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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Insider North West Social Media Breakfast event - 10 actionable tips for businesses

Todays hottest tickets were to Insider North Wests "Social networking for business". On the panel were

What became apparent was that most businesses understood that they should engage on social media and that ther was a huge opportunity, yet few knew how to effectively engage with the medium. "I've registered, now what?" was a common theme expressed.

Nearly the whole audience were on LinkedIn yet few used Twitter or Facebook in their professional lives. Few businesses permitted their staff to use social media, indeed most indicated policies were in place to prevent this.

There was a certain level of apprehension, it seemed one reason for not adopting social media was the fear it could do more harm than good.

Manchester does social media

Locally there are plenty of success stories. Manchester airport has a fabulous Twitter presence which is used as a customer care channel, crisis management (during the volcanic ash cloud). MOSI use Twitter to market, converse with the public and build their brand to great effect. Manchester Libraries Facebook page features a catalogue search, videos of the Central Library transformation, highly engaging and popular.

Actionable tips for your business

On all networks ensure your profile is complete, reflects your brand appropriately and contains links to your web presence.


Businesses should be more actively seeking to connect on LinkedIn with potential partners and prospects. They should be engaging with people on the LinkedIn groups and posting more regular updates to their profile.


As the UK's second most visited web site, every business should have an active presence on Facebook. Consider using the questions & answers tools, build a Facebook Page which can be used as an outbound marketing tool and relationship building exercise.


Use Twitter as an outbound marketing tool and start to engage with your audience more

  • Bring the conversation back to your website with a link
  • Thank people for retweeting
  • Answer questions
  • Ask questions for which the answer is on your web site as a blog post
  • Do use #FollowFriday to reach new followers
  • Reach out to people, humanise your business by speaking directly and publicy


Consider adding Facebook and LinkedIn advertising to the marketing mix. Since both Facebook and LinkedIn advertsing can be targetted using location and demographic information it offers opportunities which Google Adwords lacks.

Typically Facebook users are not in the buying cycle but you can approach people asking to be 'liked'. This opens up a marketing channel so you can drive traffic towards your web site or Facebook page.

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