Social Media Services

The power of social media.

Recently, I was given the amazing opportunity to work full-time in a start up company in Bangkok providing Social Media Services to entrepreneurs, professionals and small businesses. I’m very excited due to a number of reasons. I have been very hands-on in Social Media Marketing from the beginning of this year as I have used this to promote my own online business. I have  never used any other kind of PR campaign except for the things I do online.

So this is something that I am used to and have been doing consistently and diligently for the whole year. It’s a great feeling to be doing something that I have a strong contribution and I’m also passionate about.

As I have landed this role in Social Media, I will also become more specialized in the area of helping other businesses grow their online and social media presence. But this doesn’t mean that I will not continue my online business anymore; it’s rather quite the opposite.  As I do not claim to be a business expert, working for a start-up company will help me learn a lot about growing a business than what I could learn on my own. And finding a mentor in Bangkok is not easy.

I have already started doing some freelance work for other companies by using social media to promote business but I have not done this in a larger scale. So being in a company allows me to work with a dedicated team and a mutual passion for success. I believe I got the job mainly because of my social media experience in growing my online business and also because I have already been helping other small businesses grow their social media presence.

How did I find out about the job? It also began with social media. I am connected via Linkedin to a headhunter from Manpower (Thailand), one the largest recruiting companies in the world. I initially contacted her about another opportunity but she instead provided me with this opportunity, which is indeed a much better fit.

Finding a job via social networking online is still an untapped goldmine. When people hear the word social media, a common thing that comes to mind are photos of last night’s binge episodes with their drinking buddies. But when nudged in the right direction, social media can be a powerful tool in finding work opportunities. In my next blog post, I will write about ways how to use social media in job searching. In the meantime, here’s an infographic on how job seekers and recruiters are using social media.

Infographic: The Power of Social Media in Job Searching

How are job seekers and recruiters using social media?

After being in touch with Kanny, the headhunter I connected with on Linkedin, I went through a series of interviews and case questions on online and social media marketing, which I would like to share with you. The case questions offer some helpful information, suggestions and quick tips that serve as guides as I navigate the world of online and social media marketing. I have presented below some of the questions and if you are learning to build your own online and social media presence, hopefully you can find a few golden nuggets from these case questions.

Question: Give 3 suggestions to optimize this (given) website

My Answer: My first suggestion is to improve site navigation by including a site map, terms of use/service and privacy policy as these are the key basics that Google considers for optimization.  Not only do they support site navigation but they also adhere to Google’s shifting algorithm to favor websites that can be easily found, indexed and have more user-friendly designs.

Secondly, I would put the social media buttons in one menu (a menu title would be Connect with Us, for example) and prominently displayed in one area of the website. Also, the blog will have its own separate menu as this will contain dynamic content (constantly updated with blog posts). Having a blog with a prominently main menu is also good for SEO as being a subdirectory, it helps increase the ranking value of the root domain (www.bamsms.com). More importantly, we need to start posting content.

Thirdly, apart from having a blog, which is one of the easiest and best sources to acquire online traffic, I suggest we add audio and videos into the mix. Continuously providing great content creates value and gives people the reason to keep coming back to our site. Another great reason to create dynamic content is this allows us to utilize on-page optimization techniques (keywords, anchor texts, alt text for image searches) and off-site optimization techniques (link building).

Question: Please evaluate (company) and give at least 3 suggestions to optimize the social media presence

My Answer: The first major step is to have a presence in many online and social media platforms. My first suggestion is to have more activity in posting, sharing, publishing updates, tweets, and posts etc. as this encourages engagement with our target audience. This enables us to promote ourselves as a growing, dynamic company while also further establishing our company as a solid expert. I understand time is a crucial factor so one way to accomplish this is by using the social media management tool (Hootsuite) that can schedule and manage all social media activities from a single dashboard.

Secondly, social media marketing is a popular industry and having a blog is just the entry-level to this industry. Our blog serves as our information dissemination masterpiece which further establishes ourselves as the organization in business advice and mentoring.

