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How to market effectively online through social media

24 April 2012

SMILE

On 20th and 29th March 2012, HELO and SMILE held a two-part workshop on how to market effectively online through social media, delivered by Ian Broom, co-founder of Launch48 and director of Weboo.

Ian started by asking which social media sites were used by the attendees and why and then helped identify some of the more common social media websites, how to differentiate between the channels, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to assess which of these are most appropriate for different companies.

Some of the topics covered included confirming what you want from social media as this will determine your social media marketing strategy - simply having a lot of followers may not be the best strategy but instead aim to engage with the "right" followers and friends. When asked how one finds the "right" followers Ian's response was to place yourself in your ideal customers' shoes and think about where they would be and how to reach them.

Tools for managing all your social media channels were discussed because the general consensus was that there is not enough time to manage all the various channels whilst running your own business. Ian introduced some of the main programmes that help gather together information from different social media websites into one application and he highlighted some of their features such as being able to send out timed messages, which can greatly help entrepreneurs manage their already busy schedules. He also introduced various tools with key statistics because it is important to be able to measure the success of your marketing scheme.

Companies were given the opportunity at various points in the evenings to discuss in groups strategies that could be appropriate for some fictional companies and for their businesses. The workshops emphasised that businesses must consider various characteristics of their company and of the social media channels available in order to market themselves effectively online. Companies left with some strategies to implement and a new set of tools and websites to explore.