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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

With Passion & Enthusiasm, Social Media Can Work For Your Business Too!

Here's an example from a guest blogger ....

As tour director for Hidden Aberdeen Tours, I make use of many social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.  My business actually started as a result of creating ‘photo walks’ through a small hobby group on Facebook called ‘Hidden Aberdeen’.  In January 2010 I was inspired to prompt local photographers to submit images featuring ‘lost’ and ‘hidden’ parts of my home city, Aberdeen.  Considering Aberdeen was founded in the 12th century with a royal charter from William the Lion of Scotland, and is now famed as the oil capital of Europe, it is no surprise there are many layers of history, both physical and cultural which from time to time are rediscovered by nosy folk like me!

Very soon we were meeting up to do ‘photo walks’ and instead of just wandering around, I wrote a little script and led my friends on a prescribed route.  The very first one started on our university campus which dates back to 1495, and so it continued with different themes over the next few months.  Things came to an abrupt halt when I moved to Hampshire for a new job – everyone moaned ‘who’s going to do the tours now?’ 

However, within six months I was back, a victim of public sector cuts, but with the thought, now I can start the tours as a business!  Without any funds I quickly posted a number of dates for tours on Facebook and emailed all my contacts in the media with a press release.  Our local radio station was the first to give me a slot to advertise the tours!  Facebook was my only advertising outlet for the first month or so until I built up enough for a small media budget. 

Meanwhile I started a Twitter account for Hidden Aberdeen Tours and very soon gathered some interesting followers.  Twitter generated free web hosting, a free offer to redesign my corporate logo and web site, and links to other networking sites such as LinkedIn and the Aberdeen Business Network.  These sites have been unbelievably helpful in introducing me to other local organisations who in turn have proved to be useful contacts for future projects.  I have also been able to promote the work of other colleagues involved in photography, education and community projects, just by a mention here, a tweet there.

Granted there can be a lot of spurious material on social networking sites, but there are many businesses out there wisely promoting their products and services, as well as helping others along the way.  All such media needs to reflect the passion and enthusiasm of the business owner in order to assure the potential customer or contact they are worthwhile!  Officethingy and others have proved this is possible, and I hope to continue to do so with the content of my Facebook and Twitter profiles – promoting the hidden, the lost and the forgotten, but always bringing history back to life!     

By Dr Fiona-Jane Brown
Tour Director – Head Guide
Hidden Aberdeen Tours
@HiddenAberdeen (Twitter)

Dr Fiona-Jane Brown

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