Social media strategy is not a myth in brand building and the creation of an online presence, its a reality. While this hasn’t quite sunk in for everyone who needs to use social media, it’s always encouraging to come across entities that place a lot of value on it.
Local advertising agency TBWA Zimbabwe is one such entity and has been a strong advocate for digital marketing and social media.
According to Sapi Bachi, the Managing Director of TBWA Zimbabwe, the agency is currently engaged in a skills development process focused on social media and the digital space. The agency has clients across various fields which include financial services, social marketing,public health, retail and medical aid insurance.
As part of an integration of their global network’s best practices for digital media it has carried out a training exercise for one of its Zimbabwean clients which is being led by a social media and digital industry veteran Eunene Sucevic.
Eunene is the managing director of Tequila Johannesburg a digital agency based in South
Africa which is an affiliate of the TBWA global network. In this role Eunene has been
responsible for growing the TBWA network in Africa.
This has exposed her to a lot of industry practices through extensive client work on the continent and through work with several of the TBWA network’s 19 African offices. This has involved increasing capabilities in digital marketing and social media.
We managed to catch up with her and got her take on social media and digital marketing in African markets.
According to Eunene, Africa is waking up to the opportunities of social media at a rapid pace with an awareness around the potential benefits of social media even though a lot of work still needs to be done around using it properly. She noted some great work being done in countries like Nigeria that at times exceeds the standards that are set by South African brands.
In the interview we managed to note ten important considerations for social media and digital branding that Eunene shared. Though not the end-all-be-all of social media these considerations offer an informed look on its specifics.
1. Social media is essentially a two way conversation with your clients. There will be feedback of every form and you need to be prepared to deal with it.
2. Do it properly – The half in half out approach does not benefit your brand. Invest in it wholeheartedly and take it seriously
3. Social media IS NOT a channel for hard selling. Build relationships through it and cultivate them instead.
4. For small businesses and startups social media provides a huge opportunity to build a
common interest community around your product or service so it should be seized.
5. Have a very clear content strategy. Try to focus on relevant and engaging content in the process
6. Social media is not for relevant for every business. Where it is not relevant eg. B2B entities, there’s no need to have a social media strategy at all.
7. If you are trying to get the decision makers in your organisation to appreciate social media, try to understand the challenges faced by the organisation and identify how social media can help achieve those objectives
8. Social media does not exist in isolation. All components involved in brand building (PR, advertising Social Media)need to work together for it to be effective. It all comes down to integrated campaigns
9. If you are getting outside help for social media and digital strategy carefully consider who you partner with. You need to be riding with a partner that understands how to navigate this because it has a huge impact on your brand.
10. Be fully commited. Social media isn’t effective if its executed in half measures
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