With a social media reach like this …
Mailchimp email database for Belfast: 39,500 people
Facebook : 45,000 followers
Personal Facebook (Inga): 20,000 followers
Christmas Facebook: 30,000 followers
takebackthecity facebook: 40,000 followers
Facebook Group : 9,000 members
Website: 250,000 visitors a month
Twitter: 121,000 followers
Instagram: 10,000 followers
Linkedin: 5,000 followers
We took it upon ourselves to catch up with Inga Norvilyte, founder of social media phenomenonLoveBelfast. Having started out as a part-time hobby and a free information service, it has since grown to become extremely popular over the past 2 years, and is now a full time job.
Launching during a bad time for the city both politically and economically, LoveBelfast harnessed the power of digital technology to overcome such negativity. By utilising Facebook and Twitter to tell people about what’s on in Belfast and N.Ireland Inga found that such positive news and information via social media was a very new kind of media.
Social media is used by each of us everyday and as the most cost effective promotional tool of any traditional media platforms, it is common today for many businesses, especially bars, restaurants and theatres to promote themselves only through social media.
According to the social media guru…
“If you are not already investing in social media, rest assured that your successful competitors are. What I love about social media is that you can target your ideal customer or reader directly with your key messages.
— Inga Norvilyte
As a social media consultant for local businesses, hotels and restaurants, Inga claimed that she mostly enjoys getting young and local startups off the ground. Recommending Kickstarter to the new businesses on the block, she believes that it is a fantastic opportunity to combine their business needs with social media and to promote the business widely.
Inga believes passionately in helping NI businesses succeed globally and she is clear on the critical role of social media.
“It is just one massive international conversation, that all businesses need to be involved in if they want to grow.
— Inga Norvilyte, LoveBelfast
Inga is keen to point out however that despite the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram locally, other countries like Russia and China have their own kind of social media platforms and this can cause a signifcant barrier for organisations entering new markets. What works in one country may not work in another and your approach should always be tailored accordingly. Although it isn’t easy, if you get it right, you can use social media to reach and engage a whole new audience that may not have discovered your brand otherwise. According to Inga, to get it right you must do your homework on the country and by investing in a good monitoring tool like brandwatch this can allow you to hear and see first-hand what people are saying about your brand.
Stephanie Geddis – Marketing and Content Specialist @ Digital DNA