ActiveWin MD Warren Jacobs is proud to have a long association with TiE UK North in helping to mentor budding entrepreneurs. So, when they asked ActiveWin to host an event to talk through organic marketing best practice for SMEs, we jumped at the chance.
Warren was definitely the host with the most, offering guests glasses of bubbly, freshly made noodles, sides and an excellent selection of cakes to ensure there were no rumbling tummies when ActiveWin Media Director Bernadette Kelly took centre stage.
Warren kicked things off with a prelude that included: “We don’t go online. We live online.” He knows a thing or two about launching successful businesses, having been part of the team of founding directors for Adzooma, Sharp Gaming, Raven Tracking, and Nektan Marketing Services.
Bernie is no stranger to the spotlight, having formed part of the VOOM 2017 judging panel, and talked the audience through the basics of using different social media platforms, as part of a coherent content strategy.
Bernie, said: “A lot of small business owners should be looking at social media activity as one small piece of their overall digital presence. They should be considering their website UX, content marketing, technical SEO, backlinks, and outreach as well. And the most important element is using the available analytics to understand what is working, and what isn’t.”
This premise set the scene for the presentation, driving home how important it is to engage your audience online. Talking through a few of the reasons SMEs give for not creating and maintaining a social presence online, Bernie gave the audience some tips on how to make the most of social media and make it work for your business.
The importance of responding respectfully and not getting into a war of words online was highlighted by the #chavgate incident, whereby 47 King Street West restaurant responded to a negative review on Facebook by calling the customers in question “chav cheap trash” as well as making further derogatory comments regarding their appearance and social status. The vitriolic response went viral, making national and even international news, leading to the restaurant ultimately closing.
Here are a couple of quick takeaways from the session:
- Incorporate social into your overall brand strategy
- It’s not one size fits all – experiment with platforms and approaches
- Start with making your profiles as complete and accurate as possible – this is you introducing your business
- Don’t spam your audience with sales stuff – mix it up with fun and engaging content
- Know your customer and speak their language on all mediums
- Deal with disputes quickly and efficiently, take it offline if it has the potential to get nasty
- Your website should provide a steady stream of shareable content for social
- Free tools can help you get started – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Maybe Tech etc
- Use chatbots to engage with site visitors
- Change your call to action frequently
- Consider free or highly discounted welcome offers to new customers on the products or services that have the highest margin
Following the presentation, there was a Q & A session, with attendees invited to ask Bernadette more specific questions related to their specific businesses and industries.
Marketing Director Mark Baker and MMS Operations Director Will Pearce were also on hand to give a little bit of insight into how organic marketing and social media can feed into acquisition and retention.
TiE UK North links budding entrepreneurs with business mentors through events such as the TiE Talks. The global organisation support entrepreneurs at all stages, offering education, mentorship, networking and funding opportunities.
ActiveWin offers a full range of services from SEO and content to social media management, live chatbot services, PPC and CRM.