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Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Part 1: Four Fundamental Digital Strategies to Help Grow Your Business.

Jandre de Beer

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Digital Marketing In South Africa

Digital Marketing In South Africa

Digital marketing, a.k.a. online marketing is growing at such a rapid pace that majority of business owners and marketing managers are left in the dust and end up misunderstanding or confusing its capabilities.

In my experience as a marketer, I’ve realised that most companies, especially small businesses, all have one specific problem in common.

Most of them think that their offering, service, or product is unique from their competitors. The sad thing is, they are all mistaken.

Whether you are a CEO, director or solo entrepreneur, the sooner you realise that you are in the marketing business (no matter what your product or service), the better.

Okay, so let’s say there is the odd chance of your offering being unique. How are you planning on telling the world about it?

The first thing you will have to do is come up with a marketing plan, just like any other business.

Digital marketing in South Africa

Digital marketing in South Africa

The marketing industry is currently one of the fastest growing industries thanks to technology giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and many others.

All these companies might be situated thousands of kilometers away, but there is no doubt that they are disrupting every single business here in South Africa (whether we like it or not).

Related: 5 Smart Cost-Effective Marketing Moves That Will Build Your Business In A Tight Economy

The scary part is that majority of South Africans are still unsure of the infinite potential of digital marketing.

The internet is hands down an essential channel for reaching customers today.

Did you know that 50% of the world’s population has access to the internet? That’s roughly 3.7 billion people, or in our case, customers.

You can literally reach half the world’s population with the push of a button.

You might say that your customer base is mainly located in South Africa. With that in mind, did you know that 26.8 million South Africans spend over 3 hours a day on social media?

That’s half the South African population. Crazy, right?

Now, imagine you can put your brand, product, and service right in front of their eyes.

The mall of online

the-mall-of-online

If you are a B2C business, where would you want to set up shop?

Probably somewhere we the number of feet past your store would be the highest, right?

If you are living in Gauteng, you would probably aim to open a store in Sandton City one day, maybe even the Mall of Africa?

These spots are well known for the amount of traffic they generate and let’s be honest if you want sales, you need feet through your door.

The downsides of these malls are that they require an enormous amount of capital to run and maintain. We’re talking about higher than average accommodation rates, not to mention staff salaries, etc.

With that in mind, what if I told you there is a mall that drives 10x the amount of traffic on a daily basis that costs a fraction of what one of these stores would cost.

A mall that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

That sounds like the kind of mall you want to set up shop, right? Well, that is the Mall of Online.

Related: 5 Steps That Helped Innovative Marketing Take The Leap

What if my services can’t be offered online?

online-services

I understand that there is a ton of services that can’t be offered online. Maybe you own a hair dressing studio or a panel beating service, or maybe you are a dry-cleaning company.

Well, that doesn’t mean that you can’t tap into the online realm.

Did you know that according to Moz, 67% of shoppers are influenced by online ads and reviews?

And according to Forbes insights majority of customers prefer to do research online and then make their purchases in stores.

That means that, even if you can’t afford to sell products or services online, you can still benefit tremendously from having an online presence.

My product or service is online, now what?

online-product-and-service

Most individuals think that the hard work is over when their e-commerce website or blog is built.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the hard work is just beginning.

Now that you are in the Mall of Online, you can’t just expect people to visit your site in numbers. It doesn’t work like that, and I will tell you why.

There are roughly 1.2 billion websites in the world, and approx. 2 sites get launched every second.

With that said, like any business, you will need to market your site so people can find it, learn more about it and eventually buy your services and products.

And that is where digital marketing comes in!

Related: Why Data-Driven Marketing Drives More Sales

What is digital marketing?

what-is-digital-marketing

Today, digital marketing is a lot more than setting up a Facebook page or creating a website.

Digital marketing can be very complex, and that is why most people in South Africa probably still don’t know what digital marketers are and what they do.

However, in a nutshell, digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves electronic devices. Think about this for a second.

What’s the first thing you pick up when you wake up in the morning?  What’s the last thing you put down before you go to bed?

What do you listen to on your way to work? What do you watch when you get home? What do you work on when you are at work?

I can go on all day, but do you see my point? Do you see what a big percentage of our lives are driven by digital?

Now that I’ve opened up your mind, you can understand why eMarketer projected that by the end of 2017, 38.3% of all paid media would be digital.

That’s massive, and mobile advertising is expected to be 63.3% of that.

Exciting, isn’t it? Okay, so as an entrepreneur, CEO, or marketing enthusiast reading this guide, you’re probably wondering how you can start to tap into the infinite potential of the digital realm?

Well, rest assured that in this Beginner’s Guide Series I will be breaking down all you need to know on how to start, plan and execute your first (or next) digital marketing strategy.

