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Social media for business
Daniel Tomlinson, marketing manager at Trutex, discusses the company’s social media strategy.

By Laura Turner

4 December 2012

CWB talks to Daniel Tomlinson, schoolwear supplier Trutex's marketing manager about the company's social media strategy.

What instigated Trutex to use social media for business?

Engagement via social medial platforms is becoming increasingly popular and, as a business, we are looking to communicate through all channels by which our customers interact. We have found it to be an excellent way of keeping our customer and end-consumers up-to-date on what is happening within the business.


Which forms of social media does Trutex use?

Twitter is our most prominent social media channel. We believe this is more appropriate for a business-to-business organisation like Trutex. It seems to be more instant than other forms of social media, and offers a greater level of interaction with followers than Facebook, for example. This interaction is unique and extremely beneficial. In the past, marketing and communication has been very much one way with little feedback. Now, our customers can tell us instantly what they like and don’t like so we can constantly improve going forward.

We do also use Facebook, but it seems to be an extension of our customer service department, with customers often contacting us via it to enquire about stock levels, for instance. We have also run a number of successful competitions through Facebook, which have dramatically increased our number of “likes”, including a modelling competition, where the winners appeared in the Trutex 2013 brochure. We also work with parent bloggers to help highlight the high quality of our garments. Sometimes, when a garment is packaged in a retail store, the quality isn’t always instantly obvious. It has therefore proved beneficial to ask parent bloggers to test our garments as they emphasis product quality. A further advantage is that this form of marketing is considered more believable than more direct forms of communication.


Do you have examples of how social media has directly helped business?

All forms of well-managed customer engagement build relationships, which can only have an overall positive impact on a business. Social media has also helped us react to, and deal with, customer issues in an effective and efficient manner, improving goodwill and customer loyalty. In addition, we have had numerous new business requests via our social media channels and have grown brand awareness with the end-consumer through our various Facebook competitions.


Do you use social media to communicate with retailers and schools?

Yes, retailers definitely, on a daily basis. It can be business-related but, quite often, it is on a personal level, such as discussing the weather. We also promote our social media work through other forms of marketing communications, such as newsletters and mailers to encourage our retailers to keep up-to-date with us online.


Do you feel customers expect businesses to have a social media and online presence nowadays?

Yes very much. We are placing more and more emphasis on our digital marketing, and every year its takes a larger slice of the marketing budget. Our online sales have increased by almost 200 per cent in the last 12 months, and one of the factors for this increase is more customers preferring to engage online due to the convenience and the control it offers.
 


 
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