The words ‘social media’ can sound a bit scary for some; they were for me anyway before I started to look into it all. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more! However, rather than being anything scary, it is actually a really useful tool for anyone in business. But especially for new businesses or those who run their own business, such as translators and interpreters.
There are many positives to using social media, as long as you do a bit of research before using it, it can be really effective and create some ‘buzz’ around you and/or your business.
Here are some positives:
Linguist image: It can enhance a linguist’s image and allow them to target information in the right direction and in the right manner.
Range of users: Word of mouth has been used for years as a way of marketing. Think of networks such as Twitter and Google+ as another mouth. Use keywords and hyperlinks to your website to make your services known to agencies, etc.
Customer Feedback: Monitor and respond. Any positive feedback is good. With social media, negative feedback can be dealt with more quickly and it looks more professional to potential clients.
Generates business: Easy, free but professional. It is becoming more widely used globally and it increases traffic to your website.
As with every type of marketing, there are also some negatives to using social media as a marketing technique.
Commitment: You need to be able to commit time and resources to manage your network presence, respond to feedback and produce new content.
Results: There is no way of monitoring how much business that you have generated from marketing this way. (Although there are now some good tools coming out that can track these such as Social Mention)
Ineffective use: Failing to engage with customers or not responding to negative feedback damages any reputation that you have and makes you look unprofessional and, quite frankly, lazy.
A few final points:
• Social media is all about relationships. Create, develop, maintain.
• Be aware of the network’s etiquette.
• Create a manageable amount of relevant & useful contacts (around 150 valued contacts is about right)
• Be new, original and engaging. Don’t write boring rubbish e.g.: ‘About to tuck in to my favourite sandwich’. Your business contacts don’t want to hear it (and neither does anyone else). Try creating a weekly theme to keep your contacts interested in you.
Basically, if social media is used correctly it is a very effective tool. I hope this article is helpful to any of you who (like I was) are completely confused about how to use social media.