Peter Kerwood

How marketers are using social media to grow their business

The blog post Joining the social media conversation – connect, communicate, co-operate and collaborate outlines the many different uses of social media to build mutually beneficial relationships, reach professional and personal goals and ACTUALLY do business.

I’ve spent many long hours researching how others use social media to grow their business. By far the most helpful report I have read on this subject is by social media marketing expert Michael A. Stelzner who has conducted an in-depth study of 900 US marketers and provides valuable ‘who, what, where, why and when’ insight from people who are generating exposure, opportunities and sales from social media marketing.

Below is just a snapshot of what is in this report you can download the complete 26 page white paper here

Key findings of the report

Marketers are mostly new to social media: A significant 88% of marketers surveyed are using social media to market their businesses, BUT a staggering 72% have only been doing so for a few months or less.

The top social media tools: Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook were the top four social media tools used by marketers, in that order.

How much time do you need to invest: A significant 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week and 39% for 10 or more hours weekly. 9.6% spend more than 20 hours a week.

The top benefit of social media marketing: The number one advantage is generating exposure for the business, indicated 81% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic and building new business partnerships

Social medial marketing does close business: 61.62% of marketers who have been using social media marketing for some time report it has helped them close business.

Social medial does generate qualified leads: After only a few months and with as few as 6 hours a week, more than 50% of marketers have generated qualified leads from social marketing.

The people most likely to use social marketing: marketers aged between 30-39 years old were most likely to use social media marketing (92.8%)

If nothing else convinces you to dabble in social media marketing this will!: In terms of reducing overall marketing spend, a significant percentage of participants strongly agree that marketing costs dropped when social media marketing was implemented. In almost all cases social media marketing tools are free.

As David Quainton says in his Trend Watch article on social networking Find your wings, or get left behind in this months edition of Event Magazine – The digital revolution is over, we already live in a digital age and there are plenty of ways to make sure you use it to your advantage.

  • Robert Van Winkle

    Excellent stuff. You’re proving to be quite the authority when it comes to all things social media!

  • Lord Jason Scott

    I dabble in social media marketing and I must admit that it has opened a lot of doors for me. The Digital Age has created many useful things,but do you agree that is has also come with a price?
    Wiith great technology comes great douchebaggery( yes that is a word?) and my personal bug is txt speak.

    We all know someone these days that spends so much time online that they now speak in IRL social situations. So when they cant contain there excitement, they squeal in acronyms such as “LOL” or “OMG” to us, the unfortunate counterparts. They might seem like a normal people but beware they barely ever AFK and eat exclusively at TGI Friday’s.
    Gr8 work and TXT me ASAP 4 more 4 sure BTW for all those that are not taking advantage RTM or is this TM? oops
    which means – Boss Is Back On Your Site. Time to close the site and start work again
    > LOL

  • Peter Kerwood

    Robert – thanks for the comment. I dont regard myself as an expert in the field of social media marketing I’m just sharing as I’m learning which I think is the true spirit of social media.

  • Peter Kerwood

    Lord Jason Scott – OMG ur so ryt. Ppl dat tlk or typ n txt spk r HUGELY anoyin. u won’t ctch me tlkn n sucha manner. gud god man its lk a difrent lang spokn 1ly by holligans n st kids. I 4 1 wl b stickn 2 d queens english LOL

    4 transl8N 2 n frm txt spk go2 [for translation to and from text speak go to]

  • Lord Jason Scott

    awsome by d wA, d response 2 my response. wel plAd old man, wel plAd – ha ha ha . love the gidget 😉

  • michael aldridge

    This reminds me of my days at Cunard and the Ritz we had guest history cards for every guest and the card would have details relating to temperature of rooms, newspapers ordered, food eaten (dietary requests) and a specific comments the guests made during there stay. i.e. if they commented on a piece of art work, on their next stay we would endeavour to have this placed in their room. I think the days of this attention to detail are gone. Correct me if I am wrong!! .

