In 2010, Stephen Fry stepped on to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall. They was rapturous applause, a cosy looking armchair, a relaxed national treasure…and a gigantic Twitter feed suspended from the ceiling. That night, I watched a show where Mr Fry used his social media platform to provide the basis of content for his show.
“…from my discip…sorry, my followers”
He knew what he was doing. He was considered the Lord of Twitter. And now has near on 13 million discip…I mean, followers.
The value of social media is undeniable. It allows any business to foster a loyal community and engage one-on-one with customers. Conversation flow is the back-bone of social media. It’s a two-way street and you have to put the effort in, otherwise you’ll be doing an awful lot of shouting with nobody listening.
So why should a business or service invest precious time and resources into social media?
Good question! It might seem like a doddle, but there is a bit more too it…
Much of our experience as a customer revolves around trust. The personality of your business/brand, should shine through on your media platforms. You can tell your clients (and potential clients) who you are, what you do and what to expect with your offering, directly. By engaging with others, you are building the rapport.
Show them the love they deserve!
There may be a topic that you are keen to debate publicly, which adds value to your business, peers and clients. More than 50 millions small businesses are using Facebook pages to connect with their customers. Consider writing a blog, or just sharing the basics in a status to open up the conversation.
If you have great content, share it!
INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC AND YOUR ONLINE VISIBILITY
This is a no-brainer. If all of your good stuff is stored on your website, social media is the best way to direct people there. The more your followers share what you are sharing, the more visible your website will be on Google. This is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it is very important for your business/practice.
Old-style professional networking events are often time consuming and time limited, which proves tricky when you’re busy juggling your workload. Social Media can bridge a gap. Get talking to others, offer feedback, take part in tweet chats or conversations on LinkedIn. It all adds value and posts tagged with another user have a 56% increase in engagement rate!
It makes good sense!
BUILD A COMMUNITY
Social Media often gets a lot of flack in mainstream media for the effects it can have on a user’s mental wellbeing, and this is certainly something which needs to be continually monitored. However, it cannot be denied that online communities are often incredibly safe and supportive places, where participants really benefit from the conversation. The Counsellor’s Cafe is just one example of how sharing content and information can bring people together in a really positive way.
Unlike other forms of marketing, you are able to receive instant metrics to see who is viewing your content and what they are doing with it, for free. Social media statistics are super accessible and this will allow you to see your return on investment.
I have chatted about the business side of things, but it’s so important to enjoy it. Yes, be mindful of what you are typing, but don’t over analyse every tweet or photo that you are posting. Go with your gut, be you!
Amy Turner-Green is a mum of a toddler, wife of a husband, slave of a pampered retired greyhound and freelance social media manager. Trained by Digital Mums and boss of Button Social Amy has worked in hospitality and events and in the charity sector.