Type of Business: Copywriter based in Oxfordshire, UK
Nikki uses social media as part of her marketing strategy and uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Business Community sites, Social Bookmarks, Twitter and blogs on her own blog site.
Nikki roughly spends 40 hours a month actively managing her own social media marketing and does not make use of outsourced services.
Has social media benefitted your business. If so how, what has been the biggest benefit?
“Hugely. Through different tools, I can engage with other business owners and network with all sorts of people. Social media allows me to keep in touch with others, access new techniques/industry information and share information with people. Each tool plays an invaluable role within my business.
I’ve also used Twitter to promote my blog, articles and services. This has allowed me to showcase my skills and value, as well as present my professionalism. Consequently, several business enquiries have come through this platform, as well as new clients.
The biggest benefit has been to ‘meet’ fantastic people online, that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. An equally important benefit has been the sheer volume of information I’ve been able to access. (Mainly through Twitter).”
Can you briefly outline your social media strategy and what you found to be the most effective?
“With social media, I find consistency is the key. I try to build social media marketing into my weekly schedule. Twitter has become a daily part of my business life, as I’ll explain later.
I endeavour to blog at least once a week and share articles I’ve published online; I contribute to business forums/others’ blogs; I use social networking sites to get to know other business owners or to chatter about business/life in general.
I certainly don’t use social media to constantly sell my business and feel this approach is detrimental to success. Keeping a social media weekly tick-list has been very useful as it allows me to keep track of what I am doing/not doing.”
How do you measure the ROI in using social media for your business and are the results measuring up?
“This is a tough one. Tracking and analysing social media ROI is different to a direct mail campaign, for example. While the value of social media is priceless in terms of increasing one’s audience and being able to position oneself, how can you accurately ‘measure’ social media? For me, as a small business, social media allows me to be part of an online community. It doesn’t require much investment, other than time.
Reflecting on it, social media allows me to invest in long-term company growth, as opposed to short-term results. Right now, I can’t put a value on that… I’d be interested in finding out how others measure their social media activities.”
Do you have a Twitter Strategy? Briefly explain your Twitter strategy?
Due to time constraints, I allot specific times of the day to Twitter, for example, and stick to it. On Twitter, I focus on retweeting, promoting other businesses, recommending people, asking questions/offering opinions and posting interesting articles. Oh and, of course, being myself.
I enjoy engaging with others, rather than just selling my business. To me, that’s the beauty of this platform.
If you use Twitter as part of your marketing campaign. How has your experience been and would you say you have generated business and leads from Twitter?
I’ve been a Twitter user for 8 months and absolutely love it! I have built up a modest following, only because I carefully choose who to follow rather than follow anyone who’s breathing! For me, it means I can get to know people as individuals. People are important to me – I don’t believe in collecting names and numbers. But, I do believe in building relationships.
I enjoy the repartee between fellow tweeps and have made some friends, as well as business colleagues, through Twitter. And, yes, Twitter has generated business too.
What top tips from your overall experience would you share with others who would like to use social media as part of their marketing campaign?
- Be human
- Be positive
- Engage with people
- Use Twitter desktop organisers to organise your time
- Give value…
Feel free to check out my article on how to use Twitter for business.
Social Media and ROI
The topic of how to justify spending time and money using social media? How do you measure the return on investment was raised on a forum the other day and so I thought it would be a good time to investigate and ask existing small businesses how they determine the ROI for their business when it comes to using social media.
What I discovered was that hardly anyone was measuring the ROI but instead everyone was putting it down to building new relationships, gaining business and increasing their network.
It got me thinking about old methods of marketing and how it was measured and then I have to ask the question; how many small businesses really measured their ROI? The way I see it, and I could be wrong is that most small businesses’ in most cases use the newspaper, flyers, word of mouth and a few other methods of marketing and therefore they would not go and heavily spend a vast amount of time on figuring out the ROI but rather measured it against profit and if business was coming in and profit was good then the marketing was working and if it wasn’t they would change or try other methods. This leaves me thinking that perhaps people are placing too much emphasis on measuring the ROI when in fact it is not easily measured according to top marketers.
The big advantage and the way I see it is that it is easier to connect via social media because social media gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience where as old methods of marketing don’t have this advantage and yet people still continue to try and justify why they should not get involved in using social media.
Life seems to move in waves, people who are on the look out for the next wave and catch that wave usually score a very high return on investment and by the time the others catch on, it’s too late and the people who caught the wave early are dominating the market.
I also asked Richard White of The Accidental Salesman® to share his views on how he would determine the ROI by using social media and this is what he had to say in his blog post.
Tomorrow I will start to share the answers that were was given to me by various business owners who kindly took the time to answer my questions. I just want to thank everyone for their participation in this interview/survey.
Interview 1: Nikki Cook, Copywriter
Interview2: Mark Barton, Utilities Warehouse Distributor