social media marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and more… despite their wild popularity, with millions of users regularly engaged on social media platforms globally, social media marketing’s effectiveness as a means of advertising remains a point of contention among mobility retailers.

When reviewing the statistics, it is easy to see why companies are excited at the prospect of social media marketing. According to Hootsuite, 366 million new people started using social media in the past year – more than a million new people joining social media every single day. And data from Global Web Index suggests 54 per cent of social browsers use social media to research products.

With all these users, SMEs are looking to social media channels as a means to engage with local customers, with a recent study highlighting that SMEs want to invest more in social media marketing.

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In the mobility industry however, the question has been whether social media is the best way to reach key target demographics of older and disable consumers? Five mobility retail marketers discuss whether social media is all it is cracked up to be or if there are more effective channels out there for mobility companies to spend their time and money on…

Alexandra Lomas, Customer Engagement Manager for NRS Healthcare

Alexandra Lomas NRS Healthcare“When it comes to reaching out to customers, there are two main target groups mobility retailers need to speak to – those who are older and those who are living with a disability.

“Interestingly, two of the world’s largest social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – are a great resource for engaging with these two groups to build awareness of your brand.

“Advocates from the disability community are abundant on Twitter and many of them are happy to share their experiences with you if you open a dialogue. Sharing their stories on your website will likely lead to them tweeting a link to the article and if they have a few thousand followers, this can be great exposure for your brand whilst gaining you valuable click-throughs.

“Facebook, meanwhile, is fantastic for connecting with an older audience. Latest figures confirm that over 7.8 million users are aged 55+, 3.4 million of which are over 65 years old. Experiment with the content on your Facebook page and “boost” your posts to target an older audience to see what gets the highest rates of engagement; it will help you understand what customers want from your brand and give your marketing strategy better direction.”

Annie Holland-Oakes, Marketing and Motability Specialist for Recare

annie recare trade thoughts“Social media is an avenue Recare has broadened in the last year. Previously it was just an element of the business whereas now it is an active marketing tool.

“Although time-consuming, it is a great brand ambassador when used effectively with the right means and compelling posts: generic posts that are uninspired will not grow engagement.

“With seven active social media channels, I have found the additional focus in this area has been noticed by both professionals and clients alike.

“Its popularity is growing and it is often where a significant amount of people engage in conversation about various products and companies, making it a powerful discussion tool and ultimately one that, if used well, has vast potential.

“Too often, it is relied upon that clients will come across retailers through promotion by manufacturers. Social media is a way of getting your brand and business in front of a wider audience and interacting with your clients on a more personal level.

“I would certainly make the case for a more significant amount of investment into social media advertising than I would for print marketing.”

Daniel Griffiths, Managing Director of Easy Living Mobility

daniel griffiths easy living mobility MD headshot“Social media is a way of the world today and one that is definitely not going away. It is also one that will really influence all of us in some way or another – at the very least allow us to stay informed more quickly – even instantly – than has ever been possible.

“Will it drive sales that we can clearly measure? The answer, in short, is yes it can. With all the data analytics available across these platforms, we as an industry would be foolish to ignore it.

“But it’s like anything we do – it has got to be engaging and it has to have real thoughtful meaning to the viewer!

“We engage daily with our customers through various social media channels. I wouldn’t say we are anywhere near where I aim for us to be in this area but we are aware and fully appreciate that social media is here to stay: it is what we do with these channels as businesses that will, in turn, make all the difference to whether they are effective or not!”

Mandy Burns, Brand Manager for Mobility Solutions

Amanda Burns Trade Thought Mobility Solutions“Is social media an effective marketing channel for mobility retailers? In short, hell yes! And why do I say that? Here’s a list of reasons Mobility Solutions believes in the power of social and thinks it’s awesome!

1. Presence

When researching a brand not bought from before a customer will often go hunting for the company social pages to gain an understanding of what that company is all about, how they treat their customers and most importantly a feeling of how they will be to deal with.

2. Reviews

Ever important in eCommerce in particular, if a potential customer can see through reviews on social channels that their peers and like-minded people have had a positive experience with a brand this will have a great impact on their opinion of that brand. Also useful for upselling other product categories to existing customers, if they happen to see a fabulous review of a product that could potentially help them.

3. Tone of voice/brand personality

Social is the perfect place to humanise your brand, to tell the little stories where you went above and beyond for your customers and where you can really show customers what the brand values are!

4. Word of mouth

Can you think of another platform where news spreads faster these days than on social media? If you are spending any time at all building online content, whether that’s improved product pages, video content or blog content – social is where you take that to give it traction!

5. Customer service

I firmly believe in conversing with customers where they initiate the conversation and like it or not nowadays that is often on social. For most people, social channels seem like the easiest way to access a brand. Dealing with enquiries via social media means less admin, cuts down on email and phone calls and allows you to quickly answer the query.

6. Conversions

If you are doing social correctly and making use of:

a content calendar to make sure your messaging is thought through and well spread

the support of a good social management tool such as Hootsuite allowing you to plan in advance

are utilising digital marketing techniques like the use of Google UTM’s.

Doing all of that then allows you to see exactly what the return is from social media. Google Analytics will tell you exactly what content is working, what content converts to sales, phone calls or enquiry form completions and will tell you what those customers then go on to do on your site. Letting you learn vital lessons about onsite content, how your customers want to speak to you and which landing pages need more work.

7. Traffic

Social is a great driver of traffic if the content is being structured well! It’s important to create engaging content that gets the target audience’s attention but it’s vital to include a commercial CTA wherever appropriate! When you have their attention get them to your site and show them what you have for them and what you’re all about!

8. Insight

Social media insights from both organic and paid social are getting smarter by the day and are full of wonderful opportunities to learn about your audience – these lessons may lend themselves to other marketing activity and inform your overall thinking.”

Ceri Dixon, Senior Marketing Manager for Ableworld

Ceri Ableworld Marketing“Love it or hate it, social media is a massive part of many people’s lives now. It’s a convenience many of us never had and allows people to stay in touch easier, follow images and check on what friends and family are up to.

“We value our social media pages and invest time and effort to ensure the convenience of social media is available to our customers. We find it a great way of updating customers of our offers, news and interesting articles and stories.

“Compared to other marketing strategies, you have to put the hours in but we believe it’s worth it and our customers seem to agree.

“We get a great deal of engagement on our posts, some regular Facebook ‘Top Fans’, as well as lots of new customer comments on many different posts and platforms.

“I think people still believe social media is for the younger generations but statistics show that this is no longer the case and there is a wide audience out there using it so why not put yourselves in front of them.”

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