2. Special Report: Why social media can’t be ignored if you want to grow your business Who is behind Initi8 Marketing? Initi8 Marketing is directed and managed by myself, Thomas Crawshaw, with many basic tasks taken care of by my team of outsourced professionals. My mission with Initi8 is simple, to help businesses profit from social media. I have been an avid social media user from 2007, when I used various social networks to promote myself as a DJ. Back then, I never realized the marketing potential of social media for all businesses, even though I was marketing myself successfully. The goals I was looking to achieve were: • Increase plays on my mixes • Increase fans on my Fan Page • Generate additional event RSVP’s • Create dynamic relationships with promoters • Get more work offers My activity, mainly on Facebook, directly led to more exposure, more gigs and more money! Now, with several years experience and industry training in social media, online marketing and community management, Initi8 helps SME’s (Small Medium Enterprise) cut through all the hype around social media to create an effective strategy that delivers results in line with the specific goals of that company. We help businesses ranging from hairdressers, restaurants, events companies, festivals, national magazines and many more to drive traffic to their websites, increase conversions and engage their target audience among other measurable goals.
3. Social media’s rapid rise in recent years gave marketers an exciting new toolbox for communicating with customers and prospects. Suddenly, established marketing & advertising tactics such as email, Adwords and others were seen as old fashioned, one-‐way channels that consumers started to tune-‐out. Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offered an alternative: two-‐way communication channels where marketers can listen, and then engage with customers and prospects in real dialogue. This is not to say e-‐mail and other forms of marketing are dead. However, as consumers’ buying habits are changing due to the content now available, buying decisions can now be influenced through social media before they part with their cash, and increasingly, many customers visit social media sites to get an idea of what YOU are like as a company. Businesses need to be aware of this and adapt accordingly. The meteoric rise of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have challenged marketers and businesses alike to feed the content hungry users that spend a surprising 405 minutes per month on Facebook alone! Why should you believe me? I have been fortunate to work with many local businesses as well as national magazines and festivals, achieving outstanding results, but more on these later. Whenever I meet a client to chat about social media, there is always one inevitable question that pops up time and time again and quite rightly so. What’s in it for me? This question relates to the return on the investment you will be making when hiring a company like Initi8 to help out with your social media. There are many ways we can define a ‘return’ because this is directly related to your strategy goals. So if your goal is to increase the number of customers eating at your restaurant (from Facebook) then this return can be measured in £££! But if you have the goal of reaching a wider audience, then your return will be measured in hits to your
4. website, number of likes, number of people talking about, how many people your posts reach, etc. This is why it is extremely important we define your goal(s) and determine how to measure them in your strategy, then report back to help improve your results. Let me give you some examples that demonstrate these goals in context. Renegade Hair Salon Goal – to acquire new customers by offering 25% off first cut via Facebook & Twitter. Measurement – collect names of users that have been given the discount then cross-‐reference booking system in salon to determine who has booked and how much they have spent. Evaluation – Calculate ROI (Return on Investment) over initial 3 months – Gained 8 new clients = 500% ROI (based on value of a customer over 1 year). AlphaFit Magazine Goal – To increase awareness, reach and interaction with the magazine through social media. Measurement – Monitor number of likes, people talking about, reach, hits from Facebook to website, re-‐tweets, mentions and followers on Twitter. Evaluation – Over a 2 month period we analyzed data from social media and website – Facebook is currently generating 1/5th of all traffic to website, increased engagement of an additional 70 people talking about that created a viral reach of 6,113 from 514.
