A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to someone who had recently been in discussion with a public sector body who has advised the business that social media was only effective for raising awareness of a product not for actually doing business. It did make me worry about the advice that this particular public body was giving out! As yes Social Media does create awareness as any marketing communication tool will but also again like any marketing tool used effectively it will also bring you business! So I thought in this blog piece I would use case studies to show this.
Firstly we work with a number of hotels and carry out their social media activity for them. We have seen customers not just like and communicate with hotels on Facebook and Twitter but actually reserve tables for dinner, book accommodation and for one Hotel we work with get a significant piece of group business from a tour operator for a group of 60 staying in the hotel in November! We also have recently worked with a bed and breakfast owner to start her off on her social media journey by holding a workshop with her and then being at the end of the phone for any queries! My day was made this week when she let me know that she had a cancellation this weekend! I know not so good but read on. So she had cleverly mentioned this on the wall of a Facebook event page (the events is on this weekend) and filled the vacancy in half an hour! Three nights at full price no need to reduce the price.
My husband is a lawyer and partner at Davidson Chalmers and as he heard me go on and on about the merits of social media like me he was an early convert to its use for business. My husband would actually be great at giving a workshop or a seminar on how to effectively use LinkedIn as he makes maximum use of it. So for example when someone asks to connect with him on LinkedIn he sends them a message to say thanks and asks if they want to meet up for a coffee. Result yes he not only raises awareness of his business he actually gets business. He has also found that by having an up to date LinkedIn presence he has been asked not only to tender for jobs but has got the job over other law firms who are not using LinkedIn. As Davidson Chalmers look up to date with current business practices. And what about Twitter? Well apart from the fact that he has also like me become a twitter addict! He also has had business from Twitter by answering legal queries and again meeting up with people who he tweets with who are needing legal advise. So not only by tweeting has he increased awareness about Davidson Chalmers but he also has got new business from it too.
Other examples include a golf course I was speaking to recently who have been very pro active on Twitter and have increased visitors to the course as a result as well as getting new members. Or retail customers we work with who have increased on-line sales and sales in their shops as a result of adding products to Facebook. Finally I have to speak from personal experience. Bright Light Marketing has had business particularly from being pro active on social media. And the last two proposals that we have pitched for why did we get the enquiry? Both potential clients said that because we are so pro active on Twitter when they needed help with their marketing they thought of Bright Light Marketing.
At the end of the day social media is no different from any other marketing communication tool. If done well with a targeted approach and time spent on it and the patience to realise that it will take time social media will not just create awareness of your company it will bring you business! Trust me!