Saturday 27 December 2014

Problem solver: Not using social media to market your business is a gigantic mistake to make

Feargal Quinn

Published 01/05/2014 | 02:30

Twitter is  a very effective tool for many businesses
Twitter is a very effective tool for many businesses

Q: What are your views on using social media as a key marketing tool for a business?

A: I meet so many businesses who have fantastic stories to tell about how social media has helped drive new sales into their business.

I can't think of a business that wouldn't benefit in some way from having a social media presence, so the answer is, it is a tool that every business must embrace.

I think that different elements of social media definitely work better than others depending on the message and the business category you are in.

Many food producers and chefs tell me that Twitter is their favourite communication channel, while many of those in the retail fashion industry have great examples of how they generate sales through Facebook.

Recently I met a fashion retailer who showed me a garment they had posted a photograph of the previous evening and by 9am the following day, had an enquiry from a bride to see if three of the garments were available in specific sizes to be used as bridesmaids' dresses.

Now that is social media working at its best!

If your business is a more formal type of business and your clients are other businesses, then LinkedIn is a great tool.

I see examples now of businesses even messaging other businesses through LinkedIn rather than conventional emails as a first point of contact.

A food producer recently told me they had sent a link to a YouTube clip as a way of giving the buyer a tour of their premises and an overview of their business. How smart!

While I don't fully understand the use of Pinterest, its ability to communicate messages through really great images is superb and I read a statistic recently that said over 60pc of its users are female, which would allow a business needing visual communication a great tool.

There are lots of elements of social media I haven't commented on but the short answer to your question is that not using social media is a bit like not having the name over the door of your business premises.

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