And taking it to the next level, brand visibility and credibility is increased in the online and social media space by podcasting and hosting webinars. Although this requires more work, it is a highly effective platform for branding because of its reach. With one podcast or webinar made available on our website, this audio/video content can be

  • Curated on content sharing sites (sites like Slideshare, Vimeo, Youtube are good for link building for SEO)
  • Transcribed into an article (article marketing for SEO)
  • Available for free on our website or sold (via subscriptions)

It’s like three times the reach from a single platform.

Question: Imagine you are the Business Development Manager at BAM-SMS. At the first business meeting (with the CEO, the Financial Director and the Operations Manager) what would be the 5 items you would put on the meeting-agenda? Why?

My Answer: In my first meeting, I would like to take part in the following agenda points in general – company objectives, customers and prospects, new projects, budget and implementation process.

Specifically, I would like to have the following items in the agenda with respect to my division in Social Media Services.

Increase social media and online presence by proposing these strategies:

  • Blogging and article writing (Article marketing, Link building)
  • Podcasts/mini E-books (Content sharing, Link building)
  • Videos/Webinars (Content sharing, Link building)
  • Other social marketing opportunities (Social bookmarking, Content sharing, Forums, Reviews)
  • Promotional tactics / Integration with traditional marketing (Cross promotion)

I cited the above because as Business Development Manager in the SMS Division, I would first like to focus on strategies geared towards improvement and productivity within my division. Every person in a team has specific roles which work in synergy to meet the company’s overall objectives.

Question: Imagine after 6 months of operation, we achieved extremely positive results. Our sales is 50% more than expected. We now have a budget of 200,000 Baht to spend on a social event. We are a team of 20 people. What you suggest we do?

My Answer: A Networking Event for prospective and current customers allowing them to further connect with us and network with one another. We will also have speakers talking about

  • Business advice and mentoring
  • Impact of online and social media marketing to their brand and business

Additionally, we can also review and select applications for “Elevator Pitch Presentations” (let them come and introduce their startup or SME). No sales pitches allowed. This aims to foster networking, bring value and sense of community.

Elevator Pitch Presentations consist of 10 Slides (5 minutes) about:

  • Who They Are
  • What They Do
  • What They Need

Question: Imagine after 6 months of operation, our sales is 50% less than expected. We have a turnover of 300,000 Baht to catch up in four months. If we cannot reach our goal, we will go bankrupt soon. Immediate action is required. We are a team of 10 people. What do you suggest we do? (each customer who signs on is worth 8,000 Baht/month, each operational member of staff costs 20,000 Baht, our Operations Director says he needs all current staff and requests 1 more per 80,000 Baht turnover )

My Answer: This is quite a tough situation to draw immediate action and from a Business Development perspective, these will be my series of immediate actions

  • Re-evaluate target market and service offerings – there might be a need to adjust our service packages
  • Cross sell/upsell to current clients
  • Shift sales efforts towards “wholesale value” (Solutions for Enterprises/Companies) rather than “retail” because wholesale value (solutions for enterprises and companies) brings more revenue and manageable with limited number of staff
  • Run limited time promotions/trial offer for prospects in the pipeline/7-day results guaranteed
  • Other online advertisements (many free sites on the web)
  • Scouring online portals/ads/B2B sites for opportunities (a very hands-on, involved process)

Medium term strategy

  • Partnerships with online marketers (or online marketing companies in Asia) for Affiliate Marketing opportunities
Making Social Media work for your business is like a game of chess.

Business is like a game of chess.

Alright, I admit there is an ulterior motive  for me to present to you these case questions. Different marketers have different ideas and levels of expertise, and I would also like to know your opinion . If you were in my shoes, how would you have answered these questions? Please let me know your thoughts or suggestions by leaving a comment below.

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Written by OJ Quevedo

OJ Quevedo

OJ is a Bangkok-based online Entrepreneur who loves the interplay between Social Media, Online Marketing and Business Outcomes. When not writing for Retail Plus, he is Director of Social Media at BAM Social Media Services in this vibrant Thai city he now calls home.