Whether a customer service tool, a lead generator, part of an online coworking community or simply to show prospective clients that your business exists, social media plays an important role in the flexible workspace industry.
Jane Erasmus, Sales & Marketing Director atUBCUK, has managed her brand’s social media marketing for several years (she started UBC’s Twitter account back in 2009). In addition, UBC manages a number of other channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
She shares 5 key ways in which social media helps to improve workspace marketing:
1. Form and develop relationships with clients
Engage existing clients by sharing their news and promotions, posting useful information, and “just chatting in an informal way on a day-to-day basis” as you would inside your workspace.
2. Prove you’re the best!
Create an editorial calendar of content and share articles with your clients online. Use your social media channels to share your industry knowledge and showcase why your business centre is the ‘go-to’ place.
3. Learn more about your clients
Use social media to understand your clients’ needs and therefore create or adapt services that are directly beneficial to them. “This is a great way to improve your service and give the customer more.”
4. Increase brand awareness
An up-to-date, established and well-received social media presence will enable you to increase brand awareness and encourage clients to visit your website. “You can also encourage recommendations, which certainly won’t do any harm.”
5. Boost your SEO prospects
“Nowadays your social media activities has an effect on your search rankings, so everything is cross-referenced,” added Jane. “Optimise your posts, meta data and keywords to improve your website’s SEO and in return, you will be pushed higher up the search pecking order.”
Why is content important?
“Content is king,” says Jane. “To be successful in social media and to drive traffic to your own website, you will need to come up with your own original,good quality content, such as blogs, infographics and video content.”
Jane advises operators to tailor their content for specific audiences, particularly by geographical location. “At UBC we have a number of locations and we know that in order to market those locations — and optimise search engine results for each of them — we need to appeal to the local market in each area.”
To create relevant content for each region, Jane engaged her business centre teams to provide insights into local stories, centre developments and client news. She organised a training session to teach centre managers the importance of story-telling and they now regularly submit ideas and topics for UBC’s blog and social media channels.
Who should handle your social media strategy?
While centre managers and assistants play a key role in generating ideas and topics, they already have a full-time job managing their business centres.
“It might be tempting to hand the job on to a junior member of staff, but that individual will need to be given clear direction and supervision. In our case we employed a consultant to help us put together our initial strategy and a social media policy for the business. We brought in a trainer to teach the fundamentals of each of our social media platforms to our business centre managers, which included utilising their own personal LinkedIn profiles.”
In the end, all aspects of flexible workspace marketing come back to one element: quality content.
Email newsletters, printed brochures, websites, blogs, social media posts, press releases: each and every piece of your marketing plan requires well-written, targeted anderror-free content that is adapted both for your end user and your choice of published medium.
Customise your headlines: “Every social media network has its own audience and demographic — for instance, are you a Facebook or LinkedIn person? — and you should keep this in mind when posting content on each channel. For example, Facebook tends to be lifestyle-oriented whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are more business focused.”
Speak conversationally: Social media is, as the name suggests, social. Jane recommends using “you” and “your” when communicating with your audience, and “we” when referring to your brand (avoid “I” – your workspace is a team effort, after all). Pronoun usage such as this tends to perform better in terms of ‘share’ rate, because readers like to ‘see’ themselves in what they are reading.
Solve your readers’ problems: “You should focus on helping your readers imagine a better life,” says Jane. “Use promising words that help your readers associate their situation with a positive outcome, such as a “free” product or a “how to” guide to help improve their business or lifestyle.”
List-posts: “List posts get shared like crazy,” says Jane, “and you can help yours reach a larger audience by sharing them on social media. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are particularly happy hunting grounds for list posts.”
Use emotional headlines: Play on your readers’ emotions in your headlines. For instance, phrases such as “Limited Number of Spaces Left” or “Last Few Remaining” relate to the fear of missing out (or #FOMO for the socially savvy). Use this guide by theAdvanced Marketing Institute to measure the emotional value of your headlines.
Jo is Allwork.Space's Senior Editor for the UK and Europe. Jo has worked within business centre and coworking circles since 2009, researching and contributing written features for numerous industry publications. She reports on the latest market news and delves into local issues with one main objective: to champion the flexible workspace industry and its members.