    This may seem over the top for Events but word of mouth is the biggest driver of business in Merlin Venues and we make a great effort to engage pre and post event to ensure we exceed their expectations.

    • Ellis LP

      Its not over the top, its thoughtful and quite creative. Its the little things that make a difference and by taking a small note of individual clients likes and dislikes we can create an environment which is suitable and appeals to those we wish to make an impact on, whilst sustaining effective events where personal experiences are the foothold to successful relationships-which they will share with on-line and offline connections building awareness for the host.

  • Stuart Sharples

    We have the same problem. As a designer and manufacturer of bespoke awards our design team rely on a budget to create the right kind of designs. If we don’t have a budget we can either end up massively over-quoting or quoting for something that is inadequate for the occasion. I think that sometimes clients are worried that if they give us a budget we will try and spend it all, but we always provide a range of designs up to the budget. We find that our clients that are open about their budget often end up with the best products.

    Stuart Sharples
    Product Designer
    Gaudio Awards

    • Stephanie Easom

      Yes I think you’re right, clients are worried we’ll use up the whole budget for the sake of it! Once we’ve worked with them a few times they know that if the right speaker/entertainer happens to cost half what they have in the kitty, then that’s who they get and more champers for everyone! :)

  • Andrew Harvey

    Here Here ! We have access to some great agency rates for acts and after dinner speakers, when you have sent thousands of pounds worth of work the way of a band, entertainer or celebrity you get options on some great deals, I can share these with clients, but only when I know what options I can offer.

    I can help when clients have £20,000, and I can help when they have a less zeros .. But what’s the point in me proposing 4 bands in the range of £2,000 to £4,000 when they have a £1,000 budget! I am aware that clients often don’t have a clear idea of what things may cost, but even after giving them the … “well celebrities are from £2,000 to £100,000 “ speech I still get the “well , we are not sure so send over a selection ! “ … That said, maybe it’s our job to help potential clients to understand why it’s important to have a budget in mind, or maybe and objective and what they want to spend in order to achieve this objective …

  • Stephanie Easom

    One thing I find that helps with the ‘we don’t have a budget’ claim is to explain that you don’t want to slow down the process but suggesting options that are wildly out of range. I usually say “Shall I keep suggestions under £15,000 say? £20,000?” and wait for the client to jump in… It’s always worked for me so far…touch wood!

  • Jessica Harvey

    When i’m looking into having an event, most of the time I have been sent away to see the costs before the budget is confirmed. So when i am asked what my budget is, it’s variable, dependent on what can be offered. A lot of the time i want quotes and information from both ends of the scale, as it enables me to choose what i think we would like and also enable me to show comparisons to my manager of the benefits of spending less or more on the event.

  • Ken Clayton

    Having been a client and a supplier, I’ve seen this from both sides. As a client, my finance dept. objected to me telling production companies what our budget was. My reply was that refusing to tell them was like asking somebody to sell me a car without saying whether I could afford a Mini or a Rolls-Royce. If I do that, it’s no surprise if they come back with the wrong answer. As a supplier, I’ve often followed Stephanie’s method, in effect saying ‘When does it get too expensive? £10,000? £20,000?’

  • Caitlin Kobrak

    I like the suggestions in the comments of asking the client when does it get out of you budget and suggesting a few different price points. Working in catering it is vital we know how much our clients want to spend as we get so many enquiries daily. We need to be able to judge who can afford our services and who is likely to book.

  • Simon McGrath

    Why do clients keep their budget secret? Well would you go into a car dealership and tell the salesman that you had 20k to spend before asking how much the car was? I worked in venue sales previously and found the best way to meet the clients needs in the first instance was to provide a quotation as requested but then add a couple of optional tiers which highlight the other services you can arrange/offer. Then at the next stage you can provide the more tailored package. I’m afraid that’s just part of the process. Remember the client might have multiple agencies and suppliers all vying for the same budget so they would need to have absolute confidence in the venue to handle all of the arrangements.