As a twenty-year-old business & management undergraduate, coming into Fred as a marketing intern for two months during summer was somewhat unknown, daunting territory.
I made the conscious decision to absorb as much information as I could during my time at Fred, and being a ‘knowledge sponge’ for the last few months has placed me in good stead to write this blog post. Here I will highlight the five most significant, varying and somewhat surprising things that I’ve learned during my time here at Fred Marketing.
Think Pink: Branding is Important
Most businesses realise that consistent, effective branding is paramount in modern day businesses, but fail to be consistent with their branding throughout their online presence. I’ve learned that the visual aesthetic of your social media content and profiles can entirely shape how consumers view the quality of the service or product that your business provides. While faultless spelling, grammar and high-quality images are a given, your online content goes much further than this, and, in my opinion – this is where many businesses can fall short.
Businesses need to know what they are seeking to achieve through the use of social media & what the overall direction is. Are you trying to sell a physical product? Then impactful images, custom infographics, relevant hashtags & contact details should be your top priority for posts. On the other hand, I’ve learned that when promoting a service – facts, figures, a personable, first person approach and frequent online blog posts are all your friend. When combined, these can all be powerful strategies and getting the right people with the right experience to run your social media can bring real tangible results.
Quality over Quantity
Don’t buy your followers or bribe people to follow you. It’s really not a good look. I’ve learned that the relevance of your followers is much more important than the amount you have. If people willingly followed you because they are interested in your business, they’re much more likely to engage with your posts than if they were bribed with a measly 10% discount code or a free coffee if they ‘follow & retweet’. Grow your following organically – it will do you more favours in the long run. That being said, I wouldn’t say no to a free coffee.
Listen to your Analytics
If you don’t have a business account on social media, you may not be aware that the Gods of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have recently blessed digital marketers with tools that allow businesses to view how many users their posts reach and the levels of engagement that they are receiving. Viewing and paying attention to these statistics is paramount, as they are a vital tool in assessing the outcome of campaigns, marketing strategy, and what type of content is most successful on your digital platforms. Your analytics essentially highlight the posts that followers find the easiest to engage with – and that’s something that you don’t want to miss out on.
Big or small: Social media doesn’t discriminate
We live in a time where social media is used as a marketing platform by entities of all sizes, from your local corner shop to Donald Trump. It is easy to assume that if you are a small, relatively unknown business, that social media is futile and you won’t gain followers or engagement, but it’s become apparent to me that this simply is not the case.
Engaging with local businesses on social media, promoting offers, products and services and telling people how you do things, not just what you do, can all combine to become a portfolio for your services and can entirely modernise your brand. Think of a hairdressers for an example; an Instagram profile can essentially be a visual catalogue of your skills – share pictures of your recent clients’ fresh cuts and potential customers are far more likely to trust you. It may even make them choose you over a competitor. Similarly, for big businesses, they can use social media to give a face and a personality to a seemingly anonymous entity. Social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, and it’s free – and not using it as much as you can is a missed opportunity.
Fred is your Friend
I wasn’t bribed for this one – I promise! But I’ve learned that the power of a coffee-fuelled team of experts behind your social media and PR makes more difference to your brand and your business than you might think. Creating and executing a vision for your marketing campaigns and social media is easier said than done, and can be extremely challenging and time consuming when you’re trying to run a business. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s no shame in asking for a hand (or hands!) if you need one, and knowing that the team at Fred have been extremely helpful in introducing me to new tools, skills and strategies, I have no doubt that your branding and online profile would benefit from getting to know them as much as my knowledge has.
– Laurence Waterhouse