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Social Media

Forum Insight: Business-proof your company and personal social media…

Of course, garnering a substantial social media following is important to all industry professionals and companies as a whole; however, a select few are still not implementing the basics to optimising their social presence. More than likely, your profiles will be the first thing new users look at to find out more information, and often dictate how your business, and you as an individual, appear in search results. 

Here, we breakdown the essential elements to maximising the potential of your social accounts, and why this is important for generating new business and creating a lasting impression…

 

  1. clear job title: How many times have you searched for someone’s profile, only to find the individual considers themselves to be a sales manager, commercial development director, project coordinator, and all of the above? May sound simple, but you’ll be surprised by the number of job titles people list as their current employment; therefore, to make life easier for all parties involved, just stick to one! Short, concise descriptions of your role within a company instead of laying out extensive, essay-style paragraphs will also help users and clients to stay engaged.
     
  2. Keep updating your accounts: Posting daily, or even multiple times a day, is crucial to sustaining a loyal following as well as how others will perceive both your company and your role. Granted – it’s tough work keeping on top of an average of four social accounts, nevertheless, as multiple marketing industry reports suggest, consistent use of social media can boost a company’s site SEO and allows instant communication with your clients. To share out the workload, why not create a weekly schedule where every member of your marketing team is responsible for a particular day of the week. 
     
  3. Select a professional image: I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but your choice of profile image for both a personal and business account greatly impacts a client’s perception of you; and, with my recent experience of following up with leads after a networking event, some are still choosing to ignore this basic component. Don’t just leave it as a generic grey box; and definitely don’t upload a picture of you and your friends on a night out along the Magaluf strip – for a business, a logo image will allow clients to instantly find you among the other accounts with a similar name. For personal, stick with a simple yet professional, smiley and welcoming headshot.  
     
  4. Include ALL direct contact information: Don’t forget to include information on how people can get in touch with you. Include your preferred contact methods, such as phone, Skype, email, website,  The inclusion of both a professional and personal blog presents itself as a way of existing and potential clients to learn more about you. 
  1. Recommendations: If a social platform provides the opportunity (particularly LinkedIn) it’s a good idea to take full advantage of their ‘Recommendations’ feature. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a bunch of your loyal clients and even some colleagues to write short recommendation paragraphs for you – but expect to give a little guidance on what they need to write, and be open to doing the same for them. 

Guest Blog, Keren Lerner: Social media in business – who’s responsible?

Social media is undeniably a key factor in business success.  In an era where prospects and supply partners will Google both company and management team before even considering any further interaction, social media content has evolved to be more than a shop window: it is the chance to display the essential voice and vision of the business – and who better to deliver this than the senior managers that define them?

Yet far too many innovative, exciting businesses now mask their true nature by opting to delegate all responsibility for social media channels away from the team’s founder, owner or leaders – often due to the mindset: “I’ll leave this to the experts, it’s not my field, and I am too busy anyway.”

Granted, experienced marketers have the skills and techniques required to create content and manage social media output, but it is the voice of the business owner or managing director that needs to be heard, and the role of the marketer to ensure responsibility isn’t abdicated entirely, but intelligently.

 

Mechanics plus vision

Most businesses that do recognise the need to embrace a dynamic and interactive approach to social media – and, unfortunately, far too many don’t – assume the entire process can be delivered by marketers, either in house or via third party agencies.

But this is not an out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all scenario.

Marketers are fantastic at putting the right mechanics in place, ensuring social media feeds are integrated and link back to original content. But does the marketer have that essential business vision or understand what led to the creation of the company in the first place? Not unless the marketer was the founder.

It is only the owner who fully understands why the business was set up, the problems it was designed to solve or the customers it wants to help. And a failure to communicate that message is a real missed opportunity.

 

Capturing the voice

The voice of the company should have an interactive social media strategy, coupled with an engaging website, well-written blog posts and content marketing. But it is also important to gain input from across the business – so the founder and the leadership team coming together to discuss ideas in keeping with the company ‘voice’ is invaluable.

The right line of questions and facilitation can prompt new insights and make it easier for a marketer to harness the essential nature of the business.

 

And it doesn’t end there

Following an initial discussion, senior management needs to stay engaged with this key aspect of business success and identity. It doesn’t need to be onerous – a scheduled time each week or month discussing ideas, from customer issues to market change, is essential to ensure published content and messages truly reflect the nature of the organisation.

 

Conclusion

Marketers must steer senior management to re-evaluate how they approach their company’s social media presence. This is a portal to the business, a way to drive engagement with prospects and customers, suppliers and business partners – and it needs to be as compelling and engaging as possible – with real insight, real stories and real experiences.

Although it is widely thought that business leaders are typically driven, opinionated and focused – that is what underpins success. So, harness that uniqueness. Generic content completely masks the true nature of the company – make sure the critical business lens of social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn are a true reflection of its core beliefs, passion and expertise.

 

 

Keren Lerner is founder and managing director of London-based design and marketing agency, Top Left Design and holds regular social media workshops,  with her next event – ‘Nine things you need to do on LinkedIn for business’ – taking place at Soho House on September 23,  2016, at 1pm. Email keren@topleftdesign.com for more information.