Remember; “Good marketers think about campaigns, while great marketers think about growth structures.”

The 4 pillars of digital marketing

digital-marketing-pillars

Keep in mind that there are definitely more than four ways to promote your business online. However, I firmly believe in these four pillars as they will form the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.

There are a ton of more advanced techniques, and we will get to that, but these four marketing pillars is a must have for any online or offline business.

1Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation

In a nutshell, search engine marketing, and optimisation is defined as “the process of affecting the visibility of your e-commerce store, website or blog.”

When we talk about search engines, we are talking about platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc.

What’s the first thing you do when you are looking for an answer to a specific question? The chances are, you Google it.

According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.

With that in mind, did you know that roughly 85% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses?

Chances are, there is a huge number of potential customers out there looking for your business.

And the reality of the matter is, that if they cannot find you online, they will probably be influenced to visit your competitors.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ensure that your business has some form of an online presence in today’s age.

A
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is all about increasing the visibility of your website in a manner that is free.

SEM, on the other hand, is about increasing your visibility through paid advertising which I will address a little later on.

To have potential customers find your business, you need to make it easy enough for Google or any other search engines to find your website so it can display it on the results page.

Roughly two-thirds of all organic search go to the top 5 positions in Google! That means, 33% is left if your website rank position number 6 and down.

Keep in mind; Google only allows ten spots on the first page. And a study by Search Engine Watch showed that 91.5% of all search traffic comes from the first page.

Related: Search Engines, Social Media And The ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

That means that if you are on the second or third page of Google, the chances are you are not getting much attention, and you will have to start planning on how to improve your rankings.

There are numerous ways to do this improve your rankings in search engines. However, I will be addressing them in part 2 of our Beginners Guide.

B
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

If you are not on the first page of Google, and if you are still interested in driving traffic to your website or local business, then you will happy be glad to know that you can easily advertise your business on the first page of search engines.

This is called Search Engine Marketing or SEM, and you can do this through creating search ads or display ads.

C

Search Ads

Have you ever searched for a product or service online?

Have you noticed that the first three or for listings usually have the tag “AD” at the beginning of the link?

That means that someone has paid for that ad to be there.

When running a search ad campaign, you can choose which keywords you want your ads to target.

For example, if you are a local hairdresser, you can target and show your ad to people typing in the word “hairdresser” in the search bar.

Search advertising is an easy way to drive traffic to your website. However, how high your ad is displayed in the search network listings and the overall ROI will be determined by how well you optimise your ad and website.

D
Display advertising

Display advertising is entirely different to search ads.

Have you ever browsed a website and saw a banner on the right or left-hand side of the site?

Or another popular position is the leaderboard position (a.k.a. top of the website) or even in the content itself.

Display ads serve a different purpose to search ads. They are also not necessarily shown at the same time as search ads when it comes to the customer’s buying process.

Search ads are mainly shown when the customers have an actual intent to buy or learn more about a product or service, where display ads are shown either before or after that.

You can also retarget a customer through display advertising.

This means that if a customer clicked on your search ad, and then visited your site, you can follow him around the web and show him a beautiful banner ad displaying other products or services you might offer.

More on display advertising and remarketing in part 2 of our Beginner’s Guide.

2Social Media Marketing

facebook-social-media-marketing

This is another form of digital advertising today, and it’s probably not necessary for me to explain to you how popular social media sites are.

But I thought I would share some stats with you anyway.

As mentioned before in the guide, 26.8 million internet users spend approx. Three hours a day on social media websites.

I’m sure you can start to understand why there is such a buzz around social media marketing at the moment.

However, before we get ahead of ourselves, first, let’s start by defining social media marketing.

Wikipedia defines social media marketing as “the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media platforms.”

Think about it like this, everytime you update your status or post a photo on Facebook, you might have a couple of friends interacting with your update.

Related: 7 Social Media Marketing Secrets No Marketer Wants To Admit

Now the same can be done for your business. A social media platform is the perfect place to interact and engage with customers.

There are over 200 different social media networks on the web today. Not all of them are equally popular, and the majority of them are unique in their way.

Facebook is currently hands down the favorite social media network sitting with over 1.7 billion monthly users worldwide.

Facebook owned Instagram, is in second with over 700 million users a month.

With this in mind, if you are a B2C business, there is a high probability that majority of your customers are on these platforms making it the perfect place to be for your business.

Some platforms are ideal for B2B businesses, while others are great for B2C.

You need to make sure that you choose the correct one from the bat. Otherwise, you run a risk of wasting a lot of time and money.

Because there are so many different networks, it might be overwhelming for you to decide which platforms are best for your business.

Twitter and LinkedIn might be a good place to start if your business is operating in the B2B space.

