Monday, 18 October 2010

Marketing and use of Social Media

Henmore's virtuous circle of marketing communications diagram illustrates the marketing challenges businesses need to address.

During the workshops this week we helped businesses with the use of Social Media in their marketing.  Participants came armed with laptops and applied changes to their online presence during the workshop.  I am driven by a determination to help businesses translate ideas into workable strategies, that they succeed in putting into action, gaining desired results. It is not enough for me to see people scribbling notes of their good intentions, because I have experienced those intentions myself and subsequently lost the piece of paper (or the good intentions).  We all know about this inevitable loss of momentum.  That's why I like interactive workshops and year plus programmes like our Marketing Club.

Last week people in the room were there to make changes.  But of course we worked our way towards that part of the workshop.  First of all we looked at the challenges faced by businesses in generic terms, referencing Henmore's much-referred-to trademark diagram (as shown above).  Each workshop participant in the room articulated the particular marketing communications challenges that were a priority for them.  Then we took action on the laptops.

I am sure someone once advised it is high risk to present live in an environment of children, animals and IT.  We only had live IT, and it seemed to work OK on this occasion.

As presenter and facilitator I really enjoyed the sessions and the enthusiasm of the business owners in the room.  I would like to thank everyone for all the positive comments and the reviews and recommendations that we have received as a result.  And I would like to thank Jane Stretton at Dove Studios for the refreshments and the perfectly functioning IT connections.

If you would like to join one of our marketing and social media training courses in Staffordshire or Derbyshire please check our upcoming events or sign up to receive email invitations.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Is the customer king, more than ever before?

Do you remember that old phrase 'The Customer is King'?

It was an adage that businesses had to regard, because unhappy customers had the annoying habit of muttering their displeasure around the local community. The result was that businesses had to take note and make improvements, assuming improvements were necessary. Either that, or the community made an assessment of the mutterings, filtering out the ramblings of the odd unhappy customer on the basis they were probably maladjusted or had a personal vendetta. Easy enough to spot – then as now.

I was particularly interested in the TripAdvisor debate and the views of various commentators and phone-in participants. I was reassured that people said they'd ignore someone whose user name is something like 'ChocChipCookie' making a personally damning observation along the lines of “the hotel owner is aggressive and a sexist racist and you shouldn't stay in her/his hotel . . .”

True, Social Media does give King Customer an instant voice. These tools take us back to hyper local ways, albeit across a global economy. I was just researching the latest views on social media tools for this weeks workshops and was reading a blog article on Social Media Today on which I just had to leave a comment. It said:

“One happy and connected customer can start a spiraling of praise which can hyper accelerate building a global brand. And one maligned (or maladjusted) unhappy customer can put the breaks on a multi-million dollar campaign and bring pain to a huge company.”

I said I thought the author was exaggerating. Huge brands have so much consumer interaction that a few negative comments are drowned out.

Many would sign off their blog criticism with #justsaying (on Twitter) or Just sayin' (on a blog comment). This always reminds me of when people say “no offence, but . . .” It's fun this social media, isn't it? A couple of opinionated people on different continents having their say, jostling for position and recognition by being slightly critical but mainly in agreement.

The author's main thought, about the struggle businesses have on Social Media in finding their voice and putting on a face, is a point on which I wholeheartedly concur.

As I said, I am meant to be researching social media views in preparation for the workshops on Wednesday and Thursday this week when I was distracted by this blog post, and just had to leave a comment. . .and then had a coffee and thought a bit more about it and decided to write this blog on the subject . . . and have it feed through to facebook, twitter and LinkedIn.

It was a time-consuming distraction . . . . a sign of the times for sure.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Social Media for Business - marketing training event

Social Media - your business voice

Social media has revolutionised small business marketing. There ever never before been such a cheap and easily accessible set of tools. More and more small businesses are seeing the benefits of social media to help increase awareness, create and nurture relationships, generate new leads, increase search engine placements, monitor marketing effort ... all with reduced expense.

It takes thought, so many organisations are not yet effectively establishing and managing a strong social media presence, let alone keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of social outlets and tools.

Henmore's interactive, hands-on workshop session covers:
  • Social Media Basics & Beyond: Understanding key social media outlets, emerging trends and new tools and communities to consider in your social media plans
  • Creating Your Social Media Strategy: Developing and implementing a social media strategy that supports your specific brand voice and vision, takes into account your day to day realities,  identifies which tools make sense (and which don’t) for your business.
  • 5 Marketing Questions to ask yourself: What you need to consider before diving into specific social media outlets - and tips for making your effort worthwhile when you do.
  • Tips, Tricks & Real-world Examples - ideas, practices and lessons learned from helping clients with their marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Blogging, and more.
Our social media session is always one of the liveliest. We share our knowledge and give you tips
and tools to help you get started, grow and solidify your social media strategies.

2012 Social Media Workshops - schedule and booking