Last week, Wetherspoons announced that it is shutting its social media accounts. The award-winning pub chain had over 44,000 followers on Twitter and 100,000 on Facebook. Was it a brave or a stupid move? Time will tell. In this article, I discuss the main reasons that Wetherspoons took this decision and what you can do if you decide to shut off your company’s social media presence.
Wetherspoons saw no real benefit from social media
In 2018, the average Wetherspoons Tweet received six retweets and four likes. When you consider that the chain serves three million pints a week, it hints that their customers are not really engaging with the chain on social media. Overall, Wetherspoons doesn’t believe that shutting down social media will have any business impact. Social media appears to be the wrong fit for Wetherspoons’ customers.
If you don’t have social media accounts for your business or you are thinking about shutting yours down, here are key things to consider:
Are your customers actively engaging with brands on social media?
First, analyse your target customers. Find out if they follow their favourite brands on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If they do, dig deeper to uncover how they engage. Are they mainly making complaints, giving feedback or sharing content about their experience with the brands? Whatever you discover, ensure that your business is not missing out on valuable feedback and engagement. If you decide not to be on social media, implement other feedback processes e.g. through your website or a customer service centre.
Your website should be the centre of all your activity. Even if you have a strong social presence, your content should lead visitors to your website to learn more and grow your lead generation activities. Create a hub of regular content and resources for your customers on your website. Develop a good understanding of the topics that customers want to read about. Then ensure that they know that it is available on your website.
Develop Robust Email & Direct Marketing Programmes
Following on from the last point, you must let customers know about the content on your website. If you have no social media accounts, distributing content could get tricky. Wetherspoons has a magazine that it uses to reach its customers. Customers can get the magazine through direct mail or via one of the pubs. Another way to reach customers is to develop a robust email marketing list. This can be done through contact forms on the website, contests and in the pubs (by asking customers to fill out a form).
Create A Referral Scheme
If you have good engagement with existing customers through direct mail, email marketing or in person (at the pubs), you could implement a referral programme to encourage them to recommend your business to others. You could tell your existing customers about the programme by direct mail, your website and email for instance.
Make PR Your Friend
Bill Gates famously said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.”
If you are not on social media, you need another channel to develop your brand story, make announcements about your business and to address the public in a crisis. Hire a good PR company that understands your industry and its influencers. Spend time developing a story that will engage your target market and push the story into the media as often as possible.
Do Events Well
Some customers just don’t do social media. But many will come to a great event. Events are a fantastic way to meet in person and give your customers an experience of your company culture and brand. Use events to bring partners, customers, employees and suppliers together. Or keep the different stakeholder groups separate. Whatever you do, do events well. Ensure that it is well-organised and relevant to the attendees. Follow up after the events. And don’t forget to ask for feedback!
Have you started writing content? Are you wondering why some of your posts get more attention than others? If you are writing regular content for a business audience, it is possible to improve the traction that you get with your content. In this blog post, I will go over our Content Scorecard (101 points in total – we give you one point for trying!) to show you how to significantly improve the quality of your blog posts.
Content Scorecard: Strategy
A key part of the work I do with my clients is developing a content strategy. A content strategy first defines who you are writing content for (ideal customer). Then it considers what challenges your content will address, why you are writing the content (your objective) and how you will ensure that the content reaches the right audience.
In summary, a content strategy enables effective content creation. You know that your content is relevant and created to meet your business objectives. In the content scorecard, 30 points go to content strategy – yes, we love strategy that makes sense!
Content Scorecard: Quality
Quality is probably the most multi-faceted aspect of creating effective posts. A recent survey of 170 B2B Marketing & Sales professionals revealed that half of B2B buyers now rely more on content when researching a product or service, or making a purchase decision. 78% respondents put more emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source. Over 60% consider quality factors such as benchmarking data, the inclusion of research and insight from industry. You could add more value by linking to trusted external content. And don’t forget to link to your own content too!
Making content easier to access (65%), more mobile-friendly (41%) and easier to share (40%) are other recommendations that B2B buyers agreed with. Our scorecard highlights many of these areas and carried a hefty 60 points!