If you are a B2C company focussing on service and selling to customers, I would suggest starting with the two most popular platforms; Facebook and Instagram.

Okay, so now that you know that you more about the stats and the different networks, how are you going to leverage social media marketing to increase your sales?

In this guide, I will give you an overview of each platform while showing you how to construct a successful social media marketing strategy.

However, all of this will be in part 3 of our Beginners Guide to Growing Your Business Through Digital Marketing.

3Email Marketing

Email Marketing

I probably don’t have to explain to you what an email is.

Email marketing, on the other hand, is simply sending an email with the intent to educate or promote a product or service to a customer.

Why email marketing?

Here are a couple of interesting stats on email marketing which should give you enough reason to implement it into your digital marketing strategy.

  1. According to Campaign Monitor, you are 6x more likely to get a click-through on an email than a tweet on Twitter.
  2. According to DMA, conversion rates on email are higher when compared to social media.
  3. 72% Of customers prefer to receive promotional content through email according to MarketingSherpa.
  4. According to Radicati, a marketing message is 5x more likely to be seen in an email then a Facebook post.
  5. When it comes to ROI, email marketing can help you boost your ROI up to 3800% according to DMA.

I won’t take all these figures to heart, but keep in mind that it’s all very positive. It shows that email marketing is still an easy and profitable way of marketing to customers today.

Many marketers believe that this type of marketing is dying. I, however, tend to believe otherwise.

Related: From Bane To Boon: How To Turn Email Marketing To Your Advantage

See, it’s not that email marketing is insufficient, it’s more a matter of customers getting bombarded with spam and becoming immune to overly advertised emails.

This means that the open rates of emails drop and that they eventually become less effective. But there is still a huge ROI to be made, as a business you will just have to change your angle and focus on the following three concepts:

  1. Content
  2. Relevancy
  3. Value.

Customers don’t mind getting emails from brands as long as they are relevant, add value and contain compelling content.

In Part 4 of this Beginner’s Guide, I will walk you through some of the ins and outs when it comes to email marketing.

4SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing

According to We Are Social, worldwide there are nine new mobile phone users added every second.

And 46% of smartphone owners claim they won’t be able to live without their mobile devices according to Pew Research Center.

Earlier I mentioned that 92% of the population have mobile devices. With that said, you can try and get your brand or product in front of their eyes by sending them an SMS.

Keep in mind, similar to email, SMS marketing can come across as spammy. However, done right, it can lead to a ton of traffic and a huge ROI.

Mobile purchases are up 22% over the last two years, that’s massive. Not to mention that most marketing directors agree that SMS marketing has a higher open rate to email marketing.

This means, there is a greater chance of customers being influenced to buy your product or service.

If you are an online business owner reading these stats, you will have to ask yourself why you don’t have an active SMS marketing strategy yet.

In our Part 5 of our Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing I will breakdown a couple of tips and tricks for your SMS marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind the four pillars mentioned above is not the only digital marketing channels around. However, I feel they form the base of a digital marketing strategy.

Each of these channels serves a different purpose in your marketing strategy.

Example, advertising in Google is a great way to show case your product or service to a customer that already has the intent of making a purchase.

Social media is great at creating awareness around your product and service while assisting in creating interest.

Email and SMS marketing can be seen as reconnecting with a customer or keeping them up to date on new releases, upgrades, specials and so forth.

There is no doubt that digital marketing is evolving every, day and that it’s is the future of advertising.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying traditional marketing strategies are not worth the effort.  I’m saying, as a business owner will need to stay ahead of the curb while finding new ways to generate traffic, sales, and ROI, and digital marketing can help you do just that!

This concludes Part 1 of our Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing in South Africa. In Part 2 I will break down Search Engine Marketing and how it can help you grow your business.

Having started his first business at the age of 22, and selling it at the age of 25, Jandre fell in love with marketing! Jandre is a sales and digital marketing consultant with an appetite for entrepreneurship, and is the Founder and Managing Director of V8 MEDIA: V8 MEDIA.

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5 Ways You Can Turn Your Instagram Account Into A Revenue-Generating Machine

Instagram is slowly transitioning into what will soon be a fully functioning ecommerce platform. Are you jumping in?

Michael C. Burke

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Instagram has earned a rep as the place to go if you want to see pretty images of flowers, quotes and sunsets. And, for the most part, ecommerce companies have shied away from investing a lot of time in the platform, because, let’s be honest, that clever GIF you posted last week probably won’t drive a lot of web traffic, or bring you a huge spike in sales.

But Instagram has kept innovating, adding new features that make life easier and its own platform more interactive for users. And the result has been that the application’s value proposition for businesses has become clear – something that’s readily apparent in the platform’s recent blog post extolling its new and expanded shopping features.

