One thing that can be said universally across our Small Business Network in Manchester and Cheshire is that there was none of the usual December slow down in 2014

Whereas previously we witnessed Social Networks start to go quiet around the 15th December – this year there were real signs that business was booming for many and that meant that even up to the close of business on Christmas Eve there was a hive of activity. As we write this blog between Christmas and New Year even that period has seemed so much more busier for businesses

Long may this continue and may small businesses be the true road to recovery where national policy has failed

Here are our highlights of December in the world of Social Media Marketing

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HOW TO MANAGE A LARGE NUMBER OF BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Early in December we worked with a company in North Manchester not too far from the Etihad and the home of Manchester City

With a team of 6 people in Marketing and Business Development for the overarching company they presented the problem – we have just our 6 pairs of hands and limited time to work on all areas of marketing, but we have set up Social Media accounts for 16 different brands that each have a tone of voice and different audience – how the hell do we manage it?

They had some trump cards in their arsenal – they’d already generated business via Social Media as tracked via Google Analytics for their ecommerce websites – but time was still an issue and they used similar images and marketing messages across all brands rather than have a unique voice

So our solution was start off with the key 4 or 5 brands and work on their voice with each brand going through the marketing process of

  • Who are our customers?
  • What are their Interests?
  • What is our brand?
  • Where is the intersection of interests?

From that simple process we were able to work out which talking points there were for each brand, when their customers were likely to be online and look at developing a content calendar months ahead

With time, and once they have delivered more ROI in-house, they will then be in the position to have a full time staff member to manage all the social media accounts or to outsource to an agency such as ourselves

Key Takeaway: Work on the core Social Media platforms / brands first and get them working to perfection, before expanding your reach with more platforms / reach

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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO FIND SERVICE PROVIDERS RATHER THAN CUSTOMERS
One of the biggest misconceptions about networking – whether it be face 2 face networking or Social networking is that they’re primarily sales platforms

In face to face networking it’s often mentioned how networking is about relationship building and not just about those in the room, but who they know as well – or in short relationship building

During 2014 we’ve worked with a large number of businesses whose primary goal for social media has been to find service providers

A number of times this has been Domiciliary Care businesses who are looking to use social media to find new care givers as there is a massively growing demand for care in the home and not enough care givers to match demand

This month we worked with a business who were looking for retired passionate animal lovers in need of some extra company at home to register as Dog Boarding Hosts

Social Media was a natural fit for the brand alongside traditional methods for a number of reasons

  • Animals and Social Media are probably the strongest fit after food and social media
  • Whilst the target retirees weren’t active with social media – their grown up children and family members are

During the session we looked at hyper-local twitter usage as well as use of Facebook Groups to reach out to socially active mums in each area

Key Takeaway: Think of all your routes to market as well as the direct route – Social Media may give you that extended reach

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DECEMBER – OUR BIGGEST FACEBOOK SUCCESS EVER!

One of the things we’ve been proud of in 2014 is our work on Organic Facebook i.e no paid ads in facebook for business

There’s been a lot of talk throughout the past 12 months about Facebook Organic Reach and doomsday predictions as to how it will soon be worthless for business.

In recent months this has been sent into hyperbole by the announcement that in January “overly promotional” posts will be removed or reduced from the newsfeed

All the whilst this talk has been going on – over 2014 we have seen the reach of posts increase for all of our clients with the vast majority of clients facebook reach doubling

During the period of November-December our Facebook traffic to our website rose by 299% compared to the previous 2 months and for the 1st time ever the Facebook Traffic surpassed that of twitter

We won’t deny that it’s been hard work (70% of our facebook posts are different from twitter so content production is key), there’s been a lot of techy and geeky analytics behind the scenes – but it shows one thing – is Facebook dead? Far from it!!

Key Takeaway: Well if you haven’t liked our facebook page – head over to http://www.facebook.com/altrinchamhq (and if you’re extra nice – please invite all your Altrincham based friends to the page – refer back to Key takeaway in point 2 as to why this helps – the people you invite don’t need to be business owners)

WITH DECEMBER OVER – WE JUST WANT TO SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR – THANKS FOR ALL YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT

Happy New Year Altrincham

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