Local social marketing tips

Because us Dot Social ladies come from Croydon, we know people who work or worked at Nestle and/or have a connection with Nestle because they used to have their UK Headquarters here and were the main private employer in Croydon.   They’re now down the road near Gatwick.  The Nestle building is part of the Croydon skyline, literally, and they lit up the Wellesley Road building at night with coloured lights.  They’re an American giant, but we have an indirect connection with them because they are local.

As online marketeers, we know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide great content and be a source of information relevant to our audience.  The problem is that nearly everybody (well, anyone with any sense!) is doing it.  This means even your best content may get lost in the crowd.

A very good way to stand out, especially if you have a local base, or connection with a particular area is by focusing your efforts locally.  Remember the saying, ‘Think globally, act locally‘.   Think about the big picture but if you’re starting out or a small business, you need to start small, and local.

Consider marketing yourself to smaller groups rather than targeting larger ones.  You can do this by joining discussions in local LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, in smaller local Google Communities, or even at smaller business networking events.

People who know you are local are far more likely to read your posts and respond to them, connect with you and remember you if they feel that local connection.   We explained this at our recent Social Media workshop, that it can fall right down to the specific area in a town if you are a small, local business.  London is a big place, as-is Surrey, so although you might be intending to market to a global audience, if you are based in Guildford or Bermondsey, then say so.   Name the particular place and people will think of a connection with it, and it is that that makes it feel more personal and memorable.

With the corporate world and big businesses being seen sometimes in a negative light now and people turning to look out the bespoke, small, local business you’ll find, like us, a lot of people would rather do business with a local business than a big global corporate.  We see this all the time with requests on Social Media for recommendations for anything from a local plumber that needs to be local to a web designer, who doesn’t.

By the way, we can produce beautiful WordPress websites ourselves, but we don’t do plumbing – well, not yet!!

So don’t forget to talk about your specific location, your connection with places and also where you’re heading or where you’ve been.  Mention this on your social media channels as well as looking out suitable places to share your content with people online in smaller localised groups.   Think about your business according to both local and global considerations.

We organise Tweetups, which are a social gathering in Croydon. If you’d like to come to one and/or meet us, see the next dates and any of our other events on our Events Page.

Google’s new email ‘Unsubscribe’ button

A couple of days ago, Google rolled out their new ‘Unsubscribe’ button. It comes up next to your emails from companies it thinks you might want to unsubscribe from. It’s a link that sends an automated email to the sender requesting they remove you from future emails.

I noticed my first one today.

It will make it easier to unsubscribe from marketing emails, but will it reduce spam? According to The Verge it won’t because it won’t pick them up as marketeers promotions and you don’t want an email sent back to a spammer, for fear of more spam! So, it will simply allow us to quickly and easily unsubscribe from marketing messages without having to scroll down to look for the unsubscribe link at the bottom.

It clearly won’t catch all of them either, as I’ve got a few others without the Unsubscribe button showing.

Google explain it a bit more here and call it Auto-Unsubscribe.

Making Social Media work for your business

If you want to really make Social Media work for your business you have to be realistic about how you go about managing it, here are some handy dandy tips to help you…

Use some great Software:

There are plenty of management platforms out there such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, it is a good idea to find one that you like and preplan some stock tweets / Facebook messages but I’ll let you into a secret; social media works best when it’s in real time…


Little and often:

You wouldn’t start a conversation on Monday, walk away from it and finish it on Tuesday, the person you are talking to would think you incredibly rude.  The best way to manage your online community is to do a little everyday.

*There are other advantages of working in real time, for example, with FB in particular @ tagging does not work through management platforms


Think about your content

Create a steady flow of fun, interesting content that people will be enjoy, find useful and will want to read.


Be engaging

Imagine you’re at a party, it’s an online gathering of people, if you’re a wall-flower no one will see you and no one will notice you, if you talk too much people will get annoyed and walk away. If you listen as much as you talk, make jokes and make people feel comfortable people will flock to you.



Employ the right person to manage your social media:

For small to medium Businesses it is often advantageous to outsource to a Social Media Professional / Community Manager.  If you do decide to do this I would also suggest that you find yourself one who has an interest and / or experience in your field. If they are going to be talking about and representing your business, they need to be passionate about it!


Be courteous

The 80’s and the age of what I call shouty marketing is well and truly over, we are living in an age where businesses need to be more courteous and customer savy because when it comes to Social Media, as a business you need to create a buzz for your brand so that people want to follow you / like you / read your updates, if you spend all of your time shouting sales pitches at people you’re not going to make any friends fast!


If you need any more tips, you know where I am!



So where does Social Media fit into the Marketing Mix?

I have been a SM Marketing practitioner for many years and have built up the social presence of other SME’s but it was only a few months ago that I decided to start my own business.  During these months I have built up my own online presence on social media platforms by talking to people, listening, sharing information and networking.  Through my efforts and through recommendations my clients for the most part have found me.  My little SM business is a living breathing example of how social media can work for you.

But it’s not just the SME’s that are getting social, as Gideon Spanier points out in his article in The Evening Standard (Mon 24th October 2011)  “Brand managers recognise social media has become not only too big to ignore but also integral to the Marketing Mix.”

SM Marketing mix from


So if social media is so important, where does it fit into the Marketing Mix?

With the above in mind, its no surprise that Ritu B Pant suggests alongside the established ‘Marketing Mix‘ – Product, Price, Placement and Promotion (The 4 P’s), social media has a Marketing Mix all of its own:

People – Integral in putting the ‘social’ into social media

Platform – There are A LOT of SM platforms to work with, for a marketeer, its all about discovering which platform your customers and potential customers are on.

Participation – Get involved, build meaningful relationships

Promotion – let people know about what it is you’re offering them – promote your business


Marketing Mix from


Manolis Kounelakis from Eyeflow has a slightly different approach, he says there is a 5th P in addition to the traditional 4 P’s which is Participation and from participation come the 5 C’s of social media:

Conversation – Get involved, get talking to your customers and potential customers, with SM there are no limits

Community – build your own community around your brand or become part of a local business community

Commenting – Let people know that you are listening and make comments about things that you find of interest

Collaboration –  Build a relationship with other people on SM platforms, work together to build your presence and spread the word.

Contribution – Get involved, don’t be lazy, once you have made the decision to build your presence and start a conversation you have to keep it up.


So what does this all mean for marketing in the post-noughties decade?

Marketing is an ever evolving beast, with changes in technology driving how we socialise online and more and more people participating, it is a very exciting time to be a marketeer!


‘As brands get more social, they must listen more than talk’ By Gideon Spanier (Evening Standard, Mon 24th October)

The Social Media Marketing Mix (The 4 P’s) by Ritu B Pant

The 5 C’s and The Marketing Mix in the Social Media Era – posted by Manolis Kounelakis










The theory of the Purple Cow

Cover of "Purple Cow: Transform Your Busi...

Cover via Amazon

I met an interesting guy at #purleybreakfastclub called Jason @GiraffeBanners he was having an in-depth conversation with Ian from The Jolly Farmers about a Purple Cow… It was my first foray into the world of networking and I thought it was some kind of bizarre tweet / network code.

Jason explained to me about the Seth Godin marketing concept.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, to save my fingers and my brain power, here’s an overview and a handy link to Seth’s site.

Cynthia @cacevents wanted to know what it was all about too and I challenged Jason to cover it in one tweet (140 characters) he said he couldn’t but this led me to think it must be possible… I spent all day obsessed by the idea of purple cow and came up with this:

“Marketing should be remarkable, brown cows get boring, nobody notices boring things, be exceptional, be a purple cow”

I was quite proud of myself.