Dawn McGruer FRSA - Director of Business Consort (The Digital & Social Mdia Academy) www.thesocialmediaacademy.org has written a 21 page social media guide to help businesses all over the world excel in a digtal era!
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 2/21INTRODUCTIONYou’ve heard the buzz around different social medianetworks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.You’ve been told that blogs and tweeting will propelyour business towards measurable growth.However, if you’re like many organisations on the webtoday, you haven’t a clue how to use them to generatemore leads and gain more business.A recent study from Chadwick Martin Bailey Gone are the days of Cold Calling when youand iModerate Research Technologies shows can use Social Networking for Warm Callingthat 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter with often faster and more satisfying results!followers are more likely to buy brands that Social networking should be used to definethey follow through social media. your audience, locate your potentialMany organisations are looking for ways to customers, build a social relationship withcapitalise on this potential and leverage it them and promote your brand and website.for increased online reach. Why is social marketing for business soUnfortunately, most of these organisations important? Well, for instance Facebook hashave no idea where to start, or whether social over 900 million users, 6 billion minutes aremedia can be an effective business channel spent on Facebook on any given day andfor engaging with their target audience. 10 million of these users become fans of different pages each day! “1.3 million years is the amount of eye-time spent on Facebook every month”
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 3/21What is social media?Social media is a means of communication and marketing, madepossible by the use of tools on the web that lets people sharethings like pictures, web pages and movies. Social media alsoallows people to interact with these digital items in a variety ofways, such as voting, commenting or reviewing.In really simple terms, social media & social networking areabout communication.Chances are that you’ve seen or heard of Facebook is an interesting example, becausesocial media, maybe by another name. it’s both a venue for social media, and it’s aHow many of you have heard of Facebook? social network, which essentially means it’s aWell that’s social media, albeit just one place for people to connect on the web.example. For the most part, social media is aboutFacebook is a massive global service, sharing things (like music, pictures, videowhich has its biggest audiences in the US and web pages) with friends, family and workand Britain. colleagues, and even customers. And because this is about being “social”, you’ll have a profile on a website like Facebook, Latest facts telling people a little about you, what you do about Facebook and where you live. Social media is also a good way to promote ideas, projects, upcoming events etc.• Facebook has over 900 + Million members Staying with Facebook for a moment,• More than half of those are aged there are things like Groups and Pages; 18 – 24 years where people get together and talk about a particular interest. But a lot of people post• Users between 35 – 54 years of age logging photos, or send messages to each other, some in the first half of 2009 grew 276% of which are visible on their own Profile pages.• Users in that age bracket doubles every 2 months! Also, because there are things like Groups and Pages, people as well as businesses can• This will be the first year social networking create a presence for themselves, around an sites will be used in the elections! idea, an interest, a product, a service or even a• AND NOW Facebook is even becoming brand, which they get to share with everybody. prime source for divorce case evidence!!
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 4/21What does social media do?Because there are so many different social mediawebsites out there, it’s not so much a case of youasking the question “what does social media do?”It’s more a case of asking “what can social mediado for my business?”Here are a few examples of things So remember the SPICE of social media:you can do with social media: Support, Publicise, Integrate, Control and Enhance.SUPPORT The really great thing about social media isUse websites such as Facebook and that it has the potential to offer businessesLinkedin for ad hoc CRM (Customer a whole new world of opportunities that areRelationship Management); affordable, measurable and on an interna- tional scale.PUBLICISESocial media allows people to share thingsof interest with everyone, increasing thevisibility of your business and yourself;INTEGRATEAdd social media into your broadermarketing efforts;CONTROLDetect and then prevent “leaks” (disclosures)as well as inadvertent privacy violations;ENHANCEManage your company brand and reputation,either proactively as a function ofmarketing, or reactively as a preventativemeasure against bad publicity.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 5/21SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITESLinkedin is a formidable presence for connectingbusiness people from all around the world.Linkedin has been described as a globaladdress book, which is probably a little 10 ways to use Linkedinlimited, but not totally off the mark. Its • Increase your visibility.strengths are mainly in the connecting of • Improve your connectability.individuals with a focus on finding peoplewith very specific skills. • Improve your Google PageRank. • Enhance your search engine results.But in recent times, Linkedin has branchedout, offering additional services, like the • Perform blind, “reverse,” andQ&A tools, leveraging the skills and the company reference checks.knowledge of its members. • Gauge the health of a company. • Gauge the health of an industry. • Track startups. Latest • Ask for advice. Linkedin • Scope out the competition, Facts customers, partners, etc.• Linkedin has over 200 million members in over 200 countries.• A new member joins Linkedin approximately every second, and about half of their members are outside the U.S.• Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are Linkedin members.• Unlike Facebook and Myspace etc Linkedin is targeted specifically to the business world. It is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 6/21A COMPANY BLOGIS A COMMITMENTMuch like social media and business as a whole,a blog is a long-term investment and is unlikely tobring immediate benefits. So it’s best to plan a strategywith long-term goals in mind, and ensure that this tiesin with your other marketing activities.Blogging is a remarkably simple way of A SENSE OF COMMUNITYpublishing. It’s cheap, it’s easy to do and it’s You’re engaging with your customers insomething that your business can benefit a conversational style that’s difficult tofrom in so many ways: replicate by other means. And by allowing people to comment on your articles,HIGHER SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS you’re encouraging those people toGenerally speaking, a regular stream of new participate, giving them a reason to return.articles is considered appealing by the search In simple terms, a blog is a great opportunityengines, who will pay more attention to your for you and your staff to quickly share ideas,blog or website, ranking you more highly and maybe also get some feedback fromaccordingly. The more pages you write, your customers.the more there is to be found. However,it’s an exercise in quality not quantity! BETTER COMMUNICATIONS A blog is essentially a publishing platform,GAINING TRUST where you control the content of your articles,By writing informative and authoritative and also when those articles get published.articles, over time you’ll build confidence,trust, respect and a sense of “expert status” COST EFFECTIVEaround your business. In terms of communications, blogging is very low cost but has the potential for a high ROI (Return On Investment).
