RSS feeds can deliver the latest InfoLab21 news and events direct to your browser without you having to visit the website.
In most browsers you can click on an RSS link and choose to subscribe to the feed to add it to your favourites or bookmarks.
BlogSpot: Top Ten Social Media Tips for Businesses
The number of registered Social Media users is still going up rapidly and the potential audience is immense.
Many businesses' initial thoughts centre around promoting their products and services by posting messages about benefits and letting people know how and where to purchase. The problem with this approach is in blindly broadcasting to an audience which may have no interest in what you can offer.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't tell people about your business but there are a few other things to do first which will help you engage with the right audience and increase your chances of being 'heard' online.
Use the different platforms to listen to what people are saying about your industry and/or your organisation. See if anyone mentions your business directly and respond. By doing this you can immediately identify people with an interest in what you are offering. Just think of the platforms as a free to use market research tool.
- Get your brand name out there
While social media platforms aren't the place to just shout about your products and push for a sale there is certainly no harm in getting your business or brand name noticed. Mention it in conversation, make sure your username is distinctive and ideally use your business name. The more you get stuck in the more likely it is that someone will stumble across one of your posts, messages or tweets.
- Integrate social media into your marketing strategy
One thing that is often ignored is that social media shouldn't be looked at in isolation. It should be part of an overarching marketing strategy and fit in neatly with other marketing activities. Coherence is key as you don't want people to get mixed messages about your products or services through different marketing channels.
- Track and Monitor
The one area that is often overlooked is the tracking and monitoring of the effectiveness of all your Social Media efforts. It is not enough just to look at the number of followers on Twitter or the number of likes on Facebook, but it is the amount of engagement between these followers and your organisation that is important. For example with Twitter - how many mentions are you getting, how many re-tweets do your tweets get and how many direct conversations are you having?
- Don't start putting all your efforts into social media. It should be part of your marketing strategy, not a replacement for it.
- Plan what you are going to do. It is tempting just to jump in and get started but as with all other marketing activities you should plan properly before going ahead.
- Take as much care as you would with all other marketing communications. Social media is instant and any mistakes can be seen immediately. While social media communication may seem more relaxed than traditional marketing, bad spelling or formatting still makes you look unprofessional and can damage your reputation.
- Be consistent. Use the same messaging and communicate the same brand values that you do offline or across other marketing channels.
- Measure your success. Check if your social media efforts have an impact on business performance.
- Monitor all mentions of your products/services on the web with tools such as Hootsuite.com, Tweetdeck.com
If you already have a marketing strategy make sure you properly integrate your social media activities. Here are some simple steps you should take:
Do you agree with these tips? Please add your thoughts below.
Lancaster University cannot be held responsible for any activity by its Association Members. We display information from InfoLab21 Associate Companies on our site and we are not responsible for the content or privacy polices of InfoLab21 Associate Companies' sites, nor for the way in which information about them is treated.
Tue 27 March 2012