Unscrabbling social media is child?s play
If social media baffles you, it shouldn't do! It's just another channel for you to reach your target audience. In some-ways, it's even easier to reach your audience as they have already defined themselves as receptive to your message (as long as you don't treat social media as a gigantic sales board). Social media really is childs play, after all you don't need someone to tell you how to communicate in the pub on a Friday evening, do you?
Scrabble (for children 8 years and over)
Within the Information Technology (IT) sector we like our analogies, so I am going to use one to show how you can unscramble social media and show you how it really is childs play (I double checked on Wikipedia and the age range for Scrabble is 8+).
Your website (scores 12) sits in the centre of your online marketing campaign and is where you can actively sell to your visitors although remember your site should be more about them than you and was obviously the first word to place on the board.
Your blog(s) (scores 9) allows you to talk around your area of expertise and should not be used to directly sell to visitors. It allows you to build confidence in your organisations ability and depth of knowledge. If subscribers / visitors are interested, they'll make the jump from blog to website (we aim for a 20% conversion).
WordPress (scores 30) is an Open Source blogging and Content Management System (CMS) platform; we use it for our blog and you'll find more information about it on are website and articles (see Web Site Design articles).
Social media (scores 29) allows you to extend your reach to a larger audience using LinkedIn (scores 26), FaceBook (scores 34) and Twitter (scores 2o) enabling you to engage (scores 16) with people, not businesses. And remember that although having people follow (scores 36) you is an objective, don't get obsessed with numbers.
You need to measure results (212 total score) which is probably my best ever Scrabble score!
Know your stats.,
Using social media enables you to reach out and engage with your target audience, clients and suppliers and allows you to reach the triple word scores. You will only achieve real returns if you engage and participate sharing your knowledge and expertise freely and without any expectations. Be patient and you'll be amazed at what social media can achieve.
A recent articles on our blog went viral a couple of weeks ago, generating some astonishing figures and created a massive spike in traffic (shown above). Use tools like bit.ly and Google Analytics to measure the success of your social media marketing. We know that our social media marketing has increased traffic by 11,680% in the last few months and that approximately 20% of all traffic driven to our blog finds its way to our main website. Furthermore social media has generated over 25,000 worth of business in the last 12 months that represents a Return on Investment (RoI) of around 38%.
Conclusion (aka the unpopular bit)
Don't get taken in by all the hype and please don't fall for the social media guru I am not the only person who holds this view (see Phil Jones article Social Media Guru) and there are plenty of others that think the same. The clue is in the name Social media and should not be a new revenue stream for website designers in the same way the industry abused the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) a few years ago.
relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people
I know this isn't a popular view and you are probably asking why we have published so many articles about social media recently. Well, it's simple, we believe in supporting our clients and providing information freely, which is why we also support the Open Source community by promoting its use (OpenOffice and WordPress are two good examples). We feel the same way Thomas Wakley did when he founded the Lancet in 1823, although we aren?t campaigners against incompetence, privilege and nepotism we do believe in freedom.