This question formed part of our lively Social Media debate on 26th March which was attended by a broad mix of businesses, all MDHUB members, with our panel of experts, John Thacker of Clark Brownscombe making the case ‘against’ and Lucy Wilkes of Total Social Secretary making the case ‘for’.
Did we embrace Social Media or consign it to Room 101 at our debate...?
Against: John’s stance was that Social Media has its place, but it’s not for every business… “When there’s a new movement you can feel like everyone’s doing it so why aren’t we doing it? I think there’s credit in meeting people three dimensionally in business as there is power in the emotional connections you make face to face. We have to be deliberate in choosing what we invest our time in as there are too many options and distractions in today’s world. Don’t just assume that social media is the best or indeed an effective way for you to promote your business.”
For: Whilst Lucy agreed that face to face networking was worthwhile, she argued that it “could be backed up with Social Media which was another way of developing relationships and talking to your customers. Footfall is no longer to be relied upon. Choose your social media platform whether it’s Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Instagram - and focus on that while your confidence is building. Remember the purpose of social media for you - to advertise your brand and services - and connect with potential new customers - and enjoy it!"
At the start of the debate, 41% of delegates were in favour of Social Media, 18% were against and 41% sat on the fence. Here are some of their comments, concerns, and suggestions for making it work:
· I don’t have time to get involved in Social Media.
· My tweets don’t get a reaction… what’s happening out there, has anyone read my Tweet?!
· It’s hard finding evidence that measures the results of Social Media.
· I’m not confident that what’s being said is authentic.
· Tweeting for the sake of tweeting is banal – quality is more important than quantity.
· It’s addictive and distracting from the real business at hand.
· Confidence… I don’t know how to do it.
· Content … I don’t know what to write!
Why should we use Social Media?
· To generate business, e.g. Both Lucy and Heather had been approached by new clients through their respective Linked In profiles.
· To reach new customers from a broader spread than you might otherwise be able to target.
· It’s great for marketing consumer products.
· Analytics can be used to ascertain the success of campaigns.
· If you’re not involved, your competitors most likely will be, and they are talking to your potential customers.
How to make it work:
· Tweet things that are interesting rather than marketing messages… have intelligent conversations.
· Humour usually helps!
· Use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets so you only set aside time for Tweeting once a week.
· Use industry words/jargon that others will pick up on.
· Before you invest in a campaign, invest in finding out how your customers like to respond – what drives your customers?
At the end of the debate, we asked our delegates how many of them would now consider trying a social media campaign and 66% said they would give it a go which is an increase of 25%.
So, whilst it seems that the argument FOR social media was powerful, the overriding theme of the debate was that there was a place for both face to face networking and social media with social media being more appropriate for some businesses than others.
We’d love to hear how you get on with your Social Media campaigns so please keep in touch and let us know.
Categories: MDHUB News