Using social networking to market your business

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Use social networking to market your business.  This was the message at the Sunday, May 27 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. Member Stuart Saunders introduced guest speaker Carl Heaton.  Carl is the founder of Web Courses Bangkok (WCB) and is a User Experience (UX) consultant for the United Nations. His projects include some of the biggest websites within the United Nations and soon he will be working closely with UNAIDS.

At WCB Carl teaches Web Design and Online Marketing to people from all around the world (http://www.webcoursesbangkok.com). He has been designing websites for over 16 years and is passionate about creating usable designs and creative online marketing strategies for WCB and their clients. Carl is a regular public speaker on topics including Online and Social Media Marketing. He has been a guest lecturer at Chulalongkorn University in their IT Master Degree Program. He has been published in the top web design magazines both on and offline.  Carl received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computing and Internet Systems from Lincoln University, Hull, England.

MC Richard Silverberg opens the meeting with general announcements, then inviting any new visitors to introduce themselves.MC Richard Silverberg opens the meeting with general announcements, then inviting any new visitors to introduce themselves.

Carl explained that as a UX consultant, his role is primarily to translate between the computer geeks and the average non-geek speaking user.  An essential trait in developing websites that “normal” people can understand and want to use. He then proceeded into his subject. Although Social media can involve many things, he primarily dealt with using social networking websites for marketing your business. He described some of the social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-in noting that each are different, but all are involved in interaction (networking) among the users.

He explained that many companies today are now using social networking as a marketing tool. In developing a Social Media Marketing Campaign, he said you need to remember that context is king – don’t advertise, don’t be boring, make it relevant.  Another thing is that social media is interactive. People may write negative as well as positive content – a key is to respond to criticism.  He cited as an example a restaurant in Bangkok that created a Facebook page. He wrote on their page that he and friends no longer ate there because they used MSG in the food.  He received an online response acknowledging his comments and explained it was a new chef who now knows better. They invited him to contact them and offered a voucher to come back and try them again.  He said as a result he again eats there often and recommends them to others – one aspect of social networking is it leads to word of mouth advertising – your viewers become your marketers. He described many other aspects of social networking marketing with recommendations for some things to do and some not to do. One of the main things is to plan ahead; know your goals and objectives.

Carl Heaton, founder of WebCourses Bangkok.Carl Heaton, founder of WebCourses Bangkok.

After Carl answered several questions, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg called on Chris Parsons with Pattaya Players to give a brief description of their upcoming production of “Play On.” Chris also said they will be doing a production to be announced in September and will again be doing a British Pantomime around Christmas; entitled Goldilocks and the 3 Bears which he assured everyone will not be the typical story that everyone remembers.

Richard then updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the always interesting and lively Open Forum where questioned are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular. The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.