The North West branch of The CIM recently staged a ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing’ event. It was interesting learning more about the CIM’s position on social media and to hear from two industry practitioners including Marketing Scout’s Helen Dolce-Lund. Here are my key takeaways.
1. In a presentation delivered by Regional Director Diane Earles, it was encouraging to see the CIM sit up and look at social media from a business-use perspective. Though some of the examples cited were a little dated (Dell Outlet succeeding on Twitter, the relaunch of Wispa via Facebook and US shoe seller Zappos delivering gold standard service via social media) there were some interesting statistics on social media use and how personal and professional use is beginning to blur.
2. It is critical to think about your objectives of getting involved in social media before you get involved. Go where your audience is and use the tools that best promote your products and expertise. Video showcases product, white papers, podcasts and webinars deliver opinion and perceived expertise.
3. Brands clearly need to take some risk to engage audiences through social media. Establish how brave or conservative your business is and choose the channels that are less risky.
4. Don’t look at a popular channel and assume you can’t make it work. You might not think your customers use Facebook, but they all have a life when they leave their office. You can use the targeted advertising tool to see if there is value in targeting a particular geographic, age, gender, job title or sector before actually having to use it. Having a profile on high traffic social media sites also does wonders for your search engine optimisation.
5. Helen reminded the assembled group that for professionals and jobseekers, it goes without saying that you should set up an active Linkedin profile – and that it should be kept separate from Facebook and Twitter accounts, unless you take a professional approach to them all. Understanding privacy settings is also critical – especially if you ever looking for a new position!
In summary, an interesting event with some new material for the social media naive and a refresher for the early adopters.
Information regarding future events is available from the main CIM North West site.