"Every business should be on social media." At least that seems to be one of the most uttered phrases over the last few years – but is it true?
Not only does it take time to run social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, it also takes a lot of effort and many business leaders are not sure of the benefits.
A growing amount of Derbyshire businesses have realised the potential of social media and started investing – they have seen dramatic results. One of these is a Derby accountant who picked up £15,000-worth of new business within a week of a social media strategy workshop and LinkedIn training.
Then, there is the Derby city centre restaurant which experienced an increase in takings over the traditionally difficult summer period thanks to a campaign over Twitter.
And what about the Derbyshire hotel owner who picked up a wedding reception enquiry just half an hour after attending a Twitter workshop? He also gets new customers through his Facebook updates being found on Google.
Strategic social media
Mark Saxby is a director at Derby-based Status Social and an award-winning former BBC Radio Derby news editor. His team has trained more than 800 business people over the past two years in how to use social media to increase their profits.
“The key to any successful social media campaign is strategy,” says Mark. “Knowing who you are targeting, finding out what social media platforms your audience is using and having a content and engagement plan which will appeal to the people you are trying to reach.
“It’s important to be aware of your resources and understand the time-saving techniques that will allow you to use social media while still having time to run your business.”
Opening new markets
Mark says not only is social media great for increasing profits, it’s also good for increasing brand awareness and improving your customer service. And he says that when done well, social media marketing can generate surprising results.
“Some business owners are very sceptical of how social media can work for them but when we explain the benefits and they give it a try, they are blown away by the results. A director of an expansion joint company we trained thought he knew all the potential clients in his industry – only to discover many more on LinkedIn!”
So can social media really help your business? If used in the right way, absolutely!