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Social Media Training & Digital Strategy Development

Real Time Education - Developing Employability SkillsBecoming a fluent user of social media is as important for the business people of today as learning how to use a mobile phone or an email account was in the past; social media is also becoming an effective educational tool.  Each type of social media has its own user vocabulary, skills set and quirks but with some basic 'how to' training for beginners or strategic development training for existing users you will wonder how you ever did business or delivered training without it.

Contact Lynne on 01299 405573 or 07751 674691 or use our enquiry form to find out how Real Time Education can develop your social media skills and strategy and read more below about why you should do so today.

Why your business needs an effective social media strategy
Social media use, or 'leveraging' as it's known, is essential now that more and more customers do research online before making a purchase and are part of online special-interest communities. Using social media gives you the opportunity to reach out to current and prospective clients on a one-to-one basis. It will also allow you to connect to key people with influence in your market segment and engage with them to build your reputation and credibility online.

Twitter and Facebook got an early, bad reputation for broadcasting celebrity pizza topping choices (and worse!) around the world, but more and more businesses and their customers are connecting every day. LinkedIn and Pinterest are now joining the list of established social media business tools, too.

Not convinced yet? Here are 5 reasons why your business needs to leverage social media:

1. Your competition is using it even if you're not
Your industry and specialist market segment is represented on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you think it won't be, go to Google and search for your business area + Facebook to see how many results you get. Then try the name of your closest competitor + Facebook to see what happens.
By January 2013, Facebook had 1 billion active monthly users, Twitter and LinkedIn had 200 million active monthly users each. Although 31% of businesses have no social media policy in place, 21% of small businesses plan to increase their spending on social media advertising this year. Many companies pay a lot of money to advertise and grow their brand identity on social media because they know it works, but you can make a start for free and allocate a budget later.

2. Your target audience will be using it
Facebook and Twitter are global, electronic shopping centres, so having a shop front there is one of the smartest marketing strategies for a small business. Want to see some numbers? Here are some of the most recent official statistics on usage from TECHi:

  • Half of all social media users under the age of 35 follow their online friends' product and service recommendations
  • 58% of consumers have 'liked' at least one brand on Facebook
  • Social media users are more social than non-users offline. Social networkers are 26% more likely to give their opinion about products, politics and current affairs
  • 82% of customers say they trust a company more when its senior leadership team are active in social media and 77% are more likely to buy from such a company.

3. Google takes account of social network traffic when working out search rankings
Think of the internet as a web; the more signposted paths, or links, there are to a single point the easier that point is to find – and that point can be your website. When people on social media refer to your company, products or online content because they find them interesting or useful, search engines such as Google pay attention to this and this will give you a higher search engine listing for your content. Though the exact ranking calculation is not made public, links to your website – from other websites and social media activity – account for around 70% of the ranking and the actual website content a much less significant 30%. Maximising the variety and quality of your social media links can significantly increase your Google ranking.

4. You get great brand exposure and free word-of-mouth marketing
If you can create engaging content and build a thriving online community that people want to be a part of this gives your reputation and brand a great boost. If you enlist satisfied customers to give you recommendations through tweets, likes, shares or pins this builds a gateway to all of their followers – friends, family and colleagues – all of whom will get to know more about your company.

5. Social media can help your reputation, customer service and research and development
The best way to improve products or services is to get informed feedback from the users of them. You can use social media to ask your customers questions about their experience and to get an understanding of what more they are looking for in future. It can also be used to answer frequently asked questions. If you have an enthusiastic community of followers, often customers within that community will provide answers and support to newcomers if they have had the same questions themselves in the past.

Contact Lynne on 01299 405573 or 07751 674691 or use our enquiry form to find out how Real Time Education can develop your social media skills and strategy.