In the past few years, spreading the word about your business in the market has become both more difficult and easier than ever, with too many options available. Face-to-face networking and press ads, PR, some well-designed literature and perhaps, a meticulously planned mail-drop could do your job!
However, the internet and specifically the world of social media have changed all this completely. From LinkedIn to Instagram and Facebook to Twitter, businesses of all sizes across all industries have started using social media channels. Through these channels it becomes easy for them to reach out to new customers, build their brand as well as promote the goods and services provided by them.
But you’ll know all this already – what you might not know though is, there is one channel that will give your presence on social media a greater impact; a brand is always trusted more and the messages are better received by customers, especially when it is shared by individuals. In fact, studies reveal that 90% of the internet users consider customer suggestions as a credible form of advertising.
In addition to this, whilst people learn about your business they trust the opinions given by their peers 58% more in comparison to other online ads, for instance businesses themselves.
This is where your apprentices can really offer added value to your business. Today, most of the apprentices are “digital natives”, that is they do not even remember a time before the internet.
Apprentices are able to move around the online environment frequently, suggesting new services, reviewing and sharing content and offers without a second thought and cheerfully uploading images of themselves using the product.
As this is their natural habitat, for you as an apprentice employer it can be a precious territory to have access to. However, in order to successfully enlist apprentices as your business’ advocates, you have to make them feel both authentically optimistic about being a part of the business and understand the core values of the enterprise.
Where and how the apprentices advocate your brand completely depends upon your business and its goals. It is possible that your apprentices’ 400 Facebook friends aren’t a valuable demographic to share your law practice’s latest blog with. But perhaps, they are an ideal local audience for the stunning images taken in an artisan bakery or hair salon? Or for your latest techy to share his latest piece of software with their technically minded peers.
It is also possible that your apprentice’s Twitter followers are receptive to news about the garage’s huge MOT offers or perhaps, they would be tempted to click through the promotional video about your landscaping business if there is a possibility of seeing their friend star in it! It’s all about making your apprenticeship engaging and something your apprentices want to share.
Acquiring apprentices in order to advocate for SMEs through their social media channels is more than simply expanding your network. It’s all about reaching a diverse audience of potential customers whose future needs and wants can be the catalyst for new direction within the business.
Social media has always had a distinct advantage of being a multi-voice conversation. Through your apprentices’ securely established social media presence you can utilise tools such as prize draw surveys so as to know what do people expect from a business like yours, before responding accordingly.
With the right motivation, a little guidance and firm understanding of your business’ goals and core values, your social media savvy apprentices can deliver unlimited and unexpected value to the enterprise. They can even help you rethink about exciting future decisions!
Andrew Hunter April 22, 2017
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