We get this too often, a new client brief asking for 3 posts per day per platform and generally the brief is asking for at least three platforms. We hear you, social media is about being social, it about engaging, it’s fast paced. Live fast die young – with reference to social media posts that is.
The reality is that people don’t unfollow brands who don’t post. They unfollow brands who post too much.
If you were to post three social media updates per day, across three platforms, that’s nine posts per day. That makes 63 posts a week (including weekends) and a staggering 270 individual social media posts every month. Keep in mind that ideally all of these should be well-thought-out valuable pieces; is there even that many things to say in a month? There are exceptions in the case of media houses or publicists where it is part of their brand mandate to provide ongoing, updated news and content. Oh and of course influencers who mostly document their daily lives.
The key focus is value. Quality over quantity, meaning less really is more. It is realistically impractical for brands to post this amount of social media content when considering the cost implication of designing, uploading and promoting all of these posts. Time is money and putting out such a vast amount of content requires a lot of resources that most businesses don’t have access to. Ideally, we are all about getting as much bang for your buck by being razor focused with the content in making sure that every post is contributing toward driving strategic business value. Content should be designed to align with over-arching marketing strategies and business objectives while also not spreading the brand too thin by trying to be everything to everyone on every platform. Decide on key messaging and then direct these posts through the channels where your customers are more likely to be and where they prefer to engage with your brand. Social media at the end of the day is about the user, not about the brand – think about how you use the platforms.
We have proven success with as little as 2 posts per month for some of the brands we work with. If you find yourself being overwhelmed with working out what to post next on social media, reach out to us and let us support you with a best fit strategy.
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Effectively the fundamental function of any advertising, be it on social media or other mediums, is to drive brand awareness. By virtue of people being aware of the brand, it is more likely that sales will happen. It’s like having the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it then no one is going to buy it. Rightly so, a mediocre competitive product might just gain more sales thanks to a great marketing plan, and even so just by pure brand awareness.
Marketing and PR are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the functionality of a well-executed social media campaign with brand awareness often-times being the start of the sales funnel.
Ultimately, every business wants to drive sales and in all cases potential clients require between 6 and 8 brand touch points in order to gain trust and convert to a paying customer. Social media is not the silver bullet in speeding up a sales cycle or marketing campaign, however with multiple touch points, digital strategies allow for a more organic sales cycle as opposed to a linear process, meaning that potential clients at any point within their journey could slot into your sales cycle.
With this in mind, sales is not always the only measure of success and it is key for businesses to identify where within their customer journey there are areas where they can drive conversion.
Social media has the ability to underpin and support the entire customer journey and with the added benefit and ability of razor focused targeting, your brand is able to speak to the right person at the right time with the right message.
A data footprint is collected online and everything can be tracked from impressions, to clicks to conversions making social media the best way to measure success of campaigns, it really comes down to what the objective is.
Whatever your business objective whether that growth, maintain or sustain sales we are able to assist with a tailored digital solution to support this.
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There is a fair chance that that statement is true and that your client isn’t on social media. We agree, social media isn’t always the silver bullet and is not in every case the answer to all marketing woes. We also understand that there is a good portion of the population that aren’t enslaved by their phones, chasing likes and trawling through feeds.
With that said, we also cannot ignore the absolutely stunning statistics that could favour the fact that your client might very well be on social media. Let’s break it down.
Currently, there are 57,82 million South Africans, alive and living in our beautiful country. Of those 57 odd Million people, an impressive 37,49 million of them are active internet users. This means that around 65% of the population trawls the internet to one degree or another.
Furthermore there are currently 19,69 million active social media users in South Africa meaning that approximately one in three people have a social media account and are actively checking back, posting and updating their profiles.
To that point, it is also important to note that currently there are 17,04 million South Africans who are under the age of 14. This is relevant since according to Facebook, users are only legally allowed to have a Facebook profile once they turn 13. We could assume then that roughly a third of our population isn’t on social media since they are too young and therefore giving better odds to your client contributing to the 19 odd Million who are active on social media.
Data can be used to measure statistics and probability of success, however with these numbers in favour of the internet and social media it is fair to say that at least one person per household is actively posting to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram account.
With innovative strategies you can reach you can reach your ideal customer.
If you are interested in talking more on this, feel free to reach out. We would be delighted to hear from you and strategise how we can find your ideal client via social media. Get in touch with Social Media 101 CLICK HERE.
There are a few select products and services that are seemingly difficult to promote on social media, agreed. These might be B2B type products, highly engineered, technical or intangible while also only appealing to the very niche of industries. Your business might operate solely out of long standing and nurtured relationships. This could be relevant to highly regulated industries or even banned products. What about morbid industries like funeral homes or crime scene clean up. The reality is that however obscure, niche or intangible your product or service may seem there is in most cases a way to advertise, and dare we say it, on social media.
