Tag Archives: outsourcing 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.

 

Why a Blog is a Central Part of your Social Media Marketing Activity

In my view – (and I’m sure there are some exceptions), every business should have a blog.

Blogging enables you to unlock what’s going on within your business – and share it.

  • Case studies
  • FAQs
  • Client wins
  • New team
  • Events you’re creating
  • News items
  • PR announcements
  • New services
  • Changes to services
  • How things work
  • Why you do what you do
  • Who you are
  • Customer service fixes
  • Your expertise, though leadership
  • Your viewpoints
  • Your advice

All of the above provides just a quick list of the types of content you can be sharing about your organisation. And what better place to share them than via a blog, which ideally sits within your website – encouraging traffic and eyeballs back to your site to explore more about your organisation.

Two areas that all businesses should consider when it comes to blogging:

1)      We are now in an age where businesses (and people) have the resources to publish content at the touch of a few buttons. Setting up a blog (via wordpress, blogger or typepad and other blogging platforms) is a relatively simple process and provides businesses with a platform to share diverse, purposeful, educational and entertaining news via one central platform – (via mobile if you wish) enhancing your online visibility in many ways.

2)      People (ie: consumers) are increasingly fed up with ‘push’ marketing – they don’t trust the advertisers, instead they trust themselves and the content they come across and that people are sharing and talking about when they are out there on good old Google searching for the products, services or information they require.  Very simply the more relevant and purposeful content you have out on the net – then you have more chance of being found.

How does your blog tie in with social networks and social media?

Your blog is ‘social media’ – and provided that you enable your blog to be sharable by others – including the share buttons on your content – then you have created media – and that media is socially enabled.

The media you create for your blog – can be a mix of written articles, video, audio, images – it’s over to you.  My advice is to keep the format of your content mixed (a mixture of written word, audio, video, images etc) – just to keep things interesting. However, having said that, your content should be focused on helping you to deliver your business objectives – and therefore, what you create is more important than the format you create it in.

Once you’ve created your ‘media’ – and posted it to your blog – (which is socially enabled allowing anyone who reads or interacts with that content to be able to share it onto their audiences), then you can also start sharing it via your own social networks too.

Take a look at the following video to illustrate sharing and traction process via blog content

We hope this blog and our video help you to better understand why blogging is central to your social media activity.

Any views, questions – do get in touch.  In the meantime, be social and share…

 

Michelle Carvill is author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses – and is also the Founder of Carvill Creative.   

 

 

5 Key Elements for Success when Outsourcing Social Media Marketing Activity

At Carvill creative we actively manage social media activity for clients – and have been doing so for a few years now.

There’s no doubt about it that in the past year social media has grown in popularity. businesses of all shapes and sizes are learning how they can be leveraging the far reaching social channels to engage with customers, generate new business and promote their products and services (to name just a few of the ways the channels can be utilised).

As they explore the realities of social media engagement, business owners and marketers alike are understanding that there’s more to it than simply hiring an intern for the summer and letting them loose.outsourcing social media marketing

Only a year ago if you had put in the search terms ‘social media management’ into Google – the sponsored ads would have been pretty much non-existent, try it today and you’ll find a range of solutions on offer, from large advertising, pr and marketing agencies, right through to independent ‘gurus’ promising to change the way you market your business forever.

What those business owners and marketers that have researched the social media channels are comprehending is the fact that being ‘social‘ and active on the channels needs to be planned for, managed effectively and – to do so properly, is a pretty time consuming role.

So here are our 5 key things to consider when outsourcing your social media marketing:

  1. Home from home  – By this sentiment, we mean, that the partnership you have with the people, person or agency you are working with really needs to be seamless. After all the beauty of social marketing is that it enables you to have ‘networked conversations’ and share your opinion, beliefs, expertise and brand values, therefore it’s absolutely integral that whoever you have outsourced this key marketing activity to really understands the heart and soul of your business and brand and can therefore communicate for you effectively.
  2. Constant contact – Ensure that you are in constant contact with one another. It’s important that you are still very much the ‘custodian’ of your communications. What your social media partner shares must be ‘on message’ and so agree objectives, key messages and the process for getting ‘ sign off’ before anything is shared. There are resources agencies use which enable clients to see what’s pending to share. So, whilst your partners are doing the leg work – blogging, creating compelling content, listening in and sharing – your role is to check that you are happy with everything that is being shared.  It may be that they identify an opportunity for comment or to expose thought leadership, so be sure to have someone available for them to contact for such instantaneous opportunities.
  3. Blend into your marketing mix – So, the social team are briefed and fully immersed in your brand values and ethos, what’s also important is that they fully understand your overall marketing objectives and have an opportunity to review all marketing activities you have lined up. For example, if you have an annual event scheduled, then how can you leverage the social channels too. If you are running a direct mail campaign, then consider how you can promote your social channels. Can those you are looking to garner response from via the campaign ask questions via Facebook or a Twitter thread? Perhaps it make more sense to create the direct response mechanism to drive traffic to your Facebook page to grow likes? The key thing is to ensure that the social channels are ‘blended’ into your marketing mix where possible – and your social marketing team should be working with you to ensure you leverage the channels effectively.  But of course, if you don’t let them know what you’re up to  – then how are they to know! So be sure you share.
  4. Regular reporting – Retaining a close understanding of performance is key. Just as with any other marketing activity, you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t, so that you can practice what we call ‘intelligent marketing’ – continuously learning and therefore optimising your marketing activity. Ensure that you receive regular reports, at least monthly as to how your social marketing is progressing. Simple benchmarks such as growth in ‘relevant’ followers and fans, and reach, ie: how far your messages are being communicated are just two of the basics. And then, of course there are other key indicators such as a analysis of website traffic to see if the channels are delivering more, a general uplift in traffic to your site and bottom line activity such as new lead generation.
  5. Joining up your activity – Closely aligned to lead generation in point 4, is ensuring that your website or desired landing page is fit for  purpose. How often we see campaigns whereby the objective is to drive new lead generation however, the place where all marketing activity is driving to falls short on the ‘call to action’ point. Your social marketing partners should be experienced in joined up marketing activity and able to advise you on mechanisms for capturing leads, giving you another key element to measure performance against and ultimately provide you with opportunity to capture interest and generate new leads.

Social marketing, just like any other form of marketing can indeed be time consuming – thinking strategically about your objectives and sharing them very clearly with the team you choose to manage your social marketing activity is absolutely key.

Outsourcing to experts makes sense for many businesses. However, do bear in mind that you will reap the greatest returns when that outsourced team is fully enabled to become an extension of your own business. It’s like taking on a new employee, they have to have an induction into your brand, products and services. Put that effort in at the beginning and then their knowledge will just continue to grow.

So, to summarise, brief them well, keep them close, communicate regularly and ensure they continually understand your objectives – follow these steps and and it should be the start of a beautiful relationship.

@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog