Freeman, the leading global provider of brand experiences has appointed Adam Jones, co-founder and former CEO of Showplans, to the position of director – Digital Products, Freeman in EMEA, overseeing the entire digital event technology portfolio. The digital portfolio includes a range of leading enablement and engagement technologies, including four products from Showplans Technology Group, which Freeman acquired at the end of 2016.

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Is it time for you to start using social media to your business' advantage? It will come as no surprise when I state that social media is on the rise and it clearly has no means of stopping. As obvious as that sounds, it’s surprising how many businesses aren’t using it to their full advantage, therefore I want to suggest that instead of frowning at the thought of Facebook and Twitter taking over the lives of our ‘youths’ today, maybe it’s time we all start getting ‘down with the kids’ and start using it to start selling, not only our business' but ourselves too. I mean it’s free advertising at the end of the day isn’t it? So hold off on those expensive radio ads and television commercials and why not start off by using the useful resources you have right in front of you and soon enough I think you’ll start to wonder how you ever created your business without using one of them ‘annoying’ #hashtags.

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Taking LinkedIn out of the equation for this post (as it is already recognized as a professional business ordinated social media site) let’s look at the site that generates the most interest by using hashtags - Twitter. Since being founded in 2006, over 300 million users have taken to the site. People are joining to be ‘in the know’ about what is happening in the world as it happens and that is exactly what you need to do for your business – interest those who are interested in you and your evolving business.

So how do you do that? It’s simple - make people want to follow you, make them search for your hashtag and most importantly make them share your page/post… this is how you will get the world talking. And yes it really is as simple as using that tiny hashtag symbol. The more you talk about yourself the more others will start talking about you too. Be interesting – get involved in day to day top trending topics, get your name out there by searching for others on twitter with similar interests and businesses and start following them. The more you put in, the more you are going to get out of it. Twitter is also great for sharing different media too, such as music, videos, links, images etc. This will also keep people engaged – because let’s be honest sometimes as human beings we get a bit lazy and would prefer to stare at a picture rather then read anything.

Don’t know what to hashtag? I don’t believe that for a second! It’s easy and once you start exploring the ‘Twittersphere’ - in particular when you explore the genre of your business - you will see other users with similar businesses/interests, using particular hashtags that are getting them noticed. Things such as up and coming events, projects and news.

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One thing I have learnt about trying to up sell your work via social media, is that it can be easy to create interest in your work, but maintaining the interest is where the real work begins. The minute you stop being interested in sharing your business to the world is the minute other people will stop paying an interest in it too, the answer is simply – keep people engaged. Even if it is a retweet about a big sport event that is happening for example The Olympics, this involves many people all over the world, share your interest and other people will share their back.

To summarize my first ever blog – not only for Showplans – but ever, here are the key points to why you should get ‘hashtagging’ on all social media sooner rather than later:

-          Promote your business hashtag – spread the word! Post your business hashtag on your website, on videos, articles, blogs. Don’t be afraid to promote it everywhere

-          Ask people to use your hashtag – tweet, favorite, retweet, follow within the same business field as you and they may repay the favour by following back

-          Make it relevant – see what is trending at the time and get your business involved with the trend

-          Make it interesting – include photos/videos/articles/blogs to keep people interested

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Anyway I best get off social media now before I get a telling off… but remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and remember to use our hashtag too #Showplans ;-)

 Cherrelle Jefferson | Client Account Manager @ Showplans

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