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#GetSocial 2014: The A to Z of social media marketing in Zimbabwe

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Every company or organisation craves for a strong brand awareness and in this 21st century,  social media is increasingly becoming the do it. The problem however is in knowing what works and what doesn’t. There are a lot of truths on social media and its dynamics, and while we can’t lay it all out in one article, we’ve put together an A to Z on social media that can help any SME, start-up or corporate in this area.

ACT on your social media goals. Many companies device great social media plans but never gather the courage the get the ball rolling. Others start, but are discouraged by lack of results early on. The trick is to keep at it and the results will come.

BLOG about your brand, service, product and everything cool about you. Blogging is a good way to flaunt your brand philosophy and product essentials which will help you cement your place in the field. It is an excellent way to get the market to understand you.

CHURN out content consistently. Always remember that social media is active. Have a focused and consistent way of delivering content on the various platforms you have created a community on. It shows engagement and creates a voice for your brand, product or service.

Disciplined campaigns have a better chance of fruition than haphazard ones. Your brand need to be disciplined with the tone of voice, personality and visual elements and not change key brand elements on the whim.

Place Engagement on top of everything else. Society is made up of different communities and the key to a successful social media campaign is to create a digital community around your brand. This can only be achieved by creating content that resonates with your community and your brand ethos.

FOLLOW THROUGH on what you promise or offer. With a voice to sing your praises or bury you it is important to deliver what you promise. Any promos or guarantees have to be legitimate. If not, people will hold you accountable.

#GETSOCIAL. The numbers behind new media and opportunities they present for marketing speak for themselves. Its wise to get involved now.

HIRE if you are clueless and if you have the dollars. It’s better to get seasoned players to handle your social media effort if the demands are beyond you. However, this does not absolve you from understanding the social media. Your know your brand better and you’re in the best position to articulate your social media goals to your internal staff or an external agency.

INVEST bucket loads of time into it. Social media is a real monster that will take you loads of time time to master. First you need to understand your audience, then get them to engage and later on you’ll need to understand algorithms and measurement matrices. No easy task at all!

JUMP at negative feedback. Its good to build that channel of engagement with your social community but remember to act quickly when negative responses for your services start. A slow reaction can turn one complaint into a PR disaster that could damage you..

KISS. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. Its always best to start with what you can manage. Simplify your activity with platforms you can handle. The community you creates will deserve your attention and you will not be able to do it if you complicate things by trying 6 social networks at the same time.

LEARN from your mistakes. It’s going to happen. You will make the occasional brand and social media faux pas. Your community will make noise about it so try to build from that.

MEASURE your success with the right tools. This means considering success in terms of positive and negative comments, identifying trends and growing awareness.

NURTURE relationships with your audience. This is key for any social media experience and by its very nature social media allows to do that through a highly interactive set-up.

To learn more on digital and social media marketing, join Techzim and SocialMe at #GetSocial 2014 training and seminar. The training and seminar will be held on the 3rd and 4th of April 2014 at Miekles Hotel. You can order your tickets at www.GetSocial.co.zw.

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OPENLY acknowledge criticism. Its always good to show appreciation for what you are being labelled as falling short of doing. Don’t stop there though. Use that to improve your service or product.

POST comments or responses to clients’ comments that offer a concrete position for your company or brand. This is very important in displaying your concerns for people’s points of view.

QUICK responses help show sincerity and build the right relationships. After all, engagement is a huge advantage of social media that should be exploited always.

ROBOTIC responses are a strict NO in social media. Engaging in meaningful dialogue with an irate customer who’s venting on your Facebook page or jumping on comments for an article always beats rehearsed, stuffed statements that can be easily spotted by your audience.

STRATEGISE, STRATEGISE, STRATEGISE! The whole idea is to have a smart approach for how you communicate and promote your brand. This is only possible through well thought, well planned actions.

TRAIN your team and yourself. If the opportunity is there to develop skills and knowledge on social media from the right players you should go for it. It’s a community based communication form and your community has to be in on how it works.

UPDATE all platforms frequently. It sounds pretty obvious but the most common failure by companies and brands is to have a presence on social platforms and not keep it current with material and content. Why should I be looking at something you put up weeks ago?

VALUE ADDITION IS THE MAINSTAY OF DIGITAL CONTENT. With social media you can communicate through many formats (video, audio, pics, animation) so always jump to use content that is engaging and adds value. If a picture won’t drive the message across maybe a sound clip?

WORK WITH THE THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, NOT ALL OF THEM. With numerous platforms available it’s necessary to identify the ones that will help grow your community and your brand. There’s no need to be on all of them.

XPERIMENT WITH CONTENT AND MATERIAL THAT IS RELEVANT AND APPEALING. You won’t know how appealing some ideas are until you try them. You should remember to keep it appropriate though.

YIELD IS MEASURED NOT ONLY IN NUMBERS BUT ALSO IN ENGAGEMENT. It’s not about the number of followers or likes you get only. It’s also about what this community can tell you about your service, product and brand.

ZIMBABWE is not your only audience. Social media gives you a global audience which can create more opportunity for any business.

To learn more on digital and social media marketing, join Techzim and SocialMe at #GetSocial 2014 training and seminar. The training and seminar will be held on the 3rd and 4th of April 2014 at Miekles Hotel. You can order your tickets at www.GetSocial.co.zw.


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