I was delighted to have the opportunity to see Rob Wilmot speak at the recent Buy Yorkshire conference, organised by The Yorkshire Mafia. (You can read about my experience at the conference by following the links below.)
Image courtesy of Yorkshire Mafia
- Buy Yorkshire: Yorkshire Mafia Annual Conference 2013 – Day One
- Buy Yorkshire: Yorkshire Mafia Annual Conference 2013 – Day Two
I thoroughly enjoyed Rob’s talk and was totally on board with what he was saying so I wanted to explore it in more detail here.
Rob was discussing the importance of businesses getting on board with social media and really engaging with clients and customers properly online.
He discussed the importance of first LISTENING before beginning to broadcast. This is so important. Social media is about engagement, and to understand how to engage, you need first to listen and understand – the same as in offline social situations.
Social media: Listen. Don’t Broadcast
You should never just broadcast and throw out blurb, as customers will quickly become turned off. The first thing you should do is simply listen. You can do this by using keywords to search for conversations on particular topics; see how the audience is already interacting, and then begin adding useful information to the conversation.
Rob also discussed the whole phenomenon of people seeing social media as free. As it is free for consumers to access social media and many use it themselves, there can be issues with some people seeing the strategic potential of social media, and some can be unwilling to pay for that knowledge as they don’t see the benefits.
But time is money. Social media can be a very useful communications tool, yes, but you need to invest a lot of time before you see real results. The results will come, but social media does not give an immediate ROI.
These discussions about social media for business have been happening for a very long time now, and Rob points out that we’re now way past the tipping point. Social media is already having a massive impact on how we do things and on results that can be affected by the public.
He mentioned the example of X Factor winner Joe McElderry – he was a dead cert for the Christmas number one that year (as the X Factor winner often was), but a Facebook campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to number one instead was successful and he was knocked off the top spot.
Some other interesting statistics he shared included:
- 63% Facebook usage is now on mobile devices
- 80% of Twitter usage is now on mobile devices
- Twitter outperforms Facebook 9 to 1 in lead generation
I know, I couldn’t believe that last statistic either! It really goes to show what a powerful tool Twitter can be for business. The point is, social media is already having a massive impact, and businesses urgently need to get on board now.
Image courtesy of Buy Yorkshire
You can follow Rob on Twitter here: @RobWilmot
You can follow me on Twitter here: @jrconsultancy
If you’re interested in how social media can be used to help achieve real results for your business, do have a read of my other blogs.
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