Untangling the Web - Social Media Article

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Social Media demystified

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  • 1. Business | Social mediaUntangling the web Warren Knight, social media and Linking in digital commerce expert, provides reid hoffman’s linkedIn is a social networking site for professionals, boasting 100 million users. Ideal for business an introduction to social media to business (B2B) marketing, it is also an invaluable business profile, similar to a CV, to link to your website and other for the therapist social network pages. the linkedIn website allows professionals, companies and the public to connect on a B y using social networks in the most resourceful way, a therapist can harness social media to build gap between the impersonal online experience and personal interaction. In this article, I will look at some working level within their industry, for business purposes and job opportunities. Make sure that your profile is complete, connected and connections, promote their therapy of the main social networking sites consistent with your business, with information including services, target marketing to a captive therapists can use, offer advice on education and career history, achievements, what your audience with an active interest, and appropriate and effective social media business can offer contacts and any relevant website links. instil trust in clients. usage, and some tips on driving the more industry-specific keywords used, the higher you’ll Social media acts as a channel visitors to your website through be in search results. seek recommendations from existing of communication that bridges the social media. clients and business contacts to boost your brand image. therapists could use linkedIn to connect with people in their industry, gain new clients, create events and groups, build brand awareness, and also find new employees. linkedIn allows people to post questions, so provide high- quality answers to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Integrate your linkedIn profile with twitter updates and blogs, and experiment with other relevant applications such as polls for market research, and Company Buzz to track what is being said about your company. l To register your profile on LinkedIn, visit http://uk.linkedin.com Tweeting With more than 200 million users, make tweets original and brand twitter can make it easy for businesses specific, such as new products and to connect with potential clients and treatments, time-specific special offers to share their brand with people and promotions, industry trends, in the industry. having registered developments and news, interesting your account with details such as and relevant links, blog updates name, email, profile picture, business and so on. description and web address, it is then at the heart of every tweet should possible to ‘follow’ business contacts, be the customer – ask yourself what industry figures and clients, so that this tweet will give your customer; their tweets will appear on your how can they use it; how will it help newsfeed – and vice versa. them? an appropriate photo and Facebook avoid the risk of isolating contacts commenting on your followers’ tweets Facebook is the most well-known social networking site with and customers through uninteresting, will help increase brand awareness 800 million subscribers – 62 million in the UK use Facebook uninspiring and useless tweets; with and create a positive image. Measure for an average of 60 minutes a day. Facilitating personal only 140 characters for each tweet, the effectiveness of the content by engagement and interaction, Facebook can help propel your make it worth the read. Consider monitoring followers who ‘retweet’ brand to the forefront of your customers’ – and their only tweeting three times a day so your tweets and replies to your tweets. friends’ – minds, as they share their experiences with their that followers don’t have an overload l To sign up for Twitter, visit online social community. of your tweets on their timeline and http://twitter.com Both personal and business profiles are available on Facebook22 Issue 99 January 2012 InternatIonal therapIst www.fht.org.uk
  • 2. Social media | Business Any shared content on social Spread the word media sites should be engaging, therapists may wish to blog about their relevant and encourage people to therapy business, and one free and easy to share it; remember to KISS – Keep use website for this is Wordpress. Content It Significant and Shareable. Create should be relevant to your business, such as content that fans can recommend information on products and services, recent or pass on to other people. A Twitter industry news, latest developments in your follower may link your blog on their field, and events and seminars attended. account, or a Facebook fan may ‘like’ Make sure that you maintain brand image a product or treatment, or recommend consistency and, to establish yourself as an an offer to others, thus potentially expert in your field, ensure information is encouraging their friends to become fans – high-quality, topical and useful. and all are potential customers. Drive visitors to your blog and build an Keep your target market on their toes experiment into action – by providing audience by promoting it via Facebook, – choose content, pictures and links that customers with a compelling reason to use twitter and linkedIn and pull in feeds from stimulate your audience’s curiosity. Consider social media, you are expanding your brand. these websites. set up an rss feed by clicking their specific needs and interests