I Love Social Media

Intro…

Hi everyone. I’m Martin, Director of Social Media at Inbound, and luckily for you guys I’ve decided that I’m going to share some words of wisdom with you all every month via this blog! 

Be warned, it might get emotional, because I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA!

Ok, so please forgive the slightly crass introduction, but I’m genuinely really looking forward to writing about how I use social media on a day to day basis in business, and hopefully along the way I can highlight a few things that you might be able to use in your business to improve the effectiveness of your social media activity.

My love affair with social media

Moving forward this blog will only really make sense if I give you a whistle-stop tour of what I do for a living, so I’m going to use this first blog to tell you how my love affair with social media started. So tissues at the ready, here we go…

I came fresh out of University, via a 2 year sabbatical as President of The Students’ Union, and alongside landing a graduate marketing job, I decided I was going to set up my own business, after being given an opportunity to promote and run a student night at a nightclub in Leicester.

I didn’t really have any money to promote the event, so couldn’t print thousands of posters, flyers, employ lots of staff to stand around and network etc., like all of my competitors were doing, so I needed a different way to get the message about my event out. Around the same time (the middle of 2007), this thing called Facebook was starting to pop up in the student community…

So I joined up to Facebook, and as soon as I saw the potential of it for promoting my event to the right target audience, cupid’s arrow had firmly hit the spot! In a nutshell, back then Facebook was pretty much the only reason I was able to successfully start my business. It allowed me, without any cost other than that of my time (which I had a lot of), to promote my event to my target audience, and in effect launch my off-line brand, on-line.

But not only did it allow me to launch my brand and market my event, it actually allowed me to do it in a much more effective and innovative way than my competition, because it allowed me to market my event in a very interactive way. If someone reads a flyer or a poster, they get some information. But when they were seeing my promotion on Facebook, they could ask questions about the event, and I could answer! And I could answer not only for that potential customer to see, but for others to see too. And then all of the potential customers could start talking to each other about the event via my presence on Facebook. It was incredible!

At that precise moment my gut feeling was that this was going to change the way the world of business promoted and advertised their products, and I knew that if I embraced it early on it would help me grow my business quickly, and that I could steal the march on my competitors.

The verdict

So, did it work? Well my first event sold out, over 3000 people in once place at one time having a great night, who had all largely been brought together by facebook. And the rest, as they say, is history…

5 and a half years later, having decided to concentrate on running my events business full time after 1 year of doing it part time alongside my graduate job, I now run one of the leading student events companies in the UK, as well as being a director of Inbound (that’s a story for another blog), alongside also being involved in several other projects both commercial and charitable. And social media is still right at the heart of everything I do in business. And I love every day!

And finally…

So the moral of the story? I love social media because without it, in terms of my career, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. So if you don’t think social media can help your business, maybe it’s time to think again? In the words of a famous dating agency, perhaps it’s time to start your own love story today?