London, UK: Back when I was a kid the answer was always the Yellow Pages. In that magical book we’d find the solution to any problem which Dad or one of his mate’s couldn’t sort out.
If we were struggling to find a bouncy castle for a birthday party, the number for Dave’s Inflatables – it’s always Dave isn’t it? – would sort things out. Other fixers filled the pages either side of Dave too; Anna’s Bouquets could fix some last minute flowers for you if you forgot your Gran’s birthday and Jollys’ Drinks would supply the booze for any occasion.
The Yellow Pages had it all, it probably still does, but now we have the Internet. And if your business is only traceable in the Yellow Pages these days, then alarm bells should be ringing—you need an online presence more than ever now.
Here, with as little jargon as possible, are seven tips to help you network your business in 2013.
1: Build an influence
Stating the bloody obvious, but it’s a good place to start: create profiles all over the place for your business. Start with Facebook and Twitter and then dribble into LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and whatever else is out there as soon as you can.
If you make cakes what better way to tempt people in than Instragramming the hell out of your tasty looking super-strawberry-looking-cheesecake-with-a-hint-of-chocolate-a-squeeze-of-something-and-a-pretty-design? Marketing agency in London? Then you may be better suited to LinkedIn and Twitter.
Find the social networks which work best for you.
2: Promoted hashtags
Keep an eye on promoted hashtags and make use of them. From things which people are talking about in the news or pop culture, through to the more relevant hashtags like #GBHour, #Bizitalk and #Under1000club which can help you gain exposure, establish expertise and grow relationships within your area.
So get searching now!
3: Twitter analytics (+ alternatives)
Keep up with who your audience is, when they tweet and when they are most likely to engage.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you do this ranging from Twitter’s own through to sites like followerwonk.com—they analyse your followers (or who you follow) and create graphs to show when they tweet during the day, when they engage, how often they tweet, where they’re based and much, much more.
4: Constantly interact, tweet, real people.
What’s the point of getting wrapped up in the online world if you’re not prepared to interact with potential customers and like-minded companies?
Field questions, tweet people you may be able to help and, generally, just grab a Mars Bar (alternatives are available), a cup of tea and have a good old natter with real people.
The benefits should become evident in the long run.
5: Schedule tweets/posts for when you can’t tweet
Nobody likes to be online all the time, however it helps if your business never stops—because social media, after all, doesn’t.
If you’re working for a T-shirt printing agency or a marketing company, but only work the Dolly Parton nine till five, make sure you schedule tweets, Facebook posts and photos to be posted at evenings and weekends too.
You can use programs like Hootsuite to do this for you.
6: Entertain/engage, develop a style
Don’t just interact with your followers, fans and community—entertain them! Develop a writing style which is present throughout everything you do across all your different social media platforms and try to stick with it.
Nobody wants to read a boring, repetitive tweet about what your business does all the time, so mix it up, spruce it up and get creative. What have you got to lose? A follower?
7: Share tweets/posts/articles from others
Social media is increasingly driven by egos. Little Billy next door wants to buy loads of followers so that people are impressed and getting retweets from ‘celebs’ is the highlight of some people’s weeks—whatever happened to the autograph?
As a business you shouldn’t fall into that bracket though. Yes, you want to share your content and be popular, but share other stuff you find which is awesome too.
Whether it’s an interesting look into marketing by a blogger or a funny meme which made you laugh that morning, make sure you get sharing (slip in your own content too though, of course).
Printsome are a T-shirt printing agency based in London and delivering all across the UK, from Bristol to Aberdeen and everywhere in between. If you’re a marketing agency looking for personalised tote bags, a small business in need of custom workwear or anyone else requiring T-shirt printing, then get in touch for a quote today.