A few days ago I attended the social media and marketing event by Enterprise! and Business Clan. It collected together and highlighted a series of key factors relating to social media usage in business promotion, exploring themes focused on in more depth in our weekly lectures.
One thing that did stood out to me was the ability for social media to be both a tool of promotion and destruction. Social media can provide a hook, through which a customer sees and learns about a brand. Users positive online reviews build trust between other potential users and the company. The openness of social media means if not correctly regulated negative reviews and customer complaints/issues can tarnish this trust and damage the relationship the company is attempting to build with other potential users. This potential backfire highlights the need for social media to be regulated and complains to be answered or redirected through more private channels.
The talk also highlighted the differences between traditional and social marketing campaigns. Social media touch points of potential users are different to when traditional marketing media is used. The talk clarified that social media is just as hard to make an impact on as using traditional methods such as handing out flyers or banner campaigns because it is such a saturated market.
The talk emphasised the need to have focus on your specific industry, scope out competitors and identify what works for them before beginning a process of trial and error. If posts aren’t reaching an audience then change the channel you are attempting to reach them through. For our business, Runeasy, we began by just using Instagram and twitter. We selected these because of their relation to the demographic we are targeting, young females aged 18+. By not having a Facebook presence we were limiting our exposure to family and friends beyond those we could physically talk to in Kingston and even these potential users wanted a social media landing page they already used.
For example in attempting to sell the products to members of a Rowing club; a group which runs regularly and has a large pool of potential customers (despite knowing people within the club) there was more interest demonstrated and sales from linking them to a Facebook page, posting an explanatory video then physically speaking to them. After watching and drumming up a base line of interest individuals were coming up to me in the club house to talk about the product. The Facebook landing page enabled a hype and interest to be built around the product.
Facebook landing page
On all three sites we are in the management stage. After launching the sites and posting a series of posts we are in the process of building our community and increasing traffic, with the aim of increasing exposure and engagement with potential users. Our social media campaign has similarities in its aesthetic properties. We use clean, minimal format with tones of blue and green being repeated throughout. Our social media stance relies heavily on photography and our users posting or sending us images of them out running. This builds both a connection and uses user reviews and feedback positively. The largest lesson I’ve learnt in relation to social media is the need to invest time in its development and that time should also be considered as a cost. So maybe if the desired target audience aren’t being reached a more traditional method of marketing may be more effective.