Tag Archives: managing social media

Social Media – 4 Different Reasons Why Businesses Wanted to Work with a Social Media Agency

cc imaaage2014 was an interesting year for us as a social media agency.

It was the year that when pitching for new business, the dominant question ‘Justify to me why we should be doing social and just how much return on investment I am going to get from social media activity’ – was surpassed by  ‘We know we need to be getting involved with social, and we want to get it right, can you help us with that?

It was the year we saw a wider range of size of business and business sectors looking to get started with social media – from startups through to global and extremely niche business to business ones.

Have we reached the social media tipping point?  I’d still say, not quite – as there is still an awful lot of skepticism out there – and the appetite for becoming a ‘fully fledged social business’ is still really very small.

But… attitudes are changing – just as they did with email and ecommerce.

What’s interesting is that the objectives for what people want to achieve out of their social media activity varies – of course, in business most people are keen on bottom line results, however, they realise that’s not the sole purpose of social – and that there’s more to it – such as:

  • Targeting The Right Influencers
  • Building Relationships
  • PR
  • Building Brand Awareness
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Advocacy
  • Being Part Of An Multi-channel Marketing Approach

So I thought in this post, it would be useful to share just a few of the ways we are working with our clients – to showcase that ‘being social’ is certainly not a one trick pony – and to provide you with practical knowledge of some of the tactics employed:

  • Client A 

About: Large global corporation – EMEA division – Security Sector.

Objective:  Looking at developing influencer relationships in a particular product range to build relationships, broaden awareness and build brand advocacy – and ultimately referral.

Why: The organisation had seen significant and successful lead referral from a couple of key influencers in their sector. They were looking to capitalise on this activity by finding more relevant influencers, building relationships by providing engaging, relevant and purposeful content.

By researching their sector we were able to find the relevant influencers on social, track relevant conversations, share useful and purposeful content with them and start to build relationships with them – assisting in broadening ‘advocacy’ – as a means of more higher engaged referral.

LinkedIn and Twitter were dominant platforms used for specific targeting and given the niche nature of the sector.

  • Client B

About: New Product Line – Lifestyle (B2C).

Objective: Established organisation created a highly differentiated product line – new brand, new website, zero awareness.  Objective to build awareness and drive visibility, social PR, online traffic and ultimately sales.

Why:  The client created a new business to support a new product line for a completely different market. It therefore, wasn’t feasible to draw upon the current brand – as strength came from the differentiation. Therefore, the objective of social was to support the launch of a new brand / product into the market – growing awareness, tracking conversations and connecting with relevant people, influencers, tradepress, journalists – and generally building a brand story and sharing relevant, purposeful and appetising content.

Main channels used: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, G+

  • Client C  

About: Established brand in highly niche sector.

Objective: Getting closer to customers and building advocacy.

Why: Being a business to business supplier only, with a large field sales team – the brand / business had no real access to end users (in fact on their website they purposely made it very difficult to contact them directly because they have very limited internal customer support team – as this is managed via the field sales or their retailers).  However, they were aware that customers wanted to talk to them directly – and so ‘social’ seemed a sensible route.   The ability to track conversations and brand mentions, the ability to respond directly to the customer, the ability to build in their retailers into the conversations too – to assist in driving sales.

Main channels used: Facebook, Twitter

  • Client D

About: Global Manufacturer

Objective: Environmental Awareness Campaign

Why:  The client was keen to use social media channels to connect with the general public, relevant influencers, clients and partners, politicians and policy makers, both in the UK and overseas – to build awareness of a sector specific, environmental campaign which is becoming very much aligned to their brand.

Given the audience, social channels offer attractive reach – and clear opportunity to connect with key influencers and share relevant and purposeful content to educate and build awareness.

Main channels used: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

There you have it –  4 completely different reasons as to how businesses are using social media.  Social media activity is just one of the many content and marketing touch points to grow engagement from your audiences.  If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging, creating content or any other digital marketing services – then do get in touch with us!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

 

How To Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely

social media channelsOnce your business has made a decision to jump on the social media bandwagon, the next decision is to decide upon what channels to use and how much time do you want to spend posting, tweeting, pinning, cricling, creating or following?

When making these decisions, businesses often make the mistake of signing up to all the most popular networks, hoping to have a business impact by reaching the right customers straight away. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to do them all – or at least do them all well.

Businesses that do try, often go in all guns blazing, then after a week or two, due to the lack of responses to their online activities, the use of social media channels by that business rapidly dwindles – and they’ll often end up with a Facebook page with a couple of half-hearted posts on them, or Twitter feed with the latest tweets being 6 months old. This end result can actually be more damaging to your business than not having any social network presence at all.

The one piece of advice we can give you is to choose your channels wisely – don’t try to be everywhere! The important thing you need to figure out is which channels are dominant for your market.

