– Richard Voisey, Nwes Business Consultant
My straightforward recipe for business success is communication plus relationship building equals opportunity. Social media provides platforms to generate opportunity.
The marketing mix
One method to assist you with your marketing is social media. As part of you marketing mix, it can be used to build brand awareness and potentially capture the right people at the right time with the right message.
One key point I need to make before we go any further. Whether you use social media should not be based on if you personally like it or indeed use it. It should be based on the general profile of your intended customers – do they use it!
What to consider…
- Think about how you can start to take advantage of these platforms for your business. Where are your customers?
- Are they engaged? Can you provide them useful content there?
- Is that content leading them back to your website?
- Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages It also has its own set of challenges to create, build, and maintain relationships.
- Make sure you monitor the success as with any marketing initiative.
There are six basic options when it come to social media. They are in alphabetical order, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. I have listed some of the key features as a start to help you decide if they are suitable for your business.
- It will be for current and past friends, ex school friends, neighbours, club members, groups, business acquaintances and those with common interests.
- Many people mix business with pleasure so expect crossover.
- It helps to develop a brand.
- It will expect you to spend cash to advertise your business, so your message is seen rather than by those who want to see it.
- Develop your personal profile with interesting content that is not controversial.
- Link your worthwhile messages to blogs, events and websites to drive traffic.
- Groups help you to target specific messages to the right group. Create a group and join groups as necessary.
- If you are a B2C (Business to consumer) model, this site will be more helpful for you.
- This site is ideal for content creators.
- Every business should be registered with business.google.com to ensure that search engine requests display the business names, address, website, map, description and images.
- The content is indexed by Google, giving your content the improved ability to to be found during searches.
- Google treated new information like a customer going into a shop so ensure that content is changed and introduced regularly to be picked up on Google analytics.
- A visual platform that is owned by Facebook so there is correlation between the two platforms.
- It enables you to post images as well as videos.
- You can combine a group of images and video to create stories
- Its perfect for mobile devices and as 85% of web access is now conducted on phones and tablets it provides good purpose.
- It has the capability to provide up to six accounts which can help those looking to promote multiple brands/products/services.
- Links cannot be used although hashtags can to assist in driving traffic.
- Primarily a (B2B) Business to business platform.
- The posting of quality articles, blogs and events will help to raise brand awareness and opportunities to sell.
- It also acts as a recruitment site to sell your services and for recruiters to find you. It also posts job opportunities.
- The personal profile content will drive the site activity as it is you representing your business activity.
- You can set up a business page although the effectiveness of this is questionable.
- You can create and join groups to communicate with likeminded people.
- An online service that allows you to share images through social networking.
- It offers a ‘pin board’ that allows you to post ideas that you want to remember and then share them with your friends through Facebook.
- A visual site like Instagram and often used by Arts, crafts, designer and food businesses.
- Personal an business accounts are available.
- Pictures from blogs and articles can then be loaded onto Pinterest
- Messages or ‘tweets’ which may include hyperlinks, are limited to 140 characters.
- It’s a fast moving, instant information service where messages can be repeated.
- You can direct messages specifically to individuals or businesses or on subjects that are trending.
- Multiple accounts are available on this site.
- It’s a great tool when developing a brand.
To find out more about starting or running for your business, call 0845 609 9991 or visit www.nwes.org.uk