Many brands recognise the value of social media as a marketing tool, but not many understand how it can help businesses in their particular industry. This often leads them to the default objective of “increasing sales”.
Granted, with enough budget, effort and a good strategy, eventually, a web agency might manage to improve their sales figures, but this shouldn’t be the primary goal of their marketing strategy, rather the last phases in a long-term, complex journey, with quite a few other milestones in between. Here are a few of them.
Make you attractive to potential hires
Whether you sell shoes, rivets or the services to build the eCommerce stores that sell them, any potential employee worth consideration will try to get a sense of who you are as a business beyond what you do through that business. There are number of online services like Glassdoor that allow people to share their employment experience with your brand but they’re meant to offer insights into salaries, pros and cons of working for you rather than showcase an experience.
Social networks, however, help you open a dialogue by sharing your accomplishments, events, and more importantly, you’re company’s personality and culture. This is particularly important for web agencies as the people you’re looking to hire are already interested in the topics you’re likely to cover, making it easier for you to reach out to them well before they respond to a job add.
Mid and small web agencies have an added advantage. Because of the company’s size, communities tend to be tighter and so those in charge of marketing strategies are likely to better understand the interests of developers, designers and tester than larger companies, where communication strategies, events and job ads are thought up by HR personnel or social media interns who rarely, if ever connect with technical people beyond interviews.
Improve engagement with existing employees
Since we’re talking about your own people, it’s worth mentioning that building an authentic company culture starts at home. If your own people aren’t engaging with your content, that’s a good indication that things need to change either in the way you communicate or what you communicate.
Oftentimes, the topics you touch on are sound but your content is build solely for the benefit of people outside the team, making the content too generic for your own people to be meaningful. A good way of getting around this issue is to segment your content and target both groups.
Take an event, for instance. You can easily engage both your team and the rest of your audience by briefly posting about the overall context of said event in the album’s description, adding nods to your own team within each individual photo description.
Expand your portfolio
Web agencies of all sizes are plagued by a recurring issue – lack of portfolio projects. Even through you might have had plenty of work, working as an outsourcer or just plain old NDAs might prevent you from fully disclosing what you’ve done and for whom, making your portfolio pages…rather roomy.
Small scale projects and in-house experiments are a great way of showcasing what you can do, with no client restrictions but unless you have a nifty idea or time to invest in developing them, you won’t be able to do this very often.
Social media presents an interesting opportunity. You can share projects that aren’t necessarily complex enough to be featured on your website and, more importantly, get feedback on them, helping you improve your reach both within the technical community and outside it.
Boost visibility on events
A lot of medium-sized agencies have delegates at really cool events, almost none communicate on social media channels about it. At the very least, you ought to post that you’re going, you’re there and doing what, and finally, that you were there, had fun/ learned this and that. That’s a minimum of three posts for an event attendance.
Even better, coming up with a regular update schedule to share what’s going on at the conference and what the experience is like for you, will not just improve your visibility thanks to engagement from the organisers and other participants but boost your brand’s visibility throughout the community.
Events and conferences are a great way to showcase your involvement in the growing IT community, your commitment to keeping up to date with the latest and greatest in the industry and your engagement in social causes. So tell people about it!
The Bottom Line
Social media’s potential goes way beyond lead generation. In fact, focusing solely on lead generation will not just make you miss out on the opportunity to complete your team with awesome new people, connect with the community you’re likely investing in ads to reach out to but will take you farther and farther from your goal of working on cooler projects for more tech-savvy clients.