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What you need to know about using social media for your business

Digital, MarketingEleanor Yeo

We recently came across a situation where one of our brilliant clients wanted to start up a social media strategy for the first time. They’d dipped their toe in the water of Facebook on a personal level, and had heard from another marketing agency that they absolutely had to have profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their business too.

Which begs the question we asked them, why?

Why do you need profiles on all three social media platforms? We weren’t saying that they didn’t, but we were asking them to think about what they felt they would get out of them. When they told us that they didn’t really know, it got us thinking about what advice we can give people when they’re unused to social media.

We are the first people to recommend that clients use a variety of channels and platforms to get their message across, both to customers, to suppliers, to the media and to the wider public. But we also recommend that this is done in a targeted, planned manner, and that a schedule is written as part of a wider marketing strategy. But what should be included in this?

A few things to think about here:

 
  • Do you know the differences (in terms of consumption and demography) between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat?
  • Do you know your local press and how best to interact with their readers?

  • Are you aware of who your current followers are on each channel? Depending on your product/service, it might be that it’s your suppliers who interact with you on Twitter, whilst it’s your customers who follow you on Instagram. Make sure that you’ve looked at the analytics of each channel – do your research!

  • If you have a newsletter, who is it that reads it?

  • Do your social media posts reflect the messages of your business / brand as a whole? Do they reflect the messages that you put out on your website? In your blog? In your newsletter? Consistency is key.

  • By all means, use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule some of your social media posts. But don’t rely on this for all your social activity, we recently wrote a blog about how to keep your social media, social. You also need to be able to respond to comments, questions and opportunities as they crop up, and if you aren’t sure whether you are going to be able to manage this, it’s worth getting in some additional support to help you.

 

 

We love helping organisations interact with their customers, their suppliers, the media and their local community. We would always ensure that this is done with the support of a plan, so that messages are consistent, timely and aimed at the relevant audience.

If you need help with this or with any other marketing activity, please contact us today.

Why We’re Supporting Art Week Exeter (AWE)

NewsRob Mulholland

Exeter needs art. In fact, all communities do and, during an event like AWE, we should perhaps take stock of why we do all indeed need art around us.  

Now, this isn’t where I launch into a deep philosophical essay in defence of art’s historical development and place through millennia. But it is where I mention a few obvious and rational reasons why we’re pleased to see Art Week Exeter take place and are very happy to support it. 

The reasons are numerous and, for me, obvious.   

First up: wellbeing.  Research conducted by Arts Council England indicates that subjective levels of wellbeing are generally reported to be higher in those with higher levels of arts and cultural engagement. This is supported by the statistic that nearly 60% of people are more likely to report good health if they have attended a cultural place or event in the last 12 months - so you had better visit at least one AWE exhibit!   

Next: society. In contrast to what some have said, society does exist and it benefits in particular from arts and cultural activities. Participation in such events reduces social exclusion and isolation, and encourages community engagement. For example, secondary school students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer than those who don’t, and also 20% more likely to vote as young adults

Third: Putting Exeter on the cultural map. Great food, drink, people, sport, countryside - there’s loads to be proud of in Exeter and we think AWE adds art to city’s existing cultural offering.  In 2011,  VisitBritain  reported that nearly 10 million visitors to the UK involved cultural engagement, which accounted for almost 50% of all inbound tourists. Wouldn’t it be nice for Exeter to gain a greater share of that! 

Finally, and sorry to bring it back to business, but art drives creativity, creativity drives innovation and innovation drives opportunities. Exeter, renowned as it is for having one of the region’s strongest and most active professional service sectors, isn’t well known for its creative sector. And this needs to change. AWE, in combining many of Exeter’s cultural highlights into one intense art party, magnifies our city’s creativity - and we know what that drives. 

It’s for each of these reasons (plus others not mentioned to keep this post short) that McQueenie Mulholland is supporting Art Week Exeter, and we encourage all in and around our community to do so too.