How to Use Social Media for Your Business Part I

“We didn’t put a sales pressure on it but I knew there would be ROI”

A little while back we had a Google Hangout with some social media gurus. Their insights are truly helpful for anyone who wants to use social media more effectively for their business. In this first part, Rosanna Falconer, the social media boss at Matthew Williamson tells us how she set up and grew the brand’s presence.

“It’s not as complex as some social media execs like to suggest. If know your brand and have an idea about the platforms, you should be in reasonable place to start.”

“Your first exercise is to break down your brand and really understand it. Then ask how can we apply that and to what platforms. But count some out and don’t rush into anything.”

“You might feel a pressure to employ a social media expert. But I would advise employing someone with a passion for the brand. The basics of the social media can be picked up.”

“You need a strong voice. I’m a tone-of-voice obsessive.”

“The key questions for us were: who is our woman how would she speak? Our brand tone is feminine, playful and fun but it needs authority so it had to be in the third person. But brands aren’t good at being matey in third person.”

“So one thing we faced and confronted was how to have personality in social media so we came up with an online character, Mathew’s muse, an English Rose.

“She has a fortnightly column, fab clothes, a lot of money, great holidays and a lot of affairs. She adds personality and delivers a really long dwell time.”

“We’re on Twitter Facebook Google+ and Pinterest and they all stem from MWDaily, our online content hub.”

“Image is so important. We are fashion brands. I’m always disappointed to see a brand post an image if it’s blurry or poor quality. And just putting a filter on it only covers it up a bit.”

“If you’re not comfortable with something, don’t post – better to be quiet for the day.”

“At beginning we didn’t put a sales pressure on social. We approached it with the incentive to build brand buzz and build stories without the filter of the press.”

“But I knew there would be ROI.”

“This is clearest on Instagram, with Matthew’s personal output. That’s his purest brand vision and he posts daily, sometimes more. It really became apparent on the first day of our summer Sale on summer. He posted a picture of our handpainted Sale sign with S made out of flowers. It was our busiest day online.”

“Here’s a little tip. You can’t link on an Instagram post, but we experimented with a blogger trick of putting the link in the bio that went through to our flash sale.”

“Instagram is great not just for generating new customers, but for daily engagement with VIP customers.”

“Pinterest ties in really well for a luxury brand. The demographic is mainly female 30-45 and high spending.”

“I have friends in all sorts of industries asking me to teach them social media. I send them links to Mashable’s beginners’ guides. They are really good and no-nonsense.”

Rosanna Falconer is business director at Matthew Williamson @rosanna