6 Must-haves for Effective Social Media Marketing

It’s amazing how in just 5 years there has been a major change in the advertising and marketing trends both locally and globally. I mean, you can now speak to a huge global audience at the same time and with very few resources. Not only is Social Media Marketing a career, but Corporates have invested heavily in digital advertising and have seen a lot of good returns from it.Being a new field, there is so much to learn about Social Media Marketing and we can do this through online webinars and live sessions with digital experts.

So, I recently attended a digital training by Africa 118 inc who partnered with Google to enlighten us more about the new digital trends and how we can ensure our brands stand out and get noticed online which I'd like to share with you today. First, I must say I was so impressed when I got to meet several young people who were just starting up their own companies; and a good number depended solely on online to market their businesses. So clearly this is such a great time to build your brand and be active online because it’s about to get bigger and better. We will probably need a part 2 of this post, since the training was lengthy, intense and quite engaging, but for now let’s look at the first six things you should remember so as to capture and keep your audience’ attention.

The following tips, I learnt from Africa 118 inc in partnership with Google, a Twitter Webinar by @Amanda_Healy and experience from my Social Media Marketing career

1.The three L’s-(Learn, love and laughter)

Social media, just like the name suggests, should be fun and interesting to your audience. So are you giving them the three L’s? The first, is ‘Learn’, each post should be informative and tell of something the audience probably didn’t know. Secondly is ‘Love’ (or hate), the post should awaken a strong feeling such that the reader should have an opinion about it which prompts them to speak through comments, bringing activity to your post. Thirdly is laughter, have you seen those hilarious memes posted on Facebook? They are a good example of what makes social media fun, so now and then you should have a fun post.

2.Effective page design and images

Let’s face it, there are so many pages on your timeline every time you open your Social Media, so in order for you to stand out, your images and content have to be of top-notch quality and good enough for people to want to go back to. It is also important to have the logo as your profile picture so that someone could know who you are before even reading. The images should be of perfect dimensions which allow viewers to see the pictures whether they are using a laptop or a phone. Images with a square dimension are highly recommended for most social sites.

3.Consistent name (e.g. @mypage)

It is important to maintain the same identity across all social media sites, for example if your name was @mypage on Instagram, it should be the same on Twitter and on Facebook. This makes it easier for people to reach you even on Google search and it improves on your SEO. Therefore, from the beginning it is important to check availability of the name you want on all sites, if not available you could consider adding an underscore or dash in between.

4.Online strategy

It’s key to have a good online strategy stating specifically what you want to achieve from your social marketing. The trainer also stressed that a good percentage of Social Media is for awareness creation then another percentage for reviews and direct sales. Each person online has a very unique audience and it is important that you give them exactly what they want; which brings me to the next very important point

5.Brand promise and Targeted audience

Who is your target audience? And what value do you bring to them? In terms of age, geographical location, gender, profession, interests, etc. Having a targeted audience helps you stay relevant to a good number of them since they are interested in what you share. It’s a waste to have a large audience and half of them are not interested in your brand. Also, what you put online MUST be directly proportional to reality, don’t post a picture of a product which looks totally opposite in real life; your customer’s expectations should meet reality to maintain the trust

6.Planning and consistency

Consistency is so key in social media marketing, you may not post every other time but you need to plan on which days you’ll post and stick to it. An easy way of doing this is to plan a timetable on an excel sheet where you’ll state the content and the photos you’ll post on specific days, you could even schedule the posts for a specific time in case you won’t be there. The posts should be a blend of products, events, competitions, holiday wishes and even appreciation messages to your clients. Look out for comments and questions which may pop up anytime. If you are not consistent, people may easily forget about you.

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