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.
CLICK HERE to contact us.
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.
CLICK HERE to contact us.
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.
With the ever-increasing use of social media, comes an ever-growing list of social media related words and phrases. In fact, the sheer volume of these use-specific words is enough to warrant the compilation of an entire dictionary dedicated to this field! Such a publication may be a bit overwhelming to us mere mortals at this point, though. So instead, as a starting point, we’ve put together a glossary of key terms related to social and digital media. To keep you in the loop, here’s our:
A-Z of Social Media
Analytics: Social media analytics refers to data generated from social media platforms and activities. This data (including both bottom-line stats like sales, as well as elements like customer sentiment and brand affinity) can then be collected and analysed to track performance and ROI. Read more…
Bots: A bot is a social media “robot” that generates an automated response or behaviour. For example, sending a message like “How can we help you?” when someone visits your site.
Crisis Management: This refers to a plan of action in response to a social media scandal or crisis, such as a situation that attracts bad publicity. Crisis management usually entails internal processes, as well as the involvement of third-party specialists such as social media, public relations and legal experts.
DM: DM stands for “Direct Message”, most commonly used on Twitter and Instagram, for an instant message that is sent privately to another account and is not publicly visible. On Facebook, the term “private message” is used instead.
Employee Amplification: This relates to the process of harnessing the influential power of your employees on social media as “ambassadors” for your brand. Key employees are positioned as thought leaders and trusted advisors to boost both positive sentiment and reach for your business via their personal accounts. Read more….
Followers: Followers are people that opt in to view content from your account in their Newsfeed. They form a page’s audience and contribute towards valuable organic (free) reach. They are also generally more engaged than other users, which is great.
GIF: GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” and refers to short video clips, generally without sound. GIFs are often used to convey emotions and can be found on most social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter and even Whatsapp. Here’s an example of a GIF (courtesy of giphy.com):
Me trying to meet my writing deadlines:
Handle: Your handle is your social media “ID” or username per platform and begins with “@” e.g. @Social101SA. You can have the same handle on different platforms, but no two users can have the same handle on the same platform. Its best to have a handle that describes you or your brand rather than some clever but unrelated word like @Hotstuff (unless you’re an Indian curry restaurant 😊).
Impression: Impressions are the total number of times that your post has been seen by social media users. This differs from reach, which refers to the total number of unique users that have seen a post. For example, if a 100 users have each seen your post twice, your reach would be 100 but your impressions would be 200.
Join: Joining a group on social media is another way of opting in for content. Most people join groups to engage with people with some sort of shared interest or viewpoint. Getting users to join a group is another great way for businesses to gain organic reach and grow core target groups on a platform.
Keyword: Keywords are commonly used in relation to Search Engine Optimisation, and refer to primary words that relate to a topic. On social media, keywords are often used with a hashtag (#) in front of such a word or phrase. It is used to group conversations about a certain topic e.g. #Christmas. Large scale use of the same keyword by many users at the same time leads to a trending keyword or “trending hashtag”.
Live Stories: Live stories, such as those on Instagram and Snapchat, are photos or videos posted by users that last only 24 hours. As it disappears after this time, it does not form part of profile content. It prompts immediate views of content by users that “don’t want to miss out”. It can be used for content that is only relevant at a certain point in time, or by people that have a lot to share but don’t want to “clutter” their feeds or profile.
Mentions: A mention is just that – it is a mention of you or your brand on social media. This is generally done using your handle (also referred to as “tagging”), and a message is sent to you notifying you that you have been mentioned. You can then respond to the mention if desired.
Notification: Social media notifications are messages sent directly to you by a platform, informing you of an occurrence or event (such as someone tagging you in a post). Other (highly useful) notifications include reminders of birthdays of people you are “friends” with on that platform, and upcoming events.
Organic Reach: This refers to content seen by users through free reach (i.e. not paid promotion). On Facebook, this is often restricted to views by your own audience and group members. On other platforms like Twitter, this reach can be a lot wider, especially with the use of hashtags.
Paid Reach: Paid reach relates to paid advertising on a platform. The reason for using paid promotion is so that you can reach your core audiences through targeted campaigns. It allows you to find and serve content to key segments within their newsfeed, as opposed to waiting for them to find you.
Quote Tweet: A quote tweet basically a retweet on Twitter, with the difference being that you can add your own comment before sharing. This allows you to share your views when sharing curated content. Below is an example of a quote tweet:
Reach: Reach is the total number of unique users that see a particular post. In other words, the number of individual people who have been exposed to your brand’s post. This is a figure that should be viewed objectively and considered in relation to your industry market size.
Share: Reposting content from another account is called sharing on social media. This includes clicking the “share” button on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, and the “retweet” on Twitter. By sharing, content from another page is added to your timeline on a platform, allowing your own audience to view the post without going to the source page itself.
Trending: When a topic gains extensive attention and engagement on social media, it is said to be trending. It refers to widescale popularity at a given time, which can be for both positive and negative reasons (although usually when it comes to the latter, its called a crisis or scandal). The use of a hashtag associated with a topic allows for it to trend as more and more people join the conversation.
UGC: UGC or User Generated Content is content created and posted directly by users (as opposed to crafted, promoted content by businesses). For example, a user posting a photo of a new pair of designer shoes purchased and raving about how awesome they are. UGC is closely tied to customer influence the user becomes a sort of ambassador that the mentioned brand can tap into.
Vanity Metrics: Vanity Metrics are figures such as the number of page likes and followers which can be easily inflated and misleading. Although these figures make a social media page look successful, it does not necessarily equate to business value or ROI. For informed decision-making is best to look at more tangible data sets such as Engagement Metrics. Read more….
Webinar: A webinar is basically a web-based or online seminar. It refers to a live or recorded presentation, and can include video, audio or combined content. Webinars are very popular when it comes to disseminating business, educational or informative content in particular.
eXperience: Ok so maybe we cheated a bit here. But “X” stands for “experience” when used in relation to CX (customer experience) and UX (user experience). Both refer to the move towards more client-centric approaches by businesses. It’s all about creating an amazing experience for the user throughout their journey with the brand, and is becoming the primary focus of social media strategies globally.
YouTube: YouTube is a video-based social networking platform. Users can watch content on virtually any topic, as well as upload their own videos. The monetizing functionality offered by YouTube also makes it an ideal advertising platform for certain brands, and even users themselves can make money if the videos they post generate enough views.
Zealot: Social media zealots are users who are highly engaged and often emotionally invested in a brand online. They interact with the brand itself, as well as other users that engage with the business. There is a potential for such consumers to be harnessed as ambassadors for the brand, but this should be approached with caution due to their “zealous” or passionate nature.
And there you have it – our A-Z of social media! We hope that you find this guide useful and informative (you can even show off your knowledge around the coffee machine). Feel free to get in touch with us should you require more insight into these or any other social media and digital concepts.
CLICK HERE to contact Social Media 101 – we look forward to hearing from you.