5. Twitter has proven very effective, with an increase of over 500 followers and between 20-‐30 re-‐tweets and mentions per week. Crooked Ways Festival Goal – To increase awareness and visibility of Crooked Ways festival on Facebook & Twitter. Measurement -‐ Monitor number of likes, people talking about, reach, hits from Facebook to website, re-‐tweets, mentions and followers on Twitter. Results – In just the first few weeks we were able to increase the reach of their Facebook Fan Page from around 7000 on April 25th to 64,600! This is almost a 10x increase. Their twitter page has received hundreds of mentions and re-‐tweets in the short space of time we have been running their campaign. The Process
6. from Consultation to Reporting • Before our meeting – prior research is always necessary to give me a background of your company, ideas of what might work and an indication of what type of marketing you are doing already. • Initial meeting – The purpose of a face-‐to-‐face meeting is to determine what your goals are, who your target audience is and how successful your current marketing strategy is (if you have one!). This also presents an opportunity for you, the client, to ask any question you may have at this stage and to discuss the social media management/strategy solutions we offer. This meeting typically lasts between 30-‐40 minutes. • Social media strategy – After a decision is made and one of our solutions is chosen, your social media strategy will be written based on the information noted from the initial meeting. The strategy will cover the main social networks you would like to create and grow a presence on, usually for a period of 6-‐12 months. If a more in-‐depth analysis is needed, a half-‐day strategy session can always be arranged. • Working relationship – An important part of a successful campaign is a strong and healthy working relationship with a contact at your company. Open communication allows information to be relayed back and forth so both parties have a clear vision of what is happening with your social media and ensures all data and reports are shared. • Reporting – This crucial step will evaluate data collected against your goals to determine the success of your social media campaign. We will analyze all the data we have access to and present it in a clear and logical manner detailing suggestions for improvement. What’s put you off? There may be many reasons that you have downloaded this white paper today, usually there is some sort of problem that you want to fix and you’re curious to see what we can do. Your problem will usually be something I hear on a daily basis when meeting with businesses. Some may include…. • “I’ve just started using social media for my business, but I’m not seeing any tangible results from my efforts” It is likely that you haven’t been using social media long enough. If you’re not using advertising, your campaign could take several months to gather momentum. Also, only broadcasting updates to your audience instead of interacting and creating conversation won’t deliver any return. You will need a proper strategy and management campaign to create goals and a measurement system to really drive results. • “I don’t really understand social media and how it works” It’s hard to overcome a lack of understanding without experience, so I would suggest you start using social media for personal use. When it comes down
7. to your business, you need be spend your time productively. Trying to get your head around social media for your business will only eat away at your time and may not even deliver a return. Don’t risk making a costly error on social media; a properly managed campaign will clear that headache of yours once and for all! • “I can’t see the value in it” This is the most common objection I come across, usually when the business has either had a bad experience with a previous marketing firm that promised them the world or hasn’t been able to get results themselves and can’t quite comprehend the value of conversations and social sharing. I believe social media will work for almost any business. It just depends on what strategy you have in place. I have presented several case studies in the white paper that demonstrate ROI as defined by the goals of the business. • “I’ve been told (by a friend) that I need to be on Facebook and Twitter” Many business owners feel the need, often implanted by a friend, to join Facebook and Twitter and start posting updates about their breakfast! This is not the most efficient way of participating in social media. You don’t want to just set up a page and then just leave it (I see this all the time). Again, having a clear strategy with defined goals with give you something to work towards. • “It’s a great promotional channel, but I’m not really getting anywhere” One of the most common mistakes when using social media is to turn your networks into promotional channels. You will find that this strategy will not elicit the response you are looking for. ‘Social’ media is just that, SOCIAL! People want to get involved in a two-‐way dialogue, not just one-‐way broadcasting. Crafting a content strategy will be an important part of your social media so there is plenty for your fans to chat about. • “I’ve spent money on social media in past, WHAT A WASTE!” We can appreciate that many of you have given social media a try but didn’t get any return on your investment. We are confident that, with the right strategy and budget, almost any company can be successful on social media. What social media can do for YOUR business Social media works best when you set out clearly defined goals in your strategy. I’m going to discuss the most popular and achievable goals that can be reached through social media. • Build rapport with existing clients – This is something small businesses are generally quite good at offline, but when it comes to the conversations around their brand online, little effort is made to engage and interact with these customers. Even if it’s just a quick thank you, people really appreciate this. You can go even further and surprise your customers with a special
8. discount or freebie. Going beyond the expectation of your customer will really make their experience memorable. • Create an online community – establish yourself as an authority in your industry by publishing credible articles, reviews, videos and photos. Reaching out to influential industry leaders is a great way to get your business known fast. These people will have substantially larger networks than yours and will come in handy if they ever promote your content. • Laser target your ideal audience – One of the major advantages of social media is that you can perform searches on Twitter around your industry keywords, hot topics and locations to find the right people to connect with. ‘Facebook Ads’ goes a little deeper and offers a targeting system that can drill down to any demographic. You can refine your search according to age, location, marital status, interests, education, where they work and more! • Connect with prospects where they spend a ton of their time. People are spending more and more time on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other networks to engage with their favorite brands and chat to their friends. The uptake of social media is actually accelerating, so now is the best time to get started, your competition already has. • Create buzz around an event, promotion, competition – One of the main attractions to social media is the huge reach these major networks offer. With over 800 million Facebook users and 175 million Twitter users, these networks are perfect for spreading your message far and wide in a very short space of time better than any print or direct mail campaign could ever achieve. Of course the content of your post out has to be shareable and social, otherwise this will reduce the likelihood of a viral uptake. • Peer-‐to-‐peer recommendation – The most powerful form of marketing is word-‐of-‐mouth or peer-‐to-‐peer recommendation. For example, if a family member or friend was to recommend a business to you, usually they have had a good experience with that business, therefore instantly creating trust between you and the business because you trust and value your friend’s opinion (as long as you trust your friend!). Just think of how many times you’ve been to the cinema, restaurant or a gig based on what your family and friend(s) have said about it. 92% of people surveyed below trust completely/somewhat, “recommendations from people I know”.
