It seems a long time ago that digital marketing was a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’ in this industry. It’s become a key element in Mila’s award winning marketing activity in recent years and we’ve just appointed our first full time digital marketeer to handle our online presence and engage with customers on social media direct.
Charly Venn’s brief is to build on the success we’ve already had – winning the Best Use of Digital and Social Media award at last year’s FIT Show for instance, and she’s already really stepping up our online presence.
We’ve currently got nearly 2200 followers on Twitter – four times the number of some of our competitors and we’re approaching 150 on Instagram, just a few months after we set that profile up.
Obviously, I realise that this is very small scale compared with the big High Street names but it’s the growth in numbers which is impressive. In the past 6 weeks, our Twitter followers have gone up by 5% and our Instagram followers by 17% – continue that through the rest of 2017 and we’ll all be very happy.
I recognise also that social media isn’t a sales channel – it’s a way to engage directly with existing and potential customers and, for Mila, it’s much more about promoting our celebrity customer service than winning new business. Interestingly though, we are starting to get specific sales enquiries direct from both social media platforms and they’re definitely helping us reach potentially valuable new audiences. Like lots of marketing, it will be difficult to quantify the exact return on investment but I think it’s something we simply can’t afford not to do anymore.
Charly’s written a piece advising customers on how they can use Twitter more effectively, which is coming up in the Marketing Supplement being published with the February issue of Glass Times. Look out for it and, in the meantime, if you’re not already following Mila online – find us on both Twitter and Instagram @milahardware_uk.