Yes, it finally has been preached enough and you are part of the converted. Social media is a necessity if you are serious about getting your brand recognised at a marginally lower cost than traditional media. The powers that be have given you the nod and now it is left for you to get things going and to get it going fast.
Well, here are 9 ways that you can quickly setup your social media presence and start gaining eye balls to your content in a very short time. If you have already set up your online presence, then we see no reason why you shouldn’t put your efforts on steroids!
Determine where exactly your audience is in regards to social networks by either visiting different social networks or looking out at where your competition “hangs out” often. And yes, almost everybody and their cat are on Facebook but you may find that your target market is a niche market that is predominantly on, say, LinkedIn (hello Mr. employment agency…), hence you will have to shift your focus to where the customer already is.
Once you have established where your customers are, a strategy needs to be formulated as to how you will interact with them. This is usually a social media strategy and need not be too detailed in the beginning but an aerial view of where you are, where you are going and how you intend to get there will suffice at the beginning. Establish what resources are at hand and which will need to be sourced, whether internally or externally.
After having done this you can now devise the road map of how to get your customers to interact with you.
3. Set up profiles
When you are ready to open your social network profile accounts be sure to use profile name checkers like NameChk and Knowem that allow you to check whether the username that you desire has been taken and if available you can secure them all on the same website. This allows you to have a consistent username throughout all of social media (i.e facebook.com/YourBrandName, twitter.com/YourBrandName, YouTube.com/YourBrandName, etc).
These profile will then need to be populated with your contact information, description of who your brand is as well as setting of images to reflect your brand’s appearance online. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use the same password across all profiles as, God forbid, but if someone can get the password to one account, they’ll have access to all!
4. The Red Tape
Be sure to target the platforms that your customers are on and don’t rush to sign up for every social network the internet has to offer. Get to know how each social network works, the basic rules and regulations and the standard code of practice. Infringing on their Terms and Conditions can lead to as drastic an action as having your profile account banned from the network. (Yeah, I guess you never thought that you could ever be banned from WhatsApp now, did you? Well I’ve got the ‘trauma scars’ to prove it)
5. Set a schedule
Draw up a roster of posts for each platform whether on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You may not have the exact content on the day that you set out to do this but having a schedule will specify what needs to be posted when. You can go a step further and have it detailed as to who will respond to customers and when they will do it.
6. “There’s an app for that!”
Social media has created an industry of add-on services that allow brand managers to streamline their activities by using tools that are tailor-made for specific challenges online. No longer does one have to spend countless hours before a monitor doing work, but social media applications have freed up our valuable time to allow us to concentrate on weightier matters.
Work smarter and not harder!
Users crave for dialogue online, as this is how the platform is structured, and denying them this privilege is tantamount to raising the middle finger to them and telling them to go fly a kite. Unfortunately, many-a-communication fail to come out the way we want the customer to understand, often leaving them with more questions than answers. Social media gives you the platform to engage with your users to a level that is unprecedented and would have cost an arm, a leg and shoulder a few years back.
Get involved in conversations that are relevant to your brand, your industry as well as your surroundings. Be sure to keep away from politics and religion as these are highly debatable issues that you will not have the resources to address.
Be sure to keep an eye on what is being said about your brand, the industry that you are in as well as the conversation that goes on around your competitor. This will easily allow you to join the conversation, give your thoughts on the matter and add credence towards you being seen as an authority in your field.
The quickest way to build your online following is to get your employees, friends and family to follow your accounts. This they can do easily and many times all that they just need is to be ask and they will happily action your request. Follow other online brands, whether locally or internationally as at the end of the day you want to get involved with conversations that are relevant to you.
Have you seen the need to #GetSocial? Have you recently joined the social media arena? What lessons did you learn that allowed you to kick start your brand online? Let us discuss in the comments section below.
This article is a guest post, penned by William Chui, the founder of SocialMe, a social media agency based in Harare. He will be speaking at the #GetSocial event.
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