Calgary Herald «February 18, 2016»

How do you use social media to meet your business goals?

By Capital Ideas via Capital Ideas in The Herald
 
Capital Ideas members were asked how they use social media to meet their business goals. Originally published in the Calgary Herald FP section on Thursday, February 18, 2016. Reproduced with permission. See more at: http://calgaryherald.com/business/capital-ideas/how-do-you-use-social-media-to-meet-your-business-goals?__lsa=84cf-e301
 
Here’s what members of our community of business owners helping business owners had to say:
 
“Firstly, I showcase what a business can do with its brand through social media. I achieve this by sharing content with my followers, creating a two-way conversation and building an online community. Social media analytics help me determine who my audience is and what their interests are. Consistent posting and blogging has increased my SEO and subsequently has led to a larger client base. Social media is an excellent way for my business to provide superior customer service by allowing an outlet for feedback as well as questions. The second way social media helps me achieve my business goals is through networking. I have established a vast online network through events with a social media focus. This community is a great resource for referrals as well as business tips. As a solopreneur I rely on the added knowledge and advice of colleagues to improve my business and reach my desired goals.”
— Christine Salberg, CEO of Innovative PlanIt, @Innov8ivePlanit
 
“Businesses use social media in three key ways: networking and engagement, establishing expertise or brand awareness and targeted messaging. LinkedIn and Twitter allow us to connect with business leaders that we would never had the opportunity to connect with 15 years ago. Social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram allow companies to connect with and empower their brand champions to build a solid community of supporters as well as provide customer service in a variety of new ways. Not only does the content you create for social sharing reflect your business expertise but, if properly optimized, that content can also boost website visits and leads through implementation of effective inbound marketing techniques. Finally, social channels give brands the opportunity to present highly relevant messaging to just the right audience at just the right time through targeted social advertising.”
— Michelle Mackintosh, marketing strategist at Pulse Digital Marketing, @PulseYYC
 
“We used (social media) to reach out and build awareness of our organization and what we can do for our customers. Social media enables our prospects to get better educated with what is available, and how we are different, before they take the step to contact us directly.”
— Merri Lemmex, managing partner, operations at Lemmex Williams Training Inc.
 
“We use social media to interact with the public and to create brand awareness. It allows us to expand our reach and connect with people who otherwise would not be reachable via conventional methods. When it’s done right, you feel a buzz in the air from all the people talking about your company. It’s a good feeling when you meet someone new and they already know the basics about your company and why you’re in existence. It puts you in a great position to develop a deeper relationship.”
— Quan Ly, partner at McRally Accountants & Advisors, @McRallyCanada
 
“We use the power of sharing with social media to grow and meet our goals. After all, social media is designed for us to share and leverage each other’s networks. By creating our community online, providing support when we can and reciprocating when others are asking for shares, we have created a community of good will. By supporting others with what they need and being there when they need us, our goal of being champions for business owners in Alberta is met.”
— Trina Lo, CMO at FreshInk Communications, @FreshinkMarket
 
“Create, learn, share. Our social media strategy is to create connections and build networks so others feel heard and welcome. (Our clients) get to know us better and we get to know them better. We love to learn from others when they share their posts. It may spark an incredible idea for the business. We love to share what we know as well. It’s all about building relationships and helping one another. Social media can be a way to support each other and most of all a way to learn.”
— Laura Pierce, president of LP Human Resources Inc., @LPHumanResource
 

“Social media allow us to engage our customers with content that’s not directly related to our company but is content they’ll find interesting, thought-provoking and relevant.”
— Kris Hans, strategist at Market Grade Ltd. @krishans

 
“I believe in creating value through relationships. One approach we use to uncover new relationships is to foster opportunities for serendipity to occur. Social Media is a channel we use to accelerate this journey. We connect with people and organizations we might never have found otherwise, share content and engage with a broader audience not limited by geography. While Twitter and LinkedIn create the opportunity for chance encounters, analytics help us provide the content that is of interest to our community. Since we’ve applied this philosophy, we’ve been added to multiple business lists on Twitter, referenced in several articles and nominated for a Small Business Week customer service excellence award.”
— Denise Tsang, director, business development at Raven Bay, @RavenBayService
 
“Social media is an unprecedented opportunity for a business to engage with existing and potential customers. It has never been as easy to build an audience that you can directly communicate with on a daily or weekly basis. To make social work for your business there must be a plan in place to communicate consistently and to track and understand what types of posts and content work and which do not. If a certain social network doesn’t bring any results, find an expert to see what you are doing wrong, or don’t be afraid to drop it. Remember: most of your customers’ first experiences with your business will be digital.”
— Michael Tighe, managing partner at Solid Site, @miketighe
 
“We extensively use social media as primary marketing channel to promote RigER, provide useful information to our clients, develop our expertise level, increase brand awareness and build trust. We had only two direct sales from social media in the last 1.5 years, but the indirect effect is huge. Social media generate 40 per cent of our website traffic. We have a specialised group on LinkedIn, two LinkedIn company pages, three Twitter accounts and two pages on Facebook. Most of our publications are automated by special software tools. We use them for scheduling posts, re-post, etc. Therefore, it takes two to three hours per week to manage these accounts. Our social media budget is minimal and includes LinkedIn advertising. They have very detail precision targeting advertising. We believe that role of social media will grow rapidly and we would like to increase our social media presence to meet our business goals.”
— Michael Maltsev, CEO and founder of RigER Oilfield Rental Software, @riger_ca
 
“NewHomeListingService.com was launched right here in Alberta as a directory of all new homes and condos in the province. We have built the majority of our online presence and lead generation by firmly establishing a presence on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest using technologies like HootSuite to make it easier to manage.”
— Milo Anderson, CEO and founder of NewHomeListingService.com, @NewCanadaHomes
 
The above answers are in response to a question posed by Wellington Holbrook (@Wellington_ATB), vice-president of ATB Business. Here’s his take:
 
“Social media is the great marketing equalizer of our time. It has essentially enabled small business to reach customers without the need of massive marketing budgets usually reserved for much larger companies. Social media allows for frequent and consistent touchpoints, increasing brand awareness and ultimately enabling you to create substance and meaning behind your products and services. Perhaps the most important element about social media is that you can also use it to see what’s being said about you, your products, and your services and take action when things aren’t what you want them to be. It all comes back to listening, engaging and connecting with customers to support you as you continue to evolve and change your business which is essential to meeting business goals in today’s business world.”
 
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