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Social Media Marketing: Building Customer Relationships for SMEs

By Dr. Kevin Koidl, Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

InterTradeIreland recently held a seminar as part of the All-Island Innovation Programme in Galway with Guest Speaker Dr. Kevin Koidl. Dr. Koidl spoke about how to use online technology to build customer relationships for SMEs and how to simplify the process and understanding of building customer relationships online. Delegates also heard about techniques such as Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Google Analytics.

Being a founder/co-founder of two start-ups; Wripl Technologies and Kaffeehouse.com, Kevin drew on his entrepreneurial experience as well as his research expertise around social network marketing, search engine optimization and machine learning to offer informed insights to the audience.

Key points from the event:

Through social media the market is moving from a transaction economy to a relationship (or experience) economy. As a business you are not just generating leads and making sales; you also need to have constant engagement with the customer that is more intense and more connected. The relationship economy is about post-purchase experience, sharing experience, ongoing exposure, creating loyalty that builds on purchases and generates more purchases.

To build customer relationships online you need to:

o Have very clear statements on what it is you are selling (i.e. the product or service) and be clear on what kind of relationship you want to engage in with customers depending on the offering.

o Be clear on who exactly you are selling to and understand what platforms your (potential) customers are most active on (e.g. Facebook, Instagram etc.).

o Have ways to measure that the online visit by the (potential) customer to your web property has been successful from the business perspective. For example, you may be aiming to collect email addresses for a newsletter mailing or increase traffic on your site - these need to be constantly measured and assessed.

If you were unable to attend the event, the presentation is available to download here through this link: https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1VydRlG_PJfRioOTtWhgxn7voaL6UTpid&export=download

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