when Share the success of the mother and daughter on the rss button, which allows readers to developing your content, for example, day with all your followers/fans on all your subscribe to your blog. rss (or really simple special offers on treatments, news updates social networking sites. A free social media syndication) allows people to subscribe to relevant to your industry, events attended and marketing dashboard to bring all of receive updated posts as soon as they are and awards won. Sponsored stories can be your social media platforms into one place is published. I would advise blogging between successful, as can linking with other relevant MarketMeSuite (www.marketmesuite.com). one and two entries a week to improve your sites that are current and topical; common DEVELOP: As social media is constantly search engine ranking, without isolating ground will encourage people to talk more. changing, you need to make sure your subscribers through information overload. Make sure it’s easy for people to leave brand is up to date with all the new tools l To find out more about WordPress, a recommendation or post an opinion – and technology. visit http://wordpress.org word of mouth is one of the most valuable marketing tools. Don’t be afraid of negative opinions – it may be the voice of that one customer that changes your approach to future consumers. Another great way to promote your therapy services is to find experts. Cut through the barriers surrounding very well known people and just Tweet them, respond to their blog or post a question. Make yourself interesting and maintain regular contact and you are more likely to Monitoring social media results get noticed and receive a response. If you can When monitoring your social media results, offer them a product or treatment for free, do not just assume everything is working – they are more likely to publish a comment continually watch, test and assess. on your service. Monitor your Facebook fans (visit www.facebook.com/insights to view– the former tend to connect friends and LEAD strategy data including total, and new, fans, plusfamily; the latter connect industry contacts. The best way to develop the most appropriate demographic breakdown by age, genderthe two can be connected by starting a fan and effective social media usage is to and geographical location, mentions andpage or a group. a fan page allows fans to implement the LEAD strategy: interactions), Twitter followers, LinkedIn‘like’ the page and receive updates on your LISTEN: Listen to your customers to find connections, and comments on blogs.business, helping to promote brand presence out what interests and engages them, and Check your search engine optimisationand share news/events with their community. take your competitors into consideration. (SEO) rankings (a good website is http://Unlike a fan page, members have to be invited For example, if a client is talking about a googlerankings.com) and consider possibleto join a group. When creating a business certain procedure from another salon that ways of driving more traffic to your website.account, fan page or group you can include you haven’t invested in, create an online The social media world and your targetinformation including name, address, phone poll for your clients to answer regarding new audience will be in constant change andnumber, email, web address and a logo or treatments or equipment to discover if it is what works Tuesday morning might notimage. It is then possible to select applications something they would be interested in. work on Sunday afternoon.to create an event; integrate a blog; create a EXPERIMENT: The best way to find out Use some of the available social mediapoll; allow customers to review your products what works for your business is trial and tools to monitor your channel performance,and services; integrate your tweets; or display error, but try not to invest too much time such as Google Analytics (www.google.Youtube videos. and money in a small project that may com/analytics), making sure you turn on Build your business profile around your not work out. Take advantage of existing the social media and e-commerce options,brand image – displaying photos suggesting proven solutions, many of which are free, which can specify the number of visitors todrunkenness or a wild character may not build for example, ratings and reviews when your website and the sources of traffic. Runconfidence in the potential customer, so be advertising a mother and daughter day at regular reports into what your clients aremindful of what photos you choose. your salon for a discounted price in order reading; where they are coming from; howl For more information, visit http:// to see if you are successful in building they found you; what they chose to share; www.facebook.com brand awareness. what generated the most comments, and use APPLY: Put the results from your the information to amend your content.www.fht.org.uk InternatIonal therapIst Issue 99 January 2012 23