Niche product / market
Niche communities are really the silver lining of social media. People gather in topical groups and discussions to share their common experiences, beliefs and opinions. With the incredible rich data available on social media, businesses are able to tap into these communities and speak to their ideal customers. The best part is little to no wastage.
Exclusively business to business
Social media is also increasingly becoming a space to embrace business to business exchanges. With the inclusion or LinkedIn, businesses are able to target granular to decision makers. That’s not to take away from the other platforms, since at least for now….
Technical or intangible product and services
It is fair to say that everyone is open to receiving value on social media and in most cases, businesses hold a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise that can indeed be highly valuable. Content on social media that provides users with value are posts that are served at the right time, with the right message, to the right person.
Few select customers
For companies with reliable customer relationships, you are able to speak directly to these customers via the intimacy of their timeline or social media feed. Smart, innovative and creative strategies allow brands in highly regulated industries speak to their ideal target markets.
Social media excels in connecting niche communities. It’s about finding the right platform and the right communities to speak to about your product or service.
This cuts down on wastage and create a more valuable and valued experience for customers. There is no reason for your business to not be on social media, and if you would like to brainstorm more on how these platforms can be used to benefit your business, reach out to us to set up a meeting, we look forward to hearing from you.
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We will agree with this statement, yes, social media does in fact expose businesses to negative feedback and customer complaints.
The challenge is however that these seemingly bad conversations will happen whether the brand is on social media or not. Ideally you want to be there to address and manage the outrage, or at least be aware of it.
In most instances, consumers turn to social media as a last resort. We often-times find that these frustrated customers have already followed traditional protocol and sent an email to some dusty inbox only to be responded with a generic reply. They have called through to the customer care centre only to find themselves in an ongoing carousel of being put on hold. You might find, in some cases that the person had reached out via private message on social media, before… taking it public!
Customers are demanding more from brands.
They have gained a sort of public power. Anyone with a social media account is a journalist of sorts and with an easy swipe open of their lock screen can direct a complaint to any brand or company for the world to see. Of course, once one complaint has been aired, it gives licence to other complaints to come out into the open. And so one seemingly innocent online complaint could turn into a viral storm of trending hashtag(s). The true reality is that consumers, you and me, just want good service and value for money.
Customers want to be heard and ultimately valued.
People use social media to level the field between them and big corporate and all businesses should do is turn a kind ear to listen, address and then consider whether maybe they should implement change into their organisation.
Yes, its scary. No one, not even big business wants to be exposed to a social media scandal, however rather listen, be active and address concerns before they turn to complaints especially since taking on feedback could make for good business returns.
If you as a business owner still find social media too daunting to even consider, reach out to us. CLICK HERE
We have many years’ experience in this space while also taking into consideration consumer behaviour, social media trends and human psychology to assist and support our clients in managing their social media strategies and implementing crisis management processes.
Get in touch with Social Media 101. CLICK HERE to contact us.
Social media, an ever-expanding online universe of tweets and blue ticks, connections and conversations, followers and fallouts. We are all well submerged into social media and there is no denying that it is unlikely to go away any time soon.
The Short History of Social Media
In tech terms and lighting speed evolution, social media can express historical progress to what we know it as today. Mostly starting out in university dorm-rooms and presenting itself as a forum for groups to connect online, social media still very much has this same initial vision just with a lot larger groups and a lot more options. In its simplest form, social media provides a platform for all users to search for, connect and engage with niche communities – users being businesses too.
The challenge is with the volume of information, the sheer size of possible audiences and the never-ending need to stay connected. How does a brand decide which platforms to use to connect with their required niche audiences of clients, customers and prospects?
A Guide to the Galaxy of Social Media
It is fair to say that in all this enormity, we can drill down on the top 5 social media platforms since these are the most well-known and, more importantly, most widely used. Just to disclaim that last statement, this is not to say that these big 5 will be forever. As mentioned earlier, social media is ever-expanding and there is no guarantee that it could evolve (within our lifetime) to something different, but with the same vision.
While immersed in our online safari, we typically see the big 5 as being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Let’s look at each of these in more detail in terms of their unique role in this ecosystem and typical behaviors:
The granddaddy of all social media platforms. Not quite first to market but definitely leveraging off all longevity tactics and currently with the biggest user base of 2 Billion active users worldwide. With one in three humans having an active Facebook account, the same ratio is seen in South Africa with 17 Million active users. People turn to Facebook as a way of keeping abreast of close-knit communities within this global village. Most users frequent the platform to see uploads and updates from their closest friends, family members and acquaintances.
Facebook is by far the most superior of all platforms in terms of its data capturing and targeting abilities meaning for brands there is really little to no wastage when serving content to your specific niche audience. The platform also offers the most innovative and flexible content options supporting a whole host of different ways to get your message across. Because of this extensive data and massive captivated audience, Facebook should always be considered as the primary platform for any business.
