All you wanted to know about Social Media, but were afraid to ask

A talk by Graham Jones to CIM members and BBE students at the University of Buckingham on 7 February 2012

Internet Psychologist Graham Jones was invited by the Northamptonshire Branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing to talk to members and guests, including Buckingham BSc Business Enterprise students.

Graham’s opening statement centred on the massive online social changes affecting our everyday lives. The introduction of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, have had a tremendous effect on businesses and according to Graham, it is increasingly important, if not necessary, for businesses to make sure they secure their brand on social media sites.

When businesses develop a social networking presence, they are able to make connections with a multitude of individuals, targetting new customers or suppliers with the click of a button, thereby drawing attention to their product, service, news or brand.

Graham presented a “The Five Step Plan” which he believes every business should adopt to be successful:

  1. Plan: Having a strategy / plan is essential in every business. By developing a plan, you answer how you will address and act upon business needs.
  2. Blog: Adding content should be your primary activity. The more blogging the better, according to Graham. There are definitely some advantages to running a business blog. You can keep people informed about new products, services and other important information without having to spend vast amounts of money on advertising. Graham claims 8 blogs a day is the ideal number.
  3. Integrate: Connecting your blog to every social media outlet important to your business will increase product / brand awareness, reaching a wider audience. Use your staff as constant bloggers so the information is seen to be unbiased.
  4. Monitor: Constantly be aware of your readership and what they are doing with your content. This information can be used as market research to identify  strengths and weakness within the business, making it more competitive and pro-active.
  5. Respond: Reply to the engagement you receive and use that to help develop your future plans. Graham spoke about the importance of not just blogging but responding to questions in a timely and personal manner, which will eventually increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Graham claimed that the more a company blogs, the more success it will have. However, some members of the audience did not agree with him, believing that there should be a balance, or consumers will be saturated with information and eventually lose interest in the site. One young lady at the seminar said that too much information puts her off a website and she leaves within a few seconds. It could be said that is the same for blogs, but Graham did not agree.

Report by BBE student, Toby Morrish and BBE Programme, Director Nigel Adams