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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Q&A with Alex McCann of Altrincham HQ

Altrincham HQ are a community focused social media management and training business based in the North West of England. From building a brand to finding an audience, they specialise in helping business make the most out of social media. 

We caught up with Altrincham HQ's Alex McCann to talk advertising, audio and Altrincham... 

Q: Alex, how does Altrincham HQ help businesses use social media?
A: We have two sides to what we do; we either have a done-for service (i.e. we do all the social media for them) or we actually do a training service where we spend a half-day working out their social media strategy, because for businesses the important thing is working out what to say, how to say it and when to say it.

Q: What's your top-tip for social media engagement?
A: Act exactly the same as your would face-to-face with someone. People might think that social media is very different from face-to-face interaction, but in fact it's very much about being honest, up-front and actually just talking to people and engaging with them.

Q: What is 'tradvertising'?
A: 'Tradvertising' is basically traditional advertising, so all the things businesses used to do in the old day. From the Yellow Pages, to local newspaper advertisements, to mass mailings - it's everything that used to work, but it's definitely the traditional as opposed to the digital.

Q: Can social media bridge the gap between 'tradvertising' and digital marketing?
A: Yes, definitely. Particularly in a niche respect, for instance we just did a restaurant poster campaign which involved about 15 restaurants in each town so it wasn't a mass mail-out, so that can work. In terms of actually doing it for clients, if you're in a physical environment like a restaurant or a retail outlet, you should always have some form of physical advertising like posters, mentions on your receipts or flyers to give away. That way you can bridge what happens in your physical environment with what happens online.

Q: How can audio help businesses connect with their fans, followers and customers?
A: Audio is quite interesting. I've got a background in music, so things like Audioboo and how to use your YouTube can be really important. People take in things differently, so maybe having a piece of audio on your site alongside your blog I think is the future. I know there are a lot of people who would much prefer to go on a blog and have the audio read out for them. The key is to keep your audio together with the written stuff.

Q: What's the biggest social media no-no?
A: There are so many! Probably just broadcasting and never talking to people. A lot of people who have been used to 'tradvertising' can see social media the same way and so only use their twitter account to publish what would have gone on the business card or in the newspaper advert. That's a big no-no.

Q: You're called Altrincham HQ, what's so great about your town?
A: Well it's the town I've always lived in, but what's great about Altrincham is probably the restaurants. There are millions of places to eat - you can pick any cuisine in the world and we've got it in Altrincham, there's loads of beer bars as well, which is great considering we're only 25 minutes outside Manchester.

Q: If you had to live anywhere else in the world (apart from Altrincham), where would it be and why?
A: Hmm...I've always loved France and Paris! It's got art and culture - it's just a happening place.

Q: What's your chosen rocket-fuel?
A: Vodka Diet-Coke!

Q: How do you like to un-wind after a hard day's work? Your Instagram suggests you love eating out?
A: Yes, I love eating out and trying new places. There always seems to be somewhere new to eat and I love music and reading, as well.


For more information about Altrincham HQ, visit http://altrinchamhq.co.uk of follow @altrinchamhq on Twitter.

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