Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua
A new service from SoolNua
In addition to our core advisory business, SoolNua has recently started to offer Social Media as an actual product / service offering. This has come about because we discovered that many of our customers, irrespective of the size of their organisation, didn’t have an internal resource with either the time or the expertise to do social media for the MICE channel. Some had well articulated Digital strategies but no knowledge of Meetings and Events; some had extensive knowledge of meetings and events but no Digital or Social Media expertise.
The dreaded FOMO
Either way they needed help and, having identified this as a general need, SoolNua is now offering full and partial social media solutions for venues, hotels and destinations who want to activate this important channel. But more fundamentally why might an enterprise want to an active social media channels? Other than FOMO and “me too” are there objective, logical, compelling reasons why social media is important? Crucially, will they generate actual revenues?
Need for investment
The answer to the revenue question is “Yes, eventually!” so long as Social Media comprises a key part of an overall marketing and communications strategy and is adequately resourced. So don’t do Social Media if it’s an after thought or if you’re not prepared to invest time and money in it. But consider the wide perspective of what you can achieve with a relatively modest time and money investment in social media. Here’s are some convincing reasons why we believe Social Media merits your time and attention:
1. You can establish yourself as a thought leader
Being regarded as a thought leader in our industry is great for our business because it establishes reputation that leads to trust. Thought leadership means that you’re regarded as an innovative, visionary individual that understands trends, leads conversations, sets agendas. In the past individuals developed a reputation as a thought leader by speaking at industry events, by being interviewed and quoted in the press, by authoring articles or maybe books. It took many years and lots of air miles. Assuming that you have something worthwhile to say – and most of us do – this can be achieved on Twitter and Linkedin in a matter of months.
2. You can attract great staff
I haven’t read a single trends or demographic survey recently that said it was getting any easier to find good people to work in your organisation. We all know it’s getting harder and this is set to continue for decades given the rapidly expanding global economies. However, a colourful, lively social media profile with lots of personality is the perfect way to position your company as an attractive place to work and outpace your competition. Many of us identify Facebook as “social” while Linkedin is “business”. Savvy companies seeking to attract great people, however, are posting on Facebook because that’s where they can best showcase their “X” appeal and connect with potential staff.
3. You can easily and quickly launch promotional campaigns
If you’re selling a product with a limited shelf life like hotel rooms or meeting space or restaurant reservations then a strong social media presence and following allows you to launch promotional offers is jig time and generate revenues from assets and resources that otherwise would perish, never to be available again. This, however, means you have to have a significant, qualified following on Twitter or Facebook and that happens when you carefully build and cultivate a community around your brand. You can’t build this community over night – it takes time – but it’s done one follower at a time by sharing great information, engaging with your followers, commenting on their posts, thanking them for following you etc You can scale quickly by “buying” followers on Twitter or “likes” on Facebook but it’s much better to do it organically and then leverage these followers to bring more to you.
Full and Partial Services
So what are the full and partial services that SoolNua offers its clients? Our full service offering includes Strategy + Management + Monitoring + Posting + Measurement and is aimed at clients with little or no social media activation. They may have Facebook and Instagram accounts with some activity but there’s really no overall plan or objective and no in-house expertise.
With such clients we start by crafting the Strategy and seek to retro-fit and integrate the Social Media piece into the overall marketing plan. This, naturally, informs which platforms we decide upon – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest or Linkedin or WordPress or some combination thereof – tone of voice, messaging, hashtags etc. It also clarifies the influential and competitive sets which, in turn, determine whom we should monitor and re-tweet and where we should look for relevant content. We then proceed with the overall management and posting and provide weekly and monthly analytics which, in turn, help us to tweak and shift the strategy so as to maximise impact.
Others, however, simply don’t have the resources and ask us to management their accounts on an on-going basis. This is the case, too, for users of our partial services. They have done the Strategy so all we need to do is implement it in the day to day management of the account.
For more information on SoolNua’s Full or Partial Social Media Services for MICE enterprises please contact [email protected]
Pádraic Gilligan and Patrick Delaney are Managing Partners at SoolNua. They offer Marketing, Training and Strategy to enterprises targeting the MICE industry.