Forums vs Expos – how to maximise your precious time out of the office…

With a majority of ‘expert’ advice on Expos being somewhat outdated or, like with many businesses, asserting too much emphasis on easy routes rather than methods that actually work, it’s no wonder people get frustrated and disconcerted when they are looking to effectively network and source new connections without it lessening quality time spent in the office.

Amplified by the dominant presence of social media quick fixes such as: setting up a LinkedIn profile; increasing your Twitter presence; scheduling a large number of email marketing campaigns; and collecting as many business cards as possible at industry events – are key solution in helping you to be astute in intelligently selecting what methods best suit you and your way of working.

Expos can also have a somewhat ‘lazy’ association to it: people picture the huge halls and countless stands as a way of picking up leads and justifying their time out of the office, but realistically a large percentage of exhibitors won’t be of necessary relevance, or the person you need to speak to has decided not to attend at the last minute.

So set aside any previous experiences you may have with networking and Expos, and garner some quality connections by attending one of our Forum Events. Our formula ensures that buyers can increase their knowledge of how, why and where to invest without hanging around waiting for the wrong supplier; as well as ensuring that all suppliers are provided with qualified leads and valuable business is made as a result.

Events relevant to you may include the Marketing Business Forum taking place on November 8, 2016. Contact the team today…

lastminute.com group acquires WAYN to boost content offering and audience reach…

The European leader in the online travel and leisure industry, lastminute.com group, has confirmed that it has acquired the largest travel social networking platform, ‘WAYN, Where Are You Now?’, in a bid to garner further traction across the group’s portfolio of travel sites.

It is thought that WAYN will be integrated with lastminute.com group’s new media business, the ‘Travel People’ to mark the next step of its ‘ambitious’ strategy to help advertisers showcase stories through powerful content – engaging a captive audience with WAYN’s 20 million registered members, as well as continuing to attract lastminute’s 43 million monthly unique visitors.

Chief audience architect of lastminute.com group, Marco Corradino, said: “WAYN is the perfect fit for lastminute.com group. The WAYN team is a group of exceptional entrepreneurs who have created a vibrant community of travellers who enjoy sharing millions of travel opinions. Its business complements and expands our offering in Europe and, with its strong social travel network platform; it will become the content hub for our entire group.”

The group’s current network of leading online brands consists of: lastminute.com, Rumbo, Volagratis, Bravofly and Jetcost.

More marketers turning to Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets…

In a survey collecting opinions on organic and paid-for marketing from 300 social media marketers, the B2B research and marketing firm, Clutch, found more than 60 per cent are approaching Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets; with the video platform YouTube coming in second at 34 per cent; 33 per cent for Twitter; and LinkedIn amounting to 30 per cent of paid budgets.

Although the majority of respondents (80 per cent) generally opt for a combination of organic and paid-for marketing, there are companies that have chosen not to use paid-for (13 per cent), despite 60 per cent claiming paid-for social media marketing is much more effective than organic.

In addition, the survey also acknowledges some significant differences between the social media marketing of B2B and B2C; however, both sectors are using the mediums in the same context.

Read the full survey here

Could Snapchat be moving from apps to hardware?

The photo-sharing app, Snapchat – which is considered to be the most popular social networking platform among teenagers – has strongly indicated that it could be making the transition to hardware devices from apps; joining  a Bluetooth consortium that manages the ‘wireless standard’.

The app, which is reported to have acquired 150 million daily active users, is fuelling speculation from initial industry discussions back in March that experts from Logitech and Nokia had joined the Snapchat team to work on development plans for new hardware products, and is now listed as a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s website. It is thought that they are planning to create a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses.

It has also been reported that the social networking app will be introducing a behavioural targeting tool, in a bid to attract more advertisers. Brands using the social media network to advertise will be granted access to personal user data in order to provide more personalised and relevant campaigns.

Read more about Snapchat’s potential hardware plans here

Young social users prefer political accounts over luxury brands…

affilinet, one of Europe’s leading affiliate marketing networks, has revealed that young social media users between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to follow political accounts as opposed to luxury shopping brands.

The research, which surveyed 2,004 British residents and split into a range of age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55+ years old, was conducted to analyse and pin-point which social accounts different demographics are likely to follow, as well as the genre.

Director at affilinet, Helen Southgate, commented: “Social media is such a central part of millennials’ lives and it’s really insightful to see the accounts they follow. I think that this is a definite sign that young adults are tuned in to current affairs involving themselves in moneysaving, travel and politics. Brands wanting to target millennials can learn a lot from their social media habits and preferences.”

When the 18-24 year-old demographic was asked the question ‘What kind of accounts are you most likely to follow on social media?’

  1.        Money Saving – 25 per cent
  2.        Holiday / Travel – 20 per cent
  3.        Political Interest – 19 per cent
  4.        Health & Wellbeing – 17 per cent
  5.        Food & Beverage – 17 per cent
  6.        Pets / Animal – 16 per cent
  7.        Beauty – 8 per cent
  8.        Fashion – 7 per cent
  9.        Property – 6 per cent
  10.        Interior – 5 per cent