Businesses from Cranfield, Milton Keynes and Bedford were treated to a Social Media Masterclass in the last of Cranfield University Technology Park’s free spring seminars, rounding off a series of marketing events with a dedicated look at social media by specialist online marketing agency Green Umbrella.
Here are owner Julia Doherty’s top tips on how businesses should use online tools to drive traffic to their website, demonstrate expertise, build brand awareness and generate new leads. This is also available as a pdf to download here.
Content is king for search engines
- Search engines are increasingly focusing on refreshed content to rank websites in search results. In partcular search spiders are looking for a strong proportion of unbranded content
- This is information which is not specific to your company or product, but which shows your awareness of issues affecting your clients – for example FAQs, toolkits and industry insight
- Use the 80:20 ratio for unbranded and branded content – 80% insight, 20% how you can help
- A blog is a perfect way to host content on your website. Try to produce ‘evergeen’ content which will remain relevant and not become dated and be aware that people absorb information in different ways. Try including images, videos, lists or audio
- Encourage interaction – add a link to another web page or site. Add a link to tweet the article
- Think creatively about how to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list – for example by offering downloadable content in return for contact details. Tools such as Mailchimp can manage the process for you
- Blog regularly – aim for a minimum of every two weeks, with a maximum of 300-500 words
Demonstrate your expertise
- Set up twitter searches for key words, register with RSS feeds, or use tools like Swayy to get industry news for you to share with followers
- Use youtube to host how-to videos. Join LinkedIn groups and be active in them to show thought leadership – Quora is another business networking site which search engines like
Build and be aware of your brand
- Refresh your social media profiles to match your corporate style, but also show your personality
- Try to use visuals with 70% of updates on all platforms to add interest and think about showing people ‘behind the scenes’ of your business
- Keep an eye on how others view your products and services, for example by using mention.net
- Use the 80:20 rule to deliver a knock-out argument for how your company can help clients
- Use tools like followerwonk on twitter to find the right potential clients and put them into lists
- Develop strategies for social media – focus on a few core groups for LinkedIn, and like other businesses on Facebook to gain followers and connections. Use Google Plus to add reviews to key businesses
About the events
Cranfield University Technology Park’s free business seminars are designed to suit the needs of growing businesses in the Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, with topics ranging from finance and business development to apprenticeship programmes.
The events which include a networking breakfast are hosted in the Cranfield Innovation Centre offices’ conferencing suite and are open to all.
The events are delivered in partnership with Cranfield University, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Central Bedfordshire Council.