Q&A with Tamsin Fox-Davies, UK Development Director at Constant Contact

Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

Constant Contact UK are generously supporting Social Media Week London as Hub Supporting Sponsors for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub at Google Campus.

Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, not-for-profits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys.

Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchise and national associations.

We talked to Constant Contact’s UK Development Director, Tamsin Fox-Davis about their involvement with Social Media Week, their plans and the future of social media.

Q1. Tell us about your background with Constant Contact and what the organisation’s major goals are for 2012/13?

I started working with Constant Contact in March this year, after having recommended their tools to my clients in the past when I worked as a marketing mentor to small businesses. A key part of my role as UK development director is delivering free seminars on how SMEs can achieve real results through online marketing.

In terms of our goals for the year ahead, we’re already working with 10,000 SMEs in the UK, which leaves more than four million small businesses that still need our help! Our goal is to provide even more SMEs with the support, training and tools they need in order to reach their next customer and drive their businesses forward through using online marketing techniques best suited to them.

Q2. When and why did Constant Contact first get involved with SMWLDN?

While we’ve had customers in the UK for years, Constant Contact’s first UK office opened in November 2011, and so we first got involved with Social Media Week in February this year to reach out to the SME audience. We were one of the sponsors for SMWLDN and hosted two sessions on Facebook Marketing, and linking email and social media marketing respectively.

This September with SMWLDN, we wanted to offer SMEs advice on how to make the most of multi-channel social media, and how they can use Engagement Marketing tactics to drive business growth. We’ll be offering tips on how to best engage with customers online, and how this can drive word-of-mouth referrals and repeat sales. You can catch us at the Google Campus on Tuesday, September 25 and Thursday, September 27 at 11:30 am (more info below). We’ll also be conducting “surgeries” for small businesses, where they can get one-on-one feedback and advice on their social media marketing efforts. For anyone who can’t make the event, follow the debate on Twitter with the #SMWCTCT hashtag.

Q3. What is a major trend you see emerging in the social media space?

In the past few years, we’ve seen a proliferation of new social media platforms. For a while it was a battle to see which sites would ‘make it’ and which would be just a passing phase. Today, clear winners have emerged and as new platforms come into play, they do with integration in mind. For example, Pinterest and Instagram, two of the hot new platforms, both integrate with the ‘big boys,’ such as Facebook. This integration is great news for small businesses that are time- and resource-starved. Instead of managing 10 sites in 10 different ways, they can leverage that integration to their advantage. For instance, they can use Instagram to take a picture and share it in unique ways across a variety of outlets. One piece of content with lots of uses.

Q4. What platforms are you really excited about?

Pinterest is driving a lot of web traffic and commerce at the moment. I think it’s an exciting platform that small businesses can experiment with. Its visual nature means it works well as a portfolio or product catalogue, and can also be useful when brainstorming ideas or developing campaigns.

Of course Facebook also continues to be an invaluable channel for SMEs wanting to see real results from social media. In fact, a February 2012 study that we did of UK small businesses found that, of the small businesses using social media marketing, more than half (51 per cent) use Facebook. At Constant Contact, we’re excited about helping businesses to use Facebook in tandem with other online marketing tools, such as email.

Q5. What are you looking forward to most at SMWLDN Sept ’12?

We’re really looking forward to contributing to the schedule at SMWLDN this year. Constant Contact is going to be hosting two great events at Google Campus (the heart of Tech City) designed to give insight and support to small businesses. We believe that social platforms used in an optimal way can help small businesses become more efficient and boost growth in spite of the recession. It will also be interesting to see what results these businesses are getting from customer engagement on newer platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

Q6. Where do you see the future of social media heading?

For small businesses in particular, the next step will be getting greater clarity around measurement and what social media success looks like. One thing we hear from speaking to SMEs every day – and a recent survey confirmed – is that many of them don’t think they are successful with social media marketing – but in fact, they are achieving great results in terms of building brand presence and engaging potential customers. With that in mind, perhaps in future we will see more small businesses evaluating their social media marketing to determine the value it brings back to their business.

Q7. What are you hoping to get from SMWLDN Sept ’12?

We really hope to create a greater awareness around what SMEs can do with social media marketing, and to educate business owners on its low-cost barrier to entry and on how simple it is to get started. I’m looking forward to talking with business owners and offering advice and training on how to use online marketing to their greatest benefit.

Constant Contact @ SMWLDN Sept ’12

Come and meet Constant Contact at their SMWLDN Events:

How Small Businesses Win in the Socially Connected World

Tues 25th Sept, 11.30am – 1.30pm at Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub @ Google Campus

Did you know that on average you need to connect with prospective customers seven times before they actually buy from you? That’s an expensive way for you to grow your business. What if we told you that there was another way? And small businesses have a distinct advantage right under their noses. Head over to the event page to find out more!

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Multi-Channel Social Media – Small Biz Friend or Foe?

Thurs 27th Sept, 11.30am – 1.30pm at Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub @ Google Campus

Are you unsure which combination of Pins, Tweets and Likes will give your small business a bang for its buck? It’s a conundrum that’s facing many owners as they fight to juggle the time spent between marketing their business and actually running it.

Well, Constant Contact has just the people who can help you solve this conundrum… Find out more by clicking visiting the event page.

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