Friday, 30 March 2012


Unless you've been hiding under the digital equivalent of a large rock over the last few years, you'll be aware of the huge impact 'social media' is having on the world at large. From Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+, these have given us all new ways to communicate with our friends, build brand awareness or plan the next major riot.

In terms of social media though, nothing can really compare to the behemoth that is Facebook, but many companies are still holding back from any kind of social media presence (especially when it comes to Facebook) as they see it as simply a glorified way for people to 'tweet' about their pub-crawl plans and 'like' pictures of kittens etc. - not exactly relevant for most B2B companies. Sure, we've all heard tales of B2C marketing successes - but again, that's when marketing directly to the consumer.

Even so, more and more traditional B2B companies are starting to explore this new frontier. Twitter seems to be the usual jumping off point - setting up a Twitter account is incredibly simple and with a maximum of 140 characters, most of us can just about find the time to write a tweet every now and again (although even that amount can sometimes seem daunting to those new to the idea).

Are you a tweeting fanatic or are you still sitting on the fence and waiting before you dip your toe in those mysterious social waters? And just because social media is the current 'trend' of the day, should you feel forced to join the herd? Facebook presents a few challenges in terms of building an audience and posting relevant content, so if you are new to the whole thing, then Twitter is probably the best place to start. It can be very effective when trying to raise awareness of your brand, getting your point of view out to a wider audience and even increasing your search engine ranking, so it really is worth trying (and talking of raising awareness - see the additional note 'Going Viral' below).

Here's a tip when starting out - one of the key things to do is find a 'voice' - remember this will be the Twitter account for the company, not necessarily yourself, but this doesn't mean that you have to be dull or 'matter of fact' – in fact those who simply use Twitter to post press-releases won't get a lot of followers. Use the channel to communicate with a different audience and in a different way. Don't forget to follow people you also find interesting and don't be afraid to RT (ReTweet) anything you think will be interesting to those who follow you. Throw in some links to interesting things on your site and use it to publicise any news or blogs you want more people to see (this can be great for SEO too). Finally, don't make the mistake that many first time Twitterers make - don't think of it as one way communication. If someone comments on your brand, your work or sends you a direct message - be on the other end of the line and answer their query, engage with them!

But that's just Twitter, what of Facebook? Well over the last few years, Facebook has steadily been rolling out changes to the way it handles 'brand' pages. Facebook is no longer just for individuals and there are now many more tools to enable either a B2C *OR* B2B brand to have a presence. You only really appreciate the true power of Facebook when you set up a page and then look into the advertising possibilities - the sheer range of targeting information and options is quite staggering. Want to advertise to women in London and New York and Tokyo, all between the ages of 24 and 28 who like Skydiving and Crochet? No problem!

One of the biggest of these recent changes is the Facebook Timeline. Any normal Facebook user will already be familiar with the Timeline layout as that rolled out to personal profiles several months ago, however, this now goes live for brands today. This means a whole new layout to the page, so any existing content will probably need to be re-looked at. So if you've already got a Facebook page, you'll need to make sure you're ready for the change, and for those who haven't explored the option, well, now's a good time to try!

The nice thing about the social media revolution is that the tools are free and the hard bit isn't actually the figuring out of technology/software - it's the creation of content (and not just once, but once a month at least!). This means that it's pretty easy for most people to figure out how to setup their Facebook page and add interesting content for your potential audience. That's not to say that more advanced features aren't available of course.

One tool we've recently been exploring is 'LikeIt Pages' - this is an interesting new service that aims to give the average user much more in the way of options when it comes to their Facebook pages - from encouraging users to 'Like' you, to giving extra content 'rewards' when they do. The system is pretty easy to use and any limitations are more down to the way Facebook works rather than problems with the software itself.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can use social media to spread the word and attract more business, give us a call or email me at: For further information about LikeIt Pages or setting up your Facebook page to take advantage of the new Timeline see the links below:

For further info:

Our Facebook page (feel free to 'like' us!)

LikeIt Pages

Top 6 guides to starting a Facebook Brand page

Top 6 changes to Facebook with the new Timeline

Timeline for brands - a complete guide

and finally a very nice use of the new Facebook Timeline - the D&AD Easter Egg hunt

Additional note - Going viral:

Just as I'm writing all this stuff about the potential power of Twitter, it's nice to see that our little typography game we created last year 'I Shot the Serif' has gone viral again. You can see the current Twitter chat here:!/search/ - the point is that without doing any additional marketing (over and above the occasional tweet), we had more hits to our site than EVER before yesterday (that's over 3000 unique hits in one day - not bad considering we usually average around 150 per day). And if that isn't a nice way to demonstrate the power of social media, I'm not sure what is!

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