  • 3. Business | Social media Driving traffic to your website 6 Set up links via your social media sites, When using social media, one of the in particular Twitter, Facebook biggest questions is ‘how can I drive more and LinkedIn. traffic to my website?’ A few tips on how a Online customers are three times more business owner could drive traffic towards likely to trust recommendations from fellow their website include: social network users than from online 1 If you’re launching a new site, or adverts. Facebook has had 22 million publishing new content, write an people make a purchase based solely on introduction and submit it to share sites their recommendations. The social customer like Digg (http://digg.com), Reddit (www. is 35 per cent more likely to buy a ‘liked’ reddit.com) and Now Public (www. 4 Bookmark your site on Del.icio.us (http:// item purely because they trust their fellow nowpublic.com). A share site allows you to delicious.com) and consider adding a Del. users, with 25 per cent of customers submit content to be judged by other users icio.us button to your homepage. connecting with brands on Facebook to and increases business exposure. Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking web receive discounts and 23 per cent of Twitter 2 Place a free ad for your company on ads’ere service for storing, sharing and discovering users following businesses to find special (www.adsere.com), which is an online web bookmarks. promotions or sales. trading platform that allows you to upload 5 Advertise your site on Craigslist How you act online is your virtual CV. unlimited ads free of charge. (http://london.craigslist.co.uk). It’s a footprint of behaviour that never goes 3 Offer something for free or at a discount or Free, relevant and localised, Craigslist away, so make sure you represent your brand special offer. People often tell their friends is an online community featuring appropriately to ensure you maintain and about good deals. classified advertisements. grow your online following. Define your online voice according to your Case study – Mary Atkinson, MFHT business image and make sure the message that is on your business website matches I wanted to drive more visitors to my the message you are putting across on the website and, although social media seemed various social networking sites. overwhelming at first, I started by changing my website to Wordpress so that I could have a blog (www.maryatkinson.com) and update An incredible journey my own website information easily. the world wide web (WWW) was invented I publish two new posts a week on my blog in 1989 by tim Berners-lee, and although to encourage search engines to pick up the seemingly alike, the WWW and the internet updates, which helps improve my Google are not the same thing. the WWW is a way ranking. My blog entries usually contain useful of accessing information over the internet; information, my aspirations, events, interviews the internet is a network created to bring with other therapists to promote their work, computers together globally. course details and available treatments. I may Web 1.0 theDot.com was invented, also blog about any current, topical and four years later the first web browser news that I would like to comment was running successfully on the Windows on or raise awareness. operating system. Microsoft hotmail was a good tip is to set up Google launched in 1996 and Google two years alerts; I receive alerts and links daily camexpo outstanding achievement later. Web 2.0 was key to the development of for up to date information on the award 2011. I also signed up for web-based communities, web applications web about Indian head massage linkedIn (http://uk.linkedin.com/ and hosting services, and saw the onset and massage for children, which I in/maryatkinson) and have since of social networking and video-sharing can then utilise in my own blog. joined several groups and forums websites. Currently at Web 2.5, the WWW My website is much more for therapists. I get updates about has been combined with the internet to offer interactive now, with visitors who blogs from other people and it is the most impressive technology yet, with are looking at training courses then being interesting reading different perspectives the past few years seeing social media and directed to a relevant blog entry. It offers and connecting with their Facebook pages. sharing information taken to the next level more information and encourages people to although I have not noticed any increase in by platforms like Wordpress for blogging and stay a bit longer and discover other areas of clients or students booking from linkedIn yet, twitter for micro-blogging. my work. recently I was asked to provide a these things can take time. seminar on aDhD and also write an article I recently joined twitter for Bamboo, a Canadian magazine, about my (@MaryatkinsonChi) and was excited when Warren Knight is a book healing touch for Children, when the people were sending complimentary tweets social media and digital editor followed a Google link to my website about my keynote speech at camexpo 2011. commerce expert with through one of my blog features. I can then personally thank them and also 20 years of experience in I then set up a Facebook page follow up with more information. I think it’s helping small to medium (https://www.facebook.com/ a good idea to include links on your website size companies sell MaryatkinsonholistictherapyCourses) to keep to your social media profiles and on email products and services people up to date with courses, special offers, signatures, newsletters, and business cards. globally. he is a speaker, talks and so on. It can sometimes be quite lonely as a sole consultant and author, who specialises in pICtUres: IstoCKphoto I try to avoid bombarding people with trader/therapist/trainer but I feel part of a social media marketing, and is co-founder selling and provide general information too, wider social media community now and of Gloople, the UK’s first ‘social sharing’ such as a link to a newspaper article about less isolated. It’s a great way of supporting e-commerce platform designed for sMes. massage in schools or a link to nominating the each other. www.warrenknight.co.uk www.gloople.co.uk24 Issue 99 January 2012 InternatIonal therapIst www.fht.org.uk