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 7/21FIVE IDEAS FORYOUR BUSINESS BLOGThere are plenty of good ways to useyour company blog, which include:ONEShare up-coming events and promotional HOW CAN SOCIALactivities, presenting ideas and sharing MEDIA IMPACT ONfuture plans with clients and stakeholders, YOUR BUSINESS?to gather feedback. In so many ways!TWOQuickly highlight issues pertinent to your But with effort, planning and someindustry or field, or to specific clients. dedication, the impact can be a very positive one.THREEGive your staff a voice, so they can sharetheir own thoughts and ideas. THE PROSFOURKeep customers up to date with your OK, so you’re not Microsoft!blog feed, to which they can subscribe. But you’d like to know more about how those guys make social media work for them, right?FIVEGive some of your knowledge away for free!
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 8/21SOCIAL MEDIAMARKETING TACTICSYou can’t expect to compete with Microsoft,but you can replicate some of their successeson a smaller scale, just by watching what they do:• Inject an element of fun, fear or controversy into campaigns; WHAT YOU GAIN• Offer something unique that you either know or suspect people will FROM ALL OF THIS? find interesting; • A huge amount of exposure• If you’re aiming at a younger audience, and brand awareness; find out where your audience is and • An increase in subscribers target them on their terms and in to the blog or website; their language; • An increase in the number• Viral marketing can be videos like of contacts, some who the Cadburys advert with the gorilla became friends; playing the drums, which did pretty • The added value of “expert well on YouTube; status”, which helped to change• Also, things like “linkbait” are people’s perceptions controversial or wildly unbelievable • Thousands of links from websites stories that are so compelling, news and blogs, still accounting for a websites want to link to your story, lot of residual visitors to this day. which can massively raise your profile; In addition to the visits, links• A list of something, such as: are an indicator to the search “Top 10 worst football moments” engines as to just how important which people love because they’re a web page is. instant and often funny;• And lastly, give something away for free! Often, this is in the form of shrewd advice, or insider information.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 9/21REPUTATION MANAGEMENTIf you’ve spent years building a reputation amongst clients andsuppliers around a product, a service or your brand, what youdon’t want to see is that entire investment of time andeffort simply dissolve to nothing. I’m sure you’ve heard it before,but you really have to be proactive rather than reactive!ONE MANAGE Now that you know what to do, Brand Management really shouldn’t sound like aUse the search engines and social big scary thing! It’s a pretty simple bunch ofmedia websites on a regular basis to activities built around best practice.find information about your company.Use the company name, address, aswell as any abbreviations or nicknamesfor your company, and also the namesof employees. MANAGING THE SOCIAL MEDIATWO REPAIR PROFILE OFSee if anything breaches company A BUSINESSpolicies that are currently in place.If you find something on the web that’s It’s now quite common forpotentially damaging, contact the author prospective employers or potentialand try to work out a solution. clients to use Google to perform research into you or your business.THREE VOCAL Ensure content reflects aHaving a blog or issuing regular press professional image!releases will help drown out anythingon the search engines that’s potentially If people are saying bad things,damaging. It’s a crude tactic which, Google will show those bad thingsalthough it doesn’t address the as likely as it will the good.underlying problem, can be effective.