Effective social media marketing for small businesses – interview with Julia Atanassova

social media interview

We are pleased to introduce to you one of the new members in our team – Julia Atanassova. Julia joined Aryxe at the beginning of November as a Social Media Expert and will oversee client work for our local customers and contribute to the growth of the Aryxe products and services. She has a broad range of experience in marketing, travel, and tourism and will be a key point of contact for the development of actionable communication strategies.

Julia shared with us her insights on the use of social media platforms by small and medium companies and which features they need to utilize to reach their ideal customers. We discuss key aspects which every social media strategy needs to take into account and point some of the most important metrics that need to be tracked to measure valuable results from social media.

  1. Welcome to Aryxe! How did you decide to join our team?

My previous experience in both the public and private sectors enabled me to gain experience in many areas, including marketing and advertising, tourism, hospitality, event management and consulting. Having explored different areas gave me the opportunity to find out that social media marketing is what appeals to me the most, and although it has taken over our lives in the last few years, it still has a long way to evolve. I believe coming from a background with broader expertise will empower me to deliver better services to our customers.

  1. What makes social media exciting for small and medium enterprises?

Social media enables small and medium-sized businesses to reach their target audience, as building brand awareness and generating traffic is often difficult for them through traditional channels and with limited budgets.  Through social media, you can reach practically anyone quickly, conveniently, controllably and relatively inexpensively. It is also very measurable.

Within social media changes happen so fast, the interests of the audiences’ changes from one day to the next, nothing is static, thus brands need to be constantly on the move, to adapt and learn, and continuously change strategies.

  1. Social media makes online communication very personal. How can brands be more personal when talking to customers on social media?

The most important is to learn what is important to their audience and deliver it to them – i.e. what features of the product or service your customers are most passionate about. Therefore, brands need to know what the audience is talking about, what content they like, share and interact with, how often, etc. This means constantly monitoring keywords, hashtags, discussions, and trends.

Additionally, it is important to create useful content that educates, entertains or interests. After all, social media is the place where we all love to spend our free time.

Humor is another way to get closer to the target audience and provoke reactions.  Even though the industry might not be inherently funny, there is always a way to bring a bit of wit into your strategy.

  1. A lot of people fall for the so-called “vanity” metrics in social media. How do you assess if a social media campaign has been successful or not?

“Vanity” metrics look good, but often these are not entirely important to the business. Thus it is crucial to determine which metrics really matter to your brand, i.e. the actionable ones, that can improve your business.  The actual metrics to follow highly depend on your goals, but I would say that revenue per customer, retention rate, active members, new members, lost members provide a good benchmark for all businesses.

It is important to focus on the “best” customers – the ones who engage the most with the brand, drive the most traffic and convert most.  Also don`t be afraid to experiment, test and improve –  you can prove your efforts and stop what is not working.

  1. Finally, what are the latest social media features you find useful for businesses?

The use of augmented reality provides an interactive way for marketers to reach their target audience. It is expected to be incorporated in social media through filters – a great way to show customers how the products will look like in a set environment.

As customizable chatbots are becoming smarter and more human-like, they could really be a game changer for brands, as they interact with their audience in a more personal way.

Finally, ephemeral content, which is shared for up to 24 hours, allows brands to be more authentic and to creates the feel of urgency. As the content is lost within hours, the followers take fast action and marketers can gain from it.

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