by karen on November 17, 2011

Much has been documented of late about the rise of social media across the globe, and the brilliant video ‘Social Media Revolution‘ from Socialnomics perfectly encapsulates why it is so important to reach out and engage with your customers and key audiences.

But how can our businesses harness the power of social media to their best advantage?  Here are ten nuggets of my own wisdom to help enhance your social media activity:

1. It’s not just broadcasting… it’s about engaging people in conversations, building trust and generating a following of advocates and potential customers who have an affinity with your product or service. Aim to create a two-way dialogue, not just outward broadcasts.

2. A business blog is an excellent way to engage customers – regular blogging is relatively easy, as long as you focus on communicating clear targeted messages, using platforms such as WordPress. It is also an effective way to get people to know you and your business, and the ethos and values associated with it. An easy way to write a blog is to pose the most frequently asked questions from your target market and then answer them, inviting people to comment on this.

3. It’s not just for young people – although the ‘early adopters’ were pre-dominantly younger, the fastest growing demographic for social media use is the 55+ age group. It pays to engage with this group; they have children, grandchildren and powerful peer group networks.

4. The right keywords? – don’t assume that your audiences will search on the same keywords you think they will – check Google Adwords to compare the most popular search terms used.

5. Not everyone is on social media… but you can target audiences relevant to you using Google’s search and advertising facilities, Facebook Ads and SEO techniques, to enhance your website and blog effectiveness.

6. It doesn’t have to take all day – specific and time-bound chunks of social media activity can be carried out at designated points during the day. Tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck will help to co-ordinate activity across the different social media platforms and to schedule your posts if required.

7. Embrace the power of referrals – whether it’s through business networking groups or Twitter-based activity (e.g. @msfr, #FFs etc), do not underestimate the value of professional and personal referrals for others, and for your own business.

8. Social media won’t replace your website – but it can drive plenty of traffic to it (make sure it is fit for purpose, otherwise the extra traffic may be in vain) and, if properly integrated, between your various social media platforms.

9. Evaluate the success of your activity – use tools such as Google Analytics, Twenty Feet etc to provide statistics on your social media performance and data from your website to assess its traffic flows and origins. This should inform your future strategy by understanding what has worked and what has not. The real ROI for social media isn’t a quick fix, but an enhanced business reputation and the opportunity to survive longer than those businesses not ‘out there’.

10. If you can’t manage it all yourself – ask for help from someone who understands what you are trying to achieve, knows what they are doing, and who has the time, skills and dedication to support you.

…And this is where I can help, working with businesses and organisations to support them with the relevant training, coaching them and helping them to manage their social media activity, so they can direct their time towards the running of their businesses and reaching their objectives.

I would be delighted to hear from you if I can be of assistance to your business or organisation in supporting your marketing or social media activity with strategic consultancy and/or training services. Contact me via my mobile 07734 297916 or by email:

NB: this article is an edited version of my blog first published on the Your London Business website:

Previous post:

Next post: