Running a business or organisation in the Northern Territory brings a unique set of challenges as well as some unique opportunities.
The challenges include planning for a long Wet season in which most non-compulsory, elective business and consumer activity grinds to a halt, finding and maintaining a stable workforce in a population that is very transitory, and dealing with customers who don’t really want to ‘muck around with silly games’.
The opportunities include harnessing the ‘give it a go’ attitude, exploiting the small population base which allows you to get known quickly, and dealing with customers who don’t really want to ‘muck around with silly games’.
About The RITE Series guide
This first guide of the RITE Series is designed to give Top End business people some insights into the various Social Media tools that increasing numbers of local and international customers are connected to.
Social Media refers to online tools such as Social Networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn, the publication process known as Blogging, for which WordPress is the best in field (in my humble opinion or IMHO), and media sharing sites that we don’t cover in this first edition of the guide, sites like YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare and Scribd.
The RITE Series guide to using Social Media for your Marketing covers:
There are limits to how detailed a general guide can get and so my aim has been to share the ideal way to approach or consider the various tools, so that you can match what they do best with what your business needs to achieve.
As I said in my October Business Month keynotes, the tools are not the issues nor are they your biggest problem. The challenge in using Social Media for your Marketing is getting your ‘head’ and ‘heart’ in the right place, aligning your insights and knowledge with the needs and questions of your target market, and then embarking on a long term journey of serving your target market with advice, help and information so that they can make informed purchase decisions, learn to trust and respect you, and hopefully recommend you to others.
The RITE approach
Unfortunately, from a business perspective, it is tempting to just flood these free communication channels with advertising content. However, such a move must be avoided at all costs because social channels are just that; social channels.
People do NOT log in to Facebook to watch television commercials or read brochures.
The 74,000 Territorians who use Facebook (figure as of October 2011) login to see what friends are doing, share photos and commentary about their lives and cast an eye of interesting things being shared by the businesses or organisations whose Facebook properties they have elected to follow.
It is so easy for consumers to delete you from their online social worlds, or cut you down with criticism, that it pays to think clearly about what you might be able to offer publicly and socially, that relevant people will find helpful and compelling enough to save, share or consider on their pathway to a purchase decision, BEFORE you start publishing in Social Media.
I have captured some preparatory thoughts in my blog article and keynote, The Two Commandments of Social Media Marketing, and I urge you to read it if you are unsure about what you might ‘say’ in social networks and how much of your time and energy you are willing to commit to the task.
Remember, however, that using Social Media is NOT rocket science. In fact, it rewards those who share knowledge and who do it authentically.
Some final thoughts from Steve Davis
The tips that follow do not replace advice from your existing, trusted business or marketing/PR advisors. I hope it complements what they are telling you and helps you engage them at a deeper level.
It also does NOT get down to the nitty gritty ‘click this button then pull that lever’ level of detail either – these tools change too frequently for that AND it should be relatively easy to find people close by who can hold your hand with the practical steps of knowing what to click or scroll. You can also Google for videos and tutorials to learn such simple techniques.
Another aspect of the advice in this guide is that most of it has come from one-on-one dealings that I have had with more than a thousand Top End business people since 2007. There is plenty of generic material available online with tips and tricks for getting the most out of Facebook or Twitter, etc, so this guide has been deliberately aimed at business people starting out with Social Media marketing and business people based in the Northern Territory.
The opportunity to work with so many Top End business people has been due to being involved in planning and running workshops organised by the Business Enterprise Centre NT. I join with other presenters in delivering business-focussed sessions exploring these tools and they have been held in many towns around the Top End, and I recommend you contact the BEC to see what is coming up over the next few months. The BEC is a flexible and responsive outfit and is always ready to respond to needs in the marketplace. Together with DBE, you have a wealth of resources available to help you start and/or grow your Top End business.
I hope you find this guide helpful and look forward to you sharing summaries of what you are trying (and links) in the online version of this guide available at EBOOK: Using Social Media the RITE Way.
Facilitator, Presenter The RITE Series
Marketing Director, Baker Marketing, Adelaide
Download your copy here
Here is the link to download your PDF copy for reading on your computer or printing: How to Use Social Media the RITE Way by Steve Davis. Edition 1.1
How to Use Social Media the RITE Way by Steve Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.