Is Manchester missing out on the digital social revolution?

Manchester is the home of invention. We might not have thought of the new social media digital apprenticeship programme first but we have a number of other world firsts. We made the first computer, we were the home of the industrial revolution, our universities found world first’s in new materials like Graphene.

We were partly responsible for the explosion of the rave scene, another world first. The list goes on and on. Manchester was the home of revolutions. 

But it looks like Manchester might be missing out on the social digital revolution, as research carried out by digital marketing agency, AddPeople, has revealed that a large proportion of Manchester SME’s areyet to grasp the potential of social media as a communications tool for business.

Their research reveals that 80% of the Manchester-based agency’s new SME customers were not previously active on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Additionally, AddPeople’s research discovered that of those new customers with social media accounts, 69% didn’t have prominent website links, be it through well-positioned click through icons or a social media feed.

Given that 71% of social media participants are more likely to buy a product or service from a company they have connected with via social media, and 36% of people have posted about a brand on social networks, the importance of SMEs making good use of social media cannot be underestimated.

However, many businesses do not believe they have the time to make the most of the digital revolution.

Which is part of the reason why Manchester Apprentice providers like The Apprentice Academy, are creating programmes around the Social Media and Digital Apprenticeships for businesses.

Apprentices on this programme will learn how to help Manchester businesses by: 

–          Understanding how social media fits into your marketing objectives

–          Understanding how to plan digital and social media marketing campaigns

–          Covering brand values, objectives, the messages and how to reach target customers

–          Measuring the success of social media campaigns and producing metrics

–          Understanding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & Social Media Optimisation (SMO)

At the end of the 21 day programme and continual assessment and aid over the year each Social Media and Digital Apprentice would be able to create:

– A plan for a company’s SEO

– A list of keywords and key phrases for a business

– A link building plan for a website to increase SEO

– A plan to help identify audience groups, brand ambassadors & influencers for the business

–    Optimise content for online profiles & blogs and manage collaborative technologies 

This new exciting Apprenticeship is designed for businesses looking to grow their own digital talent from a grass roots level, so they can develop their own in-house social media knowledge and skills for the future.

The effective use of social media is fast becoming an essential requirement for all businesses who want to grow. Not participating in the digital revolution is no longer an option for those who want to survive in business.

It has been estimated that within the next two years there will be the demand for 40,000 new digital specialists to meet the needs of growing businesses. Currently there are not enough people in Greater Manchester with these skills. Hopefully with the new Social Media and Digital Apprenticeship course from The Apprentice Academy there will be and Manchester will be part of the revolution rather than sat on the side lines of history.