Content Scorecard: Headline
We all love a good headline. But what makes a headline good? There are a number of factors, and not everyone agrees. These factors are for certain though: You need to make it clear what your blog post is about. Then there’s the issue of how long the headline should be. To accommodate the rules of the web, it is better to keep the character count to 65 characters. That way, the whole headline will show up in an online search.
Coschedule have an amazing Headline Analyzer that anyone can use for free. We absolutely love it! The tool considers not just the length of your headline but also the sentiment and structure. It’s quite difficult to have the perfect headline but with practice and by tracking the performance of your posts, it will become more obvious what works for your target audience.
Our content scorecard calculates your score in 10 content effectiveness factors. The scores cover strategy, quality and headline in content, showing areas of strength and improvement. We hope that you use this scorecard every time you create a blog post. Over time, you should get better scores and start to see the performance of your content improve. Give the scorecard a try; let us know how you get on.
Note you need to be on your desktop (not mobile) to download it.
I’ve been called many things in my 13-year career including Technical Sales Engineer, Business Development Executive and Marketing Manager. I suppose there are worse things to be called. Each role felt the same at times, the same purpose dressed up in a buzzword job title. Now that I run my own marketing consultancy, I get to work with talented business development professionals and it is clear to me that business development and marketing are different but must work together to achieve business goals. How can these roles work together and achieve business growth for their organisation or client?
When some people think about marketing, they imagine brochures, logos, matching colour schemes and perhaps promotional goods and beautiful websites. This is all important for supporting a business. However, marketing goes much further than that. I’ll come to how in a moment.
Business Development and Marketing in Sync
Let’s first examine the role of business development (BD). BD is about working on the front line of client relationships. The main aim of the role is to cultivate relationships for the long-term, creating sustainable business growth.
That’s how I see it. Coming back to the essence of marketing, I’d argue that that’s my aim too – to help businesses grow. But I do it differently from my business development colleagues. I push out well-crafted messages through relevant channels. They ensure that the fruits of that effort are nurtured and nourished for the long-term. I cannot live without their follow-through and they cannot live without my seed planting.
Business Development and Marketing Enrich Your Buyers’ Journey
My favourite way to break down the stages of the Marketing-BD collaboration is using the funnel approach. We have Awareness (top of the funnel), Consideration (middle of the funnel) and Decision (bottom of the funnel). Here’s an infographic to summarise the customer’s journey through the funnel:
This approach is used by companies like HubSpot and is commonly referred to as inbound marketing.
Let’s look at how BD and Marketing work together throughout the funnel.
Define ideal customer profiles
Develop the value proposition for each customer group
Create a list of potential customers based on the profile
Make an initial introduction to customers that fit the profile
Publish content on industry best practices
Perform competitor analysis to understand potential customers’ options
Create lead magnets as part of an email marketing strategy
Deepen relationships with new contacts via networking
Ensure relevant compliance requirements are in place
Create a customer engagement strategy and a process for maintaining existing relationships
Set up webinars and free trials
Create and share case studies
Develop a program of regular interaction with the customer via relevant content and customer events
Set customer’s expectations
Ask questions about product and services and next steps
Handover to the sales team to close the deal
Identify future opportunities for upselling
Benefits of Business Development and Marketing Working Together
Considering that 67% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to a salesperson, it is more important than ever that sales, marketing and business development work closely behind the scenes to facilitate this journey. The advantages of working through the process together are that you:
Know who your customer is (hint: it is NOT “everybody”)
Go from a general description of your customer (macro-view) to a list of specific companies (micro-view) that you want to engage with
Add value to potential customers before they even ask for information (or realise they need you
Ensure you have what it takes to do business with your potential customer before you go in for the deal
Have a clear strategy for interacting with and informing your target customers of what you do
Meet your potential customers face-to-face, not just online thanks to strategically selected events and networking opportunities
Build trust by ensuring that all teams are aligned with your messaging and what the customer can expect from your business
Have the best people from each role guiding your potential customer from start to finish
It is a pleasure when I see this collaboration across teams, it allows the business work smarter (and not harder) to achieve business growth. I call it nothing short of amazing!