Expert Interview: Michele Ferron

Digital marketing expert, Michele Ferron, shares advice on how to generate better social engagement.

By Cat HowPosted in Ideas

Michele Ferron is a digital marketing expert who runs classes, talks and brand consultancy for startups, entrepreneurs and brand-led, digitally savvy businesses. Her company - The School of Social - run a curated programme of digital and brand-building courses, masterclasses and workshops that upskill the professionals of today. Michele has worked with large companies, such as Heineken and the BBC, as well as with many SMEs and freelancers - helping them to gain insights from professionals on how to create, sustain and grow their business.


You work mostly with SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). Why do you think they are a force to be reckoned with?
Without getting political, I believe we will all be better off if Small and Medium businesses took back some of the monies that are being siphoned off to the 1%. I feel and hope that is a movement and mindset that is growing in our society, so the force behind that, is possibly unstoppable.

With the internet and the access to incredibly accessible services including Social Media, I think there is no stopping SME’s now.

What social media platform should an SME be on?
That entirely depends on the industry you are in and where your potential clients, customers or collaborators are active. What I would say, is that it’s better to have a strong and active presence on a single platform, opposed to a weak presence on multiple.

Focus on one that you as a business are comfortable with and that is relatively easy for you or your team to create content for.

How can an SME plan their digital marketing activity?
The key word is planning. Having a plan in place in advance will help you create better content. A few tips:

  • Keep a list somewhere with content ideas that are relevant and interesting to your audience.
  • Schedule time in to create your posts.
  • Use a scheduling tool like Planoly for Instagram or Tailwind for Pinterest to schedule your content.

How can an SME generate relevant and engaging content?
I suggest creating an avatar - a descriptive profile of a person who is your ideal client / customer / collaborator - and when you create content, create it for that person. Decide what they would like to see or read about, and work from there.

If an SME has a limited marketing budget, how and where should they spend it?
That’s tough! It depends on the industry I suppose. But I would say branding and design is important. I have seen small businesses who have invested in professional branding do very well, because they are immediately recognised as a serious player in their market. Having a strong brand also helps develop a strong presence on Social Media.

If an SME had a large marketing budget, how would you recommend they splash the cash?
A marketing team. Getting the right people in house to work on specific elements of the brand that they are good at. From design, to Social Media advertising.

Your company has just undergone a beautiful rebrand. What would you recommend to people about to embark on the same journey?
Thank you! It’s so exciting going on a rebrand and you really want to end up with something you love and that suits your business. Understanding what you want and don’t want and communicating that really well with your designer is key. In fact, communication is everything. Designers aren’t mind readers, so you have to be as communicative as possible. Really thinking about where and how you use your branding was a real eye opener for me with regards to choosing which design to go with.  

I had some lovely and fun logo options, but when we practised using them in the places we usually put our logo, they just weren’t right… and the simplest logo ended up winning.

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