Make social media work for business

It’s the buzz phrase of the moment – but how can engaging with social media help your business?
Unpicking the hype and presenting the reality is the job of Patrick Schwerdtfeger, whose seminar Social Media Victories takes place on Tuesday, 1 May at 9am as part of the Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange 2012. 

“Most people who are using social media today are wasting their time,” Mr. Schwerdtfeger said. “They are having fun, being social, but not actually getting any real results. Meanwhile, there are a few who are getting great results and there are a few things that they all seem to have in common. One is that they communicate visually. 

“There are different kinds of content; text, audio, photos and video. Turns out that video is more viral than the others with a higher percentage of people passing that on to their own network, with photos in second place,” said the expert. 

Cayman benefits 

The author of the book Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed said people tended to like interacting with visual content and at the seminar this would be explored from a travel business point of view and how Grand Cayman in particular can benefit from this. 

“Look at the social media and think which websites are competing and why. It’s a lot of those which propel visual content: Youtube, Pinterest, tagging photos being the number one activity on Facebook – even Twitter has the most clicked links on Youtube and Twitpic.” 

It’s not just about the sun, sea and sand shots, said Mr. Schwerdtfeger, but rather pushing awareness of Cayman’s location to travel target markets. 

“People in the US are notorious for being poor with geography and many could not point out the Cayman Islands on a map, so there is a huge opportunity for literally a map of the States with a marker as to where the Cayman Islands are and how close the destination is to visit.” 

Ultimately, a social media strategy is a time-based, rather than directly revenue-based, buy-in for companies, said the expert. The time investment comes before any revenue and not everything will work for each individual business. It’s all about raising awareness, he added, and during the presentation there will be 21 case studies of how small businesses have taken advantage of social media to skyrocket and earn revenue. 

The session will also involve an open Q&A and forum for attendees to the Cayman Islands Tourism Association event. 

The social media workshop continues in the afternoon with Biztegra founder Murray Izenwasser, who will speak as a marketer working with businesses to assist in defining effective online strategies. 

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