of people about the marketing services that we offer. She did a very good job and it made such a difference not to be on my own at an event like that. I was able to get round and talk to the other exhibitors, though I did cry off the speed networking today.

Many thanks go to Janet & Joan from Events for Business for putting together such a good event – they will be talking to us very soon about the Fife Show, I’m sure.

We were very pleased with the responses when we told people about our Foundations of Marketing service which involves our 1-2-1 business support for companies looking to put together plans for the development of their marketing, business planning & communications.

And we did some research on an exciting new development coming from My Pinkie Promise which was also incredibly well received and will be coming to a venue near you in the not too distant future.

So now we’ve got a bit of planning for that, a lot of follow-ups to do from today’s show – and a couple of people who want us to go in and work for them straight away.

I am a very happy but tired bunny who is away to curl up with a good book and try to switch off a bit. Running my own business is very rewarding but extremely hard work – I would definitely recommend it though.

I’ve got a business trip to Inverness coming up on Monday, followed by a marketing presentation to a group of Dundee business people so I will probably do a bit of unloading on you next week once I have recovered from all that.

Have a good end to the week!

Alison

x

PS Did I forget to mention in ‘print’ that I had one of the best weekends of my life last week when my beloved Dundee United won the Scottish Cup! My family had a great day out to the game, followed by a whole weekend of celebrations, culminating in a pitch invasion at Tannadice from my 11 year old son: what a blast. Roll on next year! :)