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June 12, 2012

Social Media Tips

Writing about Social Media insights for SMEs from Think Digital

My colleague Dr Xiao Ma from WMG's SME team has just posted on his blog with some valuable insight from the Social Media Forum he attended in March 2012.

He has tailored content specifically for our smaller business audience, so SMEs here are some of the top tips:

  • Don't push content through social media platforms, create content that others will want to share
  • Google+ is a must have for generating content for search engine optimsation purposes for the time being as Google is not indexing Facebook.
  • A lesson to learn - KLM and Nokia have social media customer service teams separated from their existing customer service team to offer specialised support.
  • "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" - Culture and education are key barriers for businesses to take up social media.
  • Get the right contacts from the right platforms. LinkedIn to get professionals, but Twitter to get CEOs.

For Dr Xiao Ma's full blog visit:

To register an interest in the support we offer SMEs around social media email:

March 30, 2012

Measuring ROI from Social Media Activity

My colleagues Dr Xiao Ma and Dr Mark Swift delivered a session to a number of businesses at a recent workshop we hosted with the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) on the benefits of social media. They talked about tools and techniques to better manage the resource commitment needed for undertaking social media activity, such as Hootsuite and Buffer and shared some interesting case studies including the work we did with Gravograph.

However, businesses in the session did raise the question about how to measure Return on Investment (ROI) of this activity. We get comments about ROI quite frequently and like other marketing activities, being able to determine the impact of this actvity can sometimes appear elusive. If you look at social media activity in the same way as engagement with press through PR activity or attending an event and speaking to a number of people it is not always clear if the effort has had an impact or could lead to business as a result.

Like all other marketing activity, social media is a channel to engagement and reaching target audiences. The more targeted effort made, the more liklihood that potential clients get to hear about your work and learn about your business. Social Media offers you the opportunity to not only become an advocate for your business on particular issues/subjects but also allows you to monitor other conversations, individuals and businesses, manage customer service and ultimately generate leads and sales. Here are a few ways you can monitor your activity on social media:

  • Set up Google Alerts and discover if your social media activity is being circulated online
  • On-going benchmarking through your Twitter account - followers, mentions. Tools such as Twitter Falls, Tweepskey, Social Mention and Klout are also good to monitor conversations and Twitter impact.
  • You can track visitors from Social Media through your Web Analytics and identify if increased traffic, conversions occur as a result
  • You can ensure that Social Media is monitored through your CRM system - find out where people have heard about you.
  • Certain issues or topics you talk about may lead to more interest in your business. If you establish this then tailor your content to these things.

Regardless of how this technology develops, business priorities and the things you want to do will remain the same. You must tie any social metrics to your business objectives.

Another question that is often asked is which social media platform should a business focus on. This is largely dependent on the type of business you are and your business priorities in terms of what you want to acheive. In terms of market reach, the leaders are Facebook and Twitter and would be a good place to start - particularly if you are a B2C type business. Using social media for B2B markets requires more focus and a more targeted approach as smaller numbers (results) can often be effective enough to make a difference.

October 21, 2011

IIPSI Update

I can’t believe it is Friday already. We have had a really busy week. We are working hard at the moment to promote the new IIPSI building and the programme of support we will be offering as widely as possible across the West Midlands. It will be a facility that SMEs can make use of to develop new products and services around three distinct areas: Digital Technologies, User Focussed Design and Multi-functional Polymers. Check out the pictures in the gallery to see how we are progressing.

We hosted a networking event on Tuesday evening for the Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire branch of UKITA and hosted 20 businesses who attended a CRM workshop. Whenever businesses come in and see us we are capturing feedback about some of the facilities and demonstrators we are developing for the IIPSI building. For the multi-functional polymers area we are developing applications in shape memory polymers and electroluminescent polymers so that businesses will be able to see how the technology could be applied to a product they are developing. Additionally in the area of digital media, we are looking at setting up a Mobile App Lab so that we can support businesses develop mobile apps for their websites. We want to know if businesses would find this useful. If you are interested in talking to us about how your business can benefit from IIPSI please get in touch.


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