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#DigitSummit15 – Why SMEs need to get strategic with social media delivery

05 March 2015 | 10:35 am

Digital StrategyCrowdControlHQ attended the Greater Birmingham Digital Summit organised by Digital Birmingham, to discuss all things digital last week. The focus of the event was to discuss the role of technology for SMEs across the region, with keynote speakers from Microsoft, Google & LinkedIn.

The event launched with results from the latest digital audit of the Greater Birmingham region, showing that over 53% of businesses increased their turnover in 2014, with one in four attributing their growth to the increased use of digital technology.

However, despite the significant benefits of harnessing the power of digital technology, the audit also revealed worryingly that although up to 68% of businesses utilise or plan to use social media in the next 12 months, few businesses surveyed are using social media strategically. And as the saying goes, you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

So today we focus on how businesses can optimise social media effectively by implementing a strategy to unlock the many benefits to your business such as:

  • Differentiating your business
  • Building rapport with your audiences
  • Delivering your message effectively
  • Influencing them to engage

In our recent blog following the AM & Auto Trader Digital marketing conference the case study presented a compelling case of how social media marketing can successfully impact on your business’s bottom line with a tailored social media strategy. Additionally, the Digital Summit revealed that social media influences 75% of B2B purchasing decisions.

If you are yet to move from the ‘reactive’ to a more ‘proactive’ approach to your social media, what are the key considerations when drawing up your social media plan?

1) Content

Today, people say ‘Content is King’ and it does play a key role in social media success. However, it also forms a key element of a well-executed strategy. It was excellent to hear from Pete Danks (Google) at the Digital Summit and it was fascinating to discover that 70% of viewers are more likely to purchase after watching a product video, which highlights the value of great content!

But choosing the right kind of content can be a challenge. The growth of image led content has lead to an array of photo style campaigns, but don’t forget the power of sound and data. Fitness Apps like Strava show us the power and potential of personal data sharing via social media.

Considering the value of creating quality content it is essential that you create a concise content plan, which allows you to prepare content and schedule your social media posts in advance based on your plan. This is an effective and efficient way of delivering social media as you then have time to react to inbound content, both in terms of engagement with your content or customer service enquiries.

2) Engagement

As the discussion on the value of engagement continues, here at CrowdControlHQ we are great believers of engagement and unlocking the many benefits an engaged audience can provide. An excellent quote at the Digital Summit from Nick Williams (Lloyds Banking Group) rang true with us …“Digital is all about people!” We totally agree with this statement and believe that understanding customers and engaging with them effectively is one of social media’s key elements.

To enhance your businesses social media engagement you should be able to oversee all inbound activity in one place and receive immediate alerts when your accounts receive a customer service query or complaint, so you can identify and respond in a timely manner, which coincides with our 3 key principles when handling customer service on social media.

As our consumers become more active on social media, with the average user spending 2 hours and 13 minutes every day, how can businesses turn the average social media user into a customer? With an advanced social media monitoring tool you can monitor individual keywords which either stem to a purchasing signal for your product or service, mention a competitor, or your brand, you can then track these conversations and engage appropriately.

3) Insight

As the digital age evolves it is essential that your organisation remains ahead of the curve. To ensure your business stays on top it is vital to delve deep into social media analytics, identifying your content trends, whether your accounts are having more success with video marketing in comparison to blogs or vice versa, with analytics you can easily download these statistics on a weekly/monthly basis, review what was a success or what wasn’t which then allows you to shape your content for your audience.

In addition, to this a complete social media management platform will record and rank your engaged users data, which is invaluable information for targeting conversation in the future. If you can access archived conversations whether this is from a customer or maybe a prospect, you can identify and evaluate their journey and respond or contact them in the most appropriate manner.

We would like to thank Digital Birmingham for hosting such an excellent event and to all the speakers, who gave our team a further insight into digital technologies. 

Lewis Jones

Digital Manager CrowdControlHQ

CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform, accessed online and on the move. We work alongside a multitude of companies to enable them the appropriate tools to manage and deliver effective social media marketing.