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 10/2110 PERSONAL BRANDINGHABITS OF THE PROSIf you’re serious about personal branding and brandmanagement, here are ten things you’ll see theprofessionals doing when blogging:ONE THREEComments on other people’s blog articles Have a theme? Stick to it! You don’t see tooare your calling cards. Be sure to use these many truly successful general blogs. Mostas an opportunity to draw the focus of the might start that way, but as those few thatblog post towards your comment. stick around longer than twelve months willMake sure you drop in a relevant link to an attest to, some trimming of the excess fatarticle of yours in the URL field. That way, inevitably takes place.you’re not just making a statement; you’re The web rewards those that carve out theiropening the door for bringing the dialogue own niche. Working within a niche andto your own blog article. becoming an authority within it is betterA word of caution here. Misuse of this idea than being one voice in a crowded room.can be misconstrued as being “spamming”,which you really don’t want it to. If you’re FOURgoing to comment, then make sure you’re Be seen, be known. Make sure you’re to beadding value to the article you’re found in all of the right places, such as Ryze,commenting on, or don’t do it at all. Xing etc. As a rule of thumb, if one of your competitors is there, you should be there, too.TWOThink and act like a professional. Don’t get FIVEdrawn into heated debates, unless you’re Don’t be afraid to sing your own praise. Let’ssure you can do so without just throwing face it, if you don’t, who will? To begin with,away your dignity and losing some serious few people will know who you are, so youcredibility into the bargain. need to be seen. If you’ve had some recentThat said, don’t be afraid of contradicting successes (for example, links from a majoror correcting someone, but be sure that website or blog) then talk about them. Useyou’re right. those successes as a driver to help you with the next one, wherever that may come from.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 11/2110 PERSONAL BRANDINGHABITS OF THE PROS CONTINUEDSIXBe consistent with your image — every blog In addition to this, make sure people can dopost, every comment, every instant message, stuff with your stuff. By that I mean makeevery email. If you feel that you’ve got a ‘house sure you have some way of syndicating yourstyle’ then apply that style wherever you go. articles, either by a newsletter or from a feed subscription.SEVENBe an opportunist. As an example, if you’re NINEa writer covering a particular industry, and Be seen, be known, be available. So you’ve gotnews breaks on a story that’s very much your audience, you’ve got some notoriety, butlocal to your topic of choice, make sure you’re aloof! Someone might catch a quickyou’re there. comment exchange with you occasionally, but that’s usually it. Make sure people canHowever, it’s not a race, so be sure to put contact you.the emphasis on quality and not speed.There’s no point being the first in if all What you’ll have noticed is that some ofyou’re doing is saying: “Hi!” Sometimes these suggestions are about being ait’s as well to be fashionably late. shamelessly self-promotional. Sometimes, that’s what you have to do.Over time, as your reputation grows, thosethat know you will wait. Additionally, beingbad-mouthed could be a chance to make TENfriends and influence people. Be yourself. Above all else, to make this kind of thing work, there are few a prerequisites,EIGHT which I hope I’ve covered above. But there’s one prerequisite to rule them all. It’s thereGet a blog and get ahead! Blogs routinely when you’re commenting on blogs. It’soutrank websites on the search engines there when you’re talking to someone andfor a number of key reasons. explaining yourself to them for the first time.The main reasons are that a typical blog It’s even there when things go wrong, and youhas a constant stream of ever-changing then make that graceful recovery.content, there are a great number of That quality, that essential personalout-bound links to other sources, and ingredient is you, yourself and everythingthere’s usually a community of people that makes you who you are.commenting on your articles.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 12/21MEASURING YOUR SOCIALMEDIA SUCCESSESSuccess in business rarely amounts to anything if you don’tknow how to replicate that success. To do that, you need to knowwhat you did right in the first place. And equally as important,you will also need to know what things you did wrong.In terms of Facebookpages, I strongly recommend IT’S NOT JUST ABOUTcustomisation – Why? NUMBERS! – IF I WASWell social media is a 2 way relationship – TO ASK YOU ABOUTYou want to educate them about your brand YOUR FACEBOOK PAGEand interact with them by adding value. FANS – YOU MAY SAY WE HAVE OVER 5000 – GREAT BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?Does this Page engage you?