The estranged stepchild of social media has had a chance to be great and we suppose it is, in its own right. Twitter is widely used for news updates, current affairs and customer service. It can be overwhelming with the sheer volume of content and in some cases be quite a dark place to frequent however if for your business customer service is imperative then Twitter is a no brainer. Aggrieved customers are likely to turn to Twitter after frustratingly taking steps to have their concerns addressed and resolved. They do this because of the volume and quick fire response that the platform enables. With the average lifespan of a tweet being 15 minutes, these updates are also the internet tinder that could catch a crisis a send a bush fire expanding out to the rest of the big 5.
Twitter users pride themselves in the news to Twitter first landscape of the platform where most of the others only catch on to newsworthy topics a few hours or even days later. It is not all doom and gloom since the internet tinder can also spread good, like seeds sprayed from a low flying plane to replenish a scorched earth. Live event coverage, influencers and listening campaigns provide opportunities for brands to inform, engage and delight their customers through Twitter. It is a balancing act for businesses, however integrity and transparency are key in keeping out of the Twitter CSI spotlight.
This platform can be likened to the darling of all platforms with its lustrous flow of never ending Rapunzel-like timelines, dotted with gorgeous sunsets, sublime cuisine and equally stunning influential personalities. Its captured the hearts and cameras of the younger generation and we are keen to see what this platform could evolve and grow up to become. For businesses, it’s a little trickier… Facebook bought out Instagram recently, meaning the same rich data which Facebook holds, is the same for Instagram users.
The challenge here is that the platform relies solely on visual impact where the promotional qualities of the platform really only enable brands to gain post likes and comments. The best news in all of this is that through Facebook, brands are able to promote content onto Instagram without having a set up or active page on the platform. We wouldn’t consider it the go-to social media platform in all industries unless lawyers and accountants can figure out extremely creative ways of presenting their legal cases and balance sheets in photo format. There are however creative ways of expressing a brand on Instagram that could still drive user engagement.
The boss of social media, LinkedIn of late is really stepping up and coming to the party. Their platform was traditionally stuffed into a recruiter paradise where users knew the relevance of having a LinkedIn profile, but only checked into the platform when they happened upon a connection request. In the last six months or so and with the platform’s buy-out by Microsoft, LinkedIn has rapidly started to introduce additional functionality and is definitely the platform to watch. Now, users are likely to peruse LinkedIn for insightful business anecdotes and opinions by their connections. They see this platform as a place that levels the playing field of the hierarchal traditional business structure; now anyone can connect with any CEO of any multi-national and/or blue-chip business – this is power!
Personal brands are becoming more and more required on LinkedIn where now everyone is considering the professionalism of their online persona. For businesses, we are still waiting for equally innovative functionality and targeting abilities like Facebook, but for now if you operate in the B2B space, LinkedIn is a must! That is not to say that B2C businesses and brands should turn their nose up at LinkedIn because relevant messaging could still find its way to those consumers, especially since aren’t we all consumers anyway?
The wise advisor and also Mr Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, YouTube takes on multiple personalities dependent on what trip the user is after. Effectively a relevant platform to consider with SEO as when users Google a question, they are expecting an answer; where relevant, YouTube could provide a quick and easy-to-follow how to user guide – if this is relevant to your business and/or industry. Being only video content, YouTube can be seen as the big brother to Instagram where users can delve into a long and drawn out rabbit hole in collecting information. It is fair to say, however, that the content does not need to be anything ground breaking or earth shattering on YouTube since there are viral anomalies that pop up all the time. Who knew Justin Bieber got famous out of a YouTube video?
For businesses, YouTube is a great library platform to host informative content and, if necessary, your TV commercials for stakeholder reference. It is important to state at this late stage that snap judgements are hard and cruel on social media and brands should always consider the quality of the content being produced and posted. Video of course comes with a higher price tag, but when done properly can prove fruitful returns for a brand.
Choosing the right platforms for a business can be equally easy and difficult, however it really comes down to knowing your customers. Effectively the same person is on all of these platforms, however they look to each platform to fulfil a different need. It’s the brand’s responsibility to realise that social media provides a platform to speak to the right person, with the right message at the right time. Content is king, context is queen and value reigns above all. In this space quality far outweighs quantity, so when considering your social media strategy, choose platforms where you are confident in delivering quality content consistently to customers as opposed to just posting, everywhere, for the sake of it.
As a social media consultancy, Social Media 101 are skilled in guiding our clients to choosing the right platforms. We are solution minded and driven by results meaning if you win, we win too. Should you wish to talk more on social media and delve deeper into these platforms and how they could work for your business, feel free to reach out. CLICK HERE to contact Social Media 101.