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Julia Bramble explains how to stand out on social media

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 March 2015

Social media expert Julia Bramble, of BrambleBuzz

Social media expert Julia Bramble, of BrambleBuzz

Archant

Social media is not a dark art, says JULIA BRAMBLE, of BrambleBuzz, and in this first instalment of a four-part series, she explains why it is so important for your business and how you can make the most of it effectively

The use of social media is now a given for any business. Why? Because, with very few exceptions, our customers are having conversations on there and we have a huge opportunity to get involved too.

However, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Social media is just another form of communication, so we can use it however we want - for research, customer service, or positioning, for example, in addition to the more obvious goals of generating leads and enquiries. Successful social media marketing is, however, very different from traditional marketing as we are now generating interest by attraction and online ‘word-of-mouth’.

If you’re still not convinced about the business relevance of social networks, the figures We Are Social published in January this year will help. They report that 59 per cent of the adult UK population has an active social media account and the average daily use of social media is two hours 13 minutes. That’s not far off TV usage of just over three hours; just think how much a TV ad costs!

Of those with an active social media account, 96 per cent have a Facebook profile and 30 per cent are on Twitter. A survey by Lithium found that 26 per cent of consumers list social media as one of the top three ways they discover new brands and products; 52 per cent use social media to connect with brands. Even with a modest Twitter following of 100, a single tweet can reach 500 people.

To use social media successfully for your business, be clear about what you want to achieve and put a plan in place. A good plan will support your business goals and will also define the people you need to interact with. Basic research into which social networks your prospects use and what content they enjoy will enable you to create a mix of content designed to attract them and build relationships. You can use the search tools in each network to find specific people to engage with.

You can track progress with business-related metrics, such as the number of enquiries driven by social media each month, or the traffic to your website generated via Facebook.

In short, to get social media working for your business have a plan, know your customers, follow the ‘little but often’ rule (you need to be active every day), grow your audience, engage in conversations and measure your results.

Weave social media into your business day-to-day and you will soon find that it amplifies all your other marketing and PR activities and opens up a whole new world of opportunity for getting and keeping customers. n

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