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 13/21MEASURING YOUR SOCIALMEDIA SUCCESSES CONTINUEDOr would you be moreengaged by this page? We customised our Fan Page and noticed a 100% increase in actual engagement – by this I mean we could see how many people watched the video, clicked through to our website, signed up for our newsletter & requested free social media guides – We could engage at that point by sending welcome emails and building relationships – We can now monitor conversions of newsletter signup to order! Get your Facebook Page customised for as little as £149 + VAT and start realising the results – Call Julie at Business Consort on 0800 334 5784
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 14/21ANALYSING THE TRAFFICTO YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITEThings that you can know about the visitorsto your company website or business blog include:• What website referred them to you;• How long they spent on your website Encourage your or blog;• What other pages they visited there; visitors to share• The web browser software and version You can’t always count on the people they’re using (Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, visiting your web page or blog articles for example); to share everything they find interesting.• The size and resolution of their computer So it’s a good practice to encourage display (1400 x 900, 32bit, for example); them to do just that! To help them• What country they’re from and what along, it’s as well to make the process language they speak; as simple as possible.• The operating system on their computer A good idea is to place buttons at the (Microsoft Windows Vista, for example). bottom of your articles, that link to theKnowing these things tells you a great deal top social media websites.about your visitors. Once you get a clearerpicture of where people are coming from, youcan begin to plan your efforts around what youhave learned.Fortunately, there are some excellent toolsavailable to you to help you track and monitor Most of these websites offer buttonsthe visitors to your website. with special links to submit your articles.Google Analytics is a free service provided byGoogle which offers a comprehensive set oftools to analyse and monitor the visits to yourbusiness website or company blog.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 15/21BE AN ACTIVESOCIAL NETWORKERYour social network can be a great source ofnew information about issues related to yourindustry or niche — use this knowledge.Additionally, being active in your socialnetwork can move you into the position of Managing yourbeing an influencer, the kind of person thatsets the agenda for others. In such situations, social profilesbe generous towards those that influence you. To establish a presence in any social network, you’re probably going toBy giving someone a worthwhile, quality link need to be a member of one website orin any article that you feel they have helped another, such as Facebook or Linkedinyou to write, you’re endorsing them as a etc. Here is where you create for yourselfperson, which not only adds credibility to a personal social profile, detailing thosethem among those in their social network, things about you that you feel matter.but the same credibility and recognition isseen by the search engines too, having an If you have joined several sitesappropriate, if somewhat relative, affect on perhaps try using one site to managetheir ranking. the content of all your networks such as www.ping.fm
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 16/21PRIVACYManaging your personal social profile will inevitablyinclude sharing some information about yourself with others.What information you choose to share is important.In the same way you wouldn’t tell a complete By choosing carefully what information youstranger your home address or telephone would prefer to share, with whom and wherenumber, you might not want to share with should be a prior consideration, not one afterothers those details on the likes of Facebook, the fact. The search engines tend to have veryfor example. There are real world implications long memories and what was once in plainrelated to sharing information about yourself sight but now hidden can be found again,via Facebook. retrieved from the cache of Google, or someIs this the kind of thing you want potential or other search engine.current employers, or even clients to see?Additionally, there are potentially moreworrying repercussions, such as identitytheft, which can be accomplished with somevery simple details about you.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 17/21CONSISTENCYI often use my full name as my username on various websites,I use photos of myself and not some obscure avatar, and I useconsistent messages and dialogue.Consistency can easily be seen as being boring,but look at how the likes of Sony, Apple, Nike oreven how Jaguar and Audi manage their brands:Use www.namechk.com to see if your brand/company name is available in each socialnetwork to ensure consistency.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 18/21GREATER ENGAGEMENTMany businesses make the error of selling not telling –with social media engagement will reap the rewards.For example, don’t send these awful welcome emailsI see all the time listing in great detail the vast arrayof services/ products you provide – Establish theneed first and build the relationship!Try sending a welcome message to thank Segment your network based on yourthem for joining your network and ask a sales cycle – Send a Welcome email –question – Get them to engage back with Fact find – Is there a need? – - Send moreyou because as soon as you gain interaction information - Set up a meeting? –the stronger your relationship is. Add them to email newsletter etc.The key to social media is to draw yourtarget market to you by engaging throughdiscussion – Ask questions and initiateparticipation – Fact find and establisha need.
Growing your business with social media www.thesocialmediaacademy.org 19/21CONCLUSIONLike it or not, social media can touch your business,sometimes from the other side of the world.Whether you feel social media has any placein your business is entirely up to you. Training courses are available at 3 venuesBut at least now hopefully you’ve got a bettergrasp of what social media is and how it can or can be hosted ataffect you, your staff and your business. your own premises.To learn more on Social Media why not come Cheshire – Business Consort offices,along to one of Business Consort’s Social Suite 12 Wilmslow House,Media Marketing training Courses – Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AGwww.thesocialmediaacademy.orgOur courses will give you the knowledge of London – &Meetings, 154-160 Fleet Street,how to apply social networking tools so that London, EC4A 2DQyou can start using them straight away withinyour business and start reaping the rewards. Also available Online – all you need is access to a computer and phone line Trainer: Dawn McGruer FRSA – Marketing Consultant & owner of Business Consort with over 10 years experience in digital marketing.
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