In social media, it’s about quality, not just quantity. Doing two or three channels really well with consistent, highly engaging content is what will lead to conversion and customers.

Here are a few ways to come to the conclusion about the right social media channels for you:

  • Where does your business sit in the social media space?
  • Are you aiming to build a community presence? If so then Facebook, Twitter and Google+ could be for you.
  • Does your business use a lot of images? If so then perhaps Instagram or Pinterest is the way to go.
  • If you’re a business can provide professional and useful insights for others within your industry then get yourselves on LinkedIn.
  • Think about your target audience – where is your target buyer and what channels are they using?
  • Have a look at your competitors – what channels are they using? Are they doing well on social?
  • Do you have time to be working on all the social media sites? How many channels do you think you can do really well on?
  • Have a clear social media strategy in place – then you can work out a plan that you can realistically implement.
  • Keep in mind that social media takes time, especially if you want to build up a reputation – so don’t get frustrated if you’re not getting instant results.

It’s very important that you choose the right channel or channels from the outset and it’s equally important that you do not get distracted in trying to support your profiles on those channels.

Whichever social networks you choose to use, be prepared to sufficiently resource the activity – this will take some time, skills and prompt responses to build up the right social network for your business. Once you’ve learnt how to master one or two channels to begin with, you can than progress to the next one.

You’ll be surprised at how much time an effective social media presences takes up – so don’t overburden yourself initially, as that is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

Is It Time You Gave Your Social Media Platforms a Spring Clean?

Spring has arrived. The days are longer and it’s finally time to come out of hibernation and organise that once a year spruce up of your home – and your social media platforms.

Below we have highlighted our top 5 tips for a social media spring clean,

1.     Rethink your goals for social media

Businesses are constantly changing and adapting, perhaps your business plan has changed or you may have found a new target audience. If there have been any relevant changes within your business these should be reflected and updated amongst your social media.  Our advice is to evaluate your goals for social media, it may be that you need to change the levels of engagement with your audience, or that you need to refresh your follower activity.

Take the time to evaluate how well your pages are doing and if there’s anything you can improve on

2.     Look into the best ‘Dashboard’ option for your business

Tired of jumping to and from different platforms? It may be that you have two different Twitter pages; one for customer service and another for overall business activity. If you have multiple accounts you may find a social media dashboard really useful. At Carvill Creative we favour HootSuite.

HootSuite is fantastic for organising Twitter feeds; you can have all of your Twitter accounts on one easy platform. This dashboard also lets you create lists, so you can save certain hashtags which may be relevant to your business. Below you will see that we have saved the search term ‘#socialmedia’.  Searching for keywords or hashtags in HootSuite and saving them as conversation streams, enables you to pick up on any conversations which may be relevant to your business and get in touch with potential new followers or customers.

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Among many fantastic features HootSuite also offers a scheduling option. This allows you to schedule tweets in advance so you are never stuck in back to back meetings worrying about your social media activity.

This is particularly helpful over the bank holiday weekend – HootSuite will send out your tweets whilst you’re laying back in the sun with a Pimms.  Fantastic.

Want to find out how to set up HootSuite?

Do be mindful that there are other social dashboards and scheduling tools you could use such as; Facebook pages manager, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social etc. They’re all pretty good – so it comes down to personal preference.

3.      Refresh and update your content

Without a lot of hard work and elbow grease, your house won’t become magically clean this April. Without good content, your social media platforms won’t do their job properly.  Content needs to be researched, organised and concise.  Unless you are a food blogger then your followers aren’t going to be interested in the cheese sandwich you just had for lunch. Tailor your content to reflect your business values and to what your followers would want to hear.

For more information on content, see our blog.

4.      Take a look at who your following and connecting with

It’s a myth that the more people you follow the more followers your business will gain and your sales will go up. Targeted following is the only way forward when it comes to promoting your business on Twitter. You are who you follow.

In turn, by following too many irrelevant accounts- not only will your social media feed be clogged up by irrelevant cheese sandwich stories, but you will be faced with useless information which your business can’t harness.

Be specific and targeted and connect with people strategically.

5.     Don’t forget to update your website

So, your social media feeds are now looking fantastic and polished, but it’s important to make sure that you update your website too. Remember, you want to refresh and update the whole online brand, not just one part. You could update any recent testimonials, upload photos or even update your services if these have changed.

To ensure that your site it constantly refreshed with relevant and purposeful content, we recommend a business blog. By blogging, you’re updating your website frequently with fresh information for your audience to see and inevitably building your thought leadership and increasing brand awareness on key search engines.

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We hope you like our ‘spring clean tips’ – what are your tips for a social media spring clean? Tweet us @CarvillCreative

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.