To explore the wide range of experiences and opinions within the digital business world, we’re running a series of interviews, ‘A Few Minutes With…’.
Today, we’re speaking with Essex Chambers of Commerce’s Director of Policy, David Burch, based in Colchester.
Could you describe your company’s activity on social networks?
We use Twitter and Facebook to promote events and services to our members and the wider business community. We also use Linked In as a tool to engage with our members and again promote the Chambers. We have used professionally produced videos on our dedicated You Tube to channel promote our Discovering Business in Thurrock exhibition and also to retrospectively highlight our Discovering Business in Colchester exhibition and Thoroughly Thurrock networking group to a wider audience.
Are there elements of your business now that would not have been possible without social media?
The use of Twitter in particular, along with Facebook, made it a lot easier to promote stands to potential exhibitors at our exhibitions and to encourage visitor attendance. It also enabled us to use unconventional marketing ideas such as origami swans to advertise our Thurrock exhibition and “thumbs up hands” to promote the Colchester one, the latter drawing upon Colchester’s Roman history and the use of the thumbs up signal in the Roman gladiatorial arenas as a sign of support.
How has your relationship with your customers/clients changed with the dawn of social media?
It has enabled us to develop closer more personal contact with individuals and to get our messages promoted by people who we do not necessarily have direct contact with.
Which social media campaigns or accounts have really caught your eye recently?
What have you found to be the most positive and negative aspects of using social media for your business?
Positive – Being able to get our message out to a wide audience in a format that we directly control rather than the message being edited, and often diluted, by someone else, which can be the case with main stream media such as the press, radio and television.
Negative – Having to squeeze a message into realtively few words.
What advice would you give to businesses looking to improve their social media activity?
Don’t be afraid to think creatively and be different!