News Room

How to get past your social dilemma

Emma Graham, our Digital and Creative practice leader, explains why every business needs a social media strategy and describes how to get started if you don’t have one.

 

Social media. Followers. Twitter handles. Instagram. Whirlpool. Search engine optimisation (SEO). Inbound marketing. Pay per click (PPC). Digital Marketing. Glassdoor. Facebook.

Have your eyes glazed over yet? You’re not alone. Every day I work with leaders who understand the business imperative for engaging with social media but don’t know where to start. It can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly if you’re not convinced of the necessity to become involved.

They’re talking about you
Take a closer look at the list and you’ll see names like Whirlpool and Glassdoor as well as the more familiar ones like Facebook and Twitter. Whirlpool provides a discussion forum, mostly for consumers. Glassdoor encourages employees to rate the companies they work for.

Search your business name on any of these sites (or type the word “review” after your name in a Google search), and the chances are you will have been reviewed or commented on. That’s the nature of the modern world. Your online reputation is being made by other people and it’s up to you to lead or respond. You can also choose to ignore – at your peril. The horse and buggy version of the internet is long gone.

If you’re not yet convinced, here are some more reasons why you can’t ignore the digital side of your business:

• In many instances, customers have made already up their minds before they contact you. The decision stage of the sales cycle takes place online and your sales people become facilitators not persuaders.

• Older-style, ‘outbound marketing’ is on the wane. Consumers are ignoring it. According to Voltier Digital:

o 44% of direct mail is never opened

o 86% of people skip through TV ads

o The cost per lead from outbound marketing is far more than from inbound marketing

• Even those who are sceptical about social media for small business recognise that SEO and PPC can lead to significant growth (BigMouth Marketing).

OK, let’s assume that you agree with us that your business needs to have a social presence. What happens next?


Strategy and implementation
If you already have a strategy in place, that’s great. If not, you need one. There are lots of resources out there to help you get started and I’m always happy to talk through the options with you or act as a sounding board.

Once your strategy is defined, you’ll need people to implement it. This might take the form of an in-house team or you might choose an outsourcing model. There are many options:

• Completely in-house, with your own marketing team

• Fully outsourced

• Partially outsourced. This may consist of (to name a few of the possibilities):

o In-house marketers supported by outsourced content providers

o External management of your social media posts

o Using freelance copywriters to develop content

However you decide to implement your plan, one thing is clear: if you don’t have one you’ll be left behind. If that sounds daunting don’t worry. Hopefully, these ideas will help you and I’m always here to discuss it in person.

 

About the author

Emma Graham works with top talent across the full range of Digital & Creative roles. This includes UX Design, UX Strategy, UI Design/Interaction Design, Information Architecture, User Research, Front End Development, Digital Design, Graphic Design, Finished Art, Content Producers & Coordinators, Copywriting, Digital Marketing and Social Media to name a few.

Emma is always available to discuss opportunities and market trends, and welcomes the opportunity to connect with creatives and digital specialists.

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