Saira Khan speaks at London Mums Social Media Magic event

Last week I attended the excellent event Social Media Magic, organised by Work Your Way magazine for working mums and the Londonmums network. I’m not a mum myself but I am a social media marketer and the event looked fun and interesting!

The keynote speaker was Saira Khan, whose talk was a tour de force of social media hints and tips. She came to prominence during the first series of The Apprentice, in which she was runner up, but her authority as a speaker comes from knowing her stuff (based on her own experience) rather than standing on ceremony as a “celebrity”. Her style on the night was of quickfire points backed up by examples, with a great willingness to be interactive and to ask the audience (including me!) in the few cases where she wasn’t sure of the answer.

Here are some of the points she made:

  • She certainly uses Twitter (@iamSairaKhan) but her opinion is that Twitter does zilch (her word) for generating sales, although it can drive awareness (a bit)
  • She believes in Facebook as a commercial tool. Many brands are very underexposed on Facebook and traditional business is still in the old marketing mindset
  • It’s cheaper to run a Facebook business Page than a website
  • Likes for Facebook business Page can be driven via Facebook advertising. This doesn’t cost a lot but is absolutely key to accelerating a build-up of followers and buyers.  Advertising appears on FB users’ timelines according to their interests etc. on their profile, so keywords are key to understanding who to advertise to. The picture shown in the ad is very small so it’s vital to choose one with impact, and to test which ones are most effective: the better your click-through rate the lower the cost you pay per visitor.  Apparently pictures of women are the most successful!  Saira herself doesn’t spend a penny on advertising her miamoo product line and quoted Aga as no longer doing offline advertising as online is getting better results
  • The new Timeline business page format requires a cover photo (a good long banner image) but Facebook does not allow this to include a call to action or request for Likes.  Default Welcome pages will no longer work (as I pointed out!) but Pinning a post (for up to 7 days) to the top of the timeline should serve just as well for requesting likes and highlighting special offers, events, etc.
  • The photostrip at the top of the Wall should be made up of five 98×68 custom images to look its best
  • Use competitions to build a contacts database. There needn’t be big prizes.  It’s essential to use a 3rd party app to create a comp page, or Facebook will take it down – or simply ask for Likes to the page via Twitter.
  • Use additional pages with meaningful titles to drive people in (e.g. Saira’s “Tommys Awards 2012? or “Follow Saira on Twitter”)
  • Saira finished by pointing out that social media for businesses does work, but it takes time and patience to see results.  Don’t be scared by people posting bad things about your brand as it doesn’t happen (someone in the audience said yes they do, but it encourages support for you from other followers!)

One hint for Saira – put a link to miamoo’s Facebook site from the website home page!

Photo credits: Twitter: @memorygate

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