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The Social Media Question

So, it’s time to celebrate a little. Clearwater has just won an award for our C&IT Blog! The Blog Shop Best Blog Awards, awarded us second place in the Best Blog Content Category! As you can imagine, we are rather chuffed to have won this award so a little yippee is in order and of course a big thank you to C&IT.

This past month has seen our team here, there and everywhere and I am just back from GIBTM in Abu Dhabi as a Hosted Buyer. We visited some great properties, met brilliant characters and learnt a lot. However, I did struggle with the lack of free wi-fi, which caused more than one headache when we rely heavily on social media to interact and market.

There is so much talk about social media and its value as a marketing tool. It seems everyone has an opinion on how, what and when you use it. For me, it’s not a question of ‘doing’ social media, it’s a question of how well you use it. For a low cost startup, using social media as a key marketing platform has been an obvious choice but, without internet connectivity, this past week has been a challenge.

Connectivity aside, we have found social media to be an incredibly powerful and dynamic interface in building brand awareness and communicating to possible clients. Our C&IT blog is one example of how social media can work as an effective tool. The key in using social media is the ability to reach out and influence people, it’s about building relationships and that comes by understanding your audience.

There is no real science to using social media, rather using an element of common sense. For me, social media is a form of networking and is often far more effective than a 6am breakfast networking event at a local hotel. Blogging, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter should become key networking tools – used to engage, educate and market.

A new member joins Linkedin (it is said) every second. Considering this, Linkedin has to be the most effective networking platform on the planet and by spending a little time every day building an effective profile, joining groups and actively taking part in discussions can really help your business grow, far more than a networking event serving soggy sausage rolls!

Facebook is another great tool. They say if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world! With this in mind, using Facebook for business can be even more powerful than your website and creating a business page takes moments. What happens in Vegas stays on Facebook and considering this, can you imagine how Facebookers can influence your brand and reputation – both positively and negatively – with a simple click?

And of course there is Twitter. Consider Twitter as your online voice. Twitter well, and you become an influencer where followers re-tweet posts and new interest is sparked. Our aim is to post tweets, which generate interest and ideally a re-tweet, creating a marketing platform that beats any telesales or direct marketing campaign.

With social media, follow your instinct and consider it as your perfect networking platform, behaving as you would in real world sceneries. It’s networking, marketing and relationship building in the palm of your hand (held device).