9. Why should I get involved? • Customers always research before purchase – 51% of users are more likely to buy a product or brand after liking them on Facebook. 53% of users already follow a business compared to 32% who follow a celebrity figure. • We make decisions based on what friends are doing – The decisions we make are naturally influenced by our friends and the choices they make. So if you find out through Facebook your friend is attending an event then you will be more likely to check out the event and attend. This is something that happens to me all the time! Event promoters are well aware of this. Everyone who clicks ‘attending’ on their event will automatically create a story in the newsfeed that all their friends will see in their newsfeed. • You can build a targeted network – Using the search functions and some clever marketing tactics we can find pockets of customers that match your target market. We can then connect and offer value to build that relationship. The scale on which we can do this is unprecedented with massive size of the major social networks. • Create & build a credible business presence – Offering value to your customer’s weather B2B or B2C, will always strengthen the relationship you have with them increasing your perception as an authority in your industry. • Customer service – Facebook and Twitter are networks that are seen as great customer service tools. The new Facebook messages feature allows fans to contact the page owner privately; of course they can also post on the • wall (posts can be moderated before publishing). Twitter also offers the same functions, although if a user was to @ mention your brand, the tweet cannot be moderated. I have come across many larger brands such as Dell and Best Buy who have staff tweeting 24/7 to respond to customer service messages. Twitter is now seen as the go-‐to place for customer service for many of their customers.
10. • Top of mind – It’s extremely important for people to remember your brand or business. By being visible in their Facebook or Twitter feed, your post will become one of the 7 touches that you need to influence a buying decision from your customer. Staying top of mind means when a fan or follower (or their friends) requires your product or service, you are the only brand they think of. Benefits for your business • Boost SEO – all social media content is now indexed by all the major search engines, so making sure your industry keywords are well placed in all content & posts is essential. Your Fan Page or Twitter profile might even rank higher than your website!! • Save time – For an extremely busy business owner like yourself, focusing your time and energy working on your business rather than in your business is essential in ensuring you grow from year to year. The time it would take for you to learn all the marketing methods and strategies we use and the time it takes to implement each campaign would not be efficient. We offer cost effective management solutions that can take away the hassle and stress of trying to get your head around social media and make a consistent effort every single day. • Cost Effective – We have achieved an ROI of 500% for one of our clients. This shows excellent value for money. Don’t spend more time than you have to on social media. Leave it to a professional to implement a well-‐crafted strategy. • No need to learn social media/basic admin work – If you’re like most business owners I know, you do not have time to learn how to use social media for business. Social media is something we do day-‐in, day-‐out Leave it to the people who know what they are doing. • Win new business, gain insights into audience interests (via questions and surveys), strengthen relationship with customers • Boost traffic to website – If increasing traffic is your main goal, social media can really help in driving targeted traffic to your website. After less than 2 months working for AlphaFit (national men’s health magazine) 20% of their web traffic is now from Facebook. • Fully managed campaign – We have dedicated account managers that will look after your accounts everyday and will be available via e-‐mail for immediate contact. What to do next?
11. We would love to offer you a free consultation to chat about your current marketing strategy and how you can include social media to achieve your business goals. It’s free, so please give Tom @ Initi8 Marketing a call on 01274 561755 or 07818455359 thanks! We also have a free e-‐mail course available called “Become a Social Media Pro in 7 Days” click here.