Back in March of this year, Instagram announced probably the biggest game-changer to date for ecommerce brands: shoppable posts. So, while Instagram was, and is, a place where you can go for your daily dose of inspiration or motivation, it is slowly transitioning into what will soon be a fully functioning ecommerce platform.

And the brands that adapt to this the most quickly may well be able to turn their ordinary Instagram account into a beautiful, highly creative revenue-generating machine.

With Instagram’s new shoppable media feature, eligible businesses now have the ability to tag products in their posts, and send users from their feeds to the add-to-cart section of a website with just three clicks. It’s also pretty easy to become eligible if you, as head of that eligible business:

  • Have the latest version of the Instagram app
  • First make sure you have a business profile on Instagram
  • Are an admin on a page or business manager account
  • Have a product catalog associated with a shop on Facebook
  • Sell physical goods and comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.

With the amount of content that’s vying for our attention every day, increasing traffic to your site and acquiring new customers is not as simple as making your account shoppable. The truth is, you need to make sure you have the infrastructure in place before you even begin to tag and sell products on Instagram.

Related: How To Become An Instagram Millionaire

Here are my top five tips for success.

1.Your content needs to be great

Getting people to pay attention to your content on Instagram can be tough – and having mediocre content in 2018 just isn’t going to cut it. For this reason, it’s critical to hire a part time photographer/editor who can help you make your images look crisp, on brand, and, most importantly, professional. Start to think of your Instagram as the new “Shop Now” page on your website.

2. Your captions are awesome

The caption of an Instagram post is often an afterthought. Whether humour, sincerity, or education is your thing, make sure the copy that accompanies your imagery is authentic, engaging and on-brand. Using language that will resonate with your target audience only heightens the probability of its members liking, commenting, sharing in the DMs or even clicking on the tag to purchase your product. When it comes to combining shoppable posts with a witty caption, see how Liza Koshy does this.

hashtags

3. You’re using the best and most optimised hashtags

Researching the hashtags that your target customer is using on a daily basis will eventually pay huge dividends. It’s all about getting on that Instagram explore page and using the hashtags that your consumers love.

This also strengthens your chances of putting your posts right in front of your ideal audience. Use a mix of 20 to 30 hashtags per post and experiment to see which group of hashtags gives your posts optimum exposure. There are a ton of great apps out there, like Top Tags or Leetags, which tell you the hashtags that you should be using.

Related: 8 Tips To Attract Your First 250K Instagram Followers

4. You’ve made your posts shoppable

It’s finally time to tag your products and make your feed shoppable. Tagging your products will allow viewers to tap the image, then tap the description, which will bring them straight to the add to cart section on your website. Click here to read in detail how you can do this.

But be sure not to get carried away; it’s not a good idea to make every one of your posts on Instagram product-oriented. In our experience, a good percentage of shoppable posts is only about 40 to 50 percent. Have a look at some of the brands that are killing it when it comes to shoppable posts, such as Byta, and Nordstrom, and follow their lead.

5. You’ve begun engaging with posts under those hashtags

Now that you’ve done all the hard work – making your feed look clean, crisp and cohesive; writing some amazing, on-brand captions; using the best hashtags; and making all posts that have a product, shoppable – it’s time to begin engaging by liking images under the hashtags that your bread and butter customers use on a daily basis.

For instance, if you’re selling sneakers, identify four to five community hashtags that sneaker lovers use, such as #sneakerhead, #solecollector, #instashoes, #newkicks or #igsneakercommuity, and then like and comment on 100 to 200 images underneath these hashtags every day. This will draw the organic traffic to your account that is needed to turn your fresh new Instagram feed into a lead- and revenue-generating machine.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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6 Steps To A Digital Strategy That Guarantees Results

Create your Brand Hero (Who exactly are you talking to?)

Chanelle Segerius-Bruce

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Your Brand Hero is often a mixture of some of your favourite past clients and could even be a version of you 3 to 5 years ago. Go deep and think about what they love to do, how they spend their time, what they passionately stand for and believe in, where they shop, what sort of holidays they like to take and what values are important to them.

Don’t worry about appealing to everyone, the more niche you can be the better. For example: “I help women with their health” vs. “I help new moms regain their energy through tailored exercise and nutrition”. In the second example, it’s crystal clear exactly who the programme is for.

Do market research. Send out a survey (without actually calling it a survey!) and ask them questions specifically around what their struggles or frustrations are. Ask them to select five ways that you propose to help them and see what they want. You can offer them a prize or a free value-packed download in return for completing the form. Keep it less than two minutes as people are time-poor these days.

Go one step further and select 5 to 10 people from the survey who filled it out in depth and jump on a call with them. Record it via Zoom and have it transcribed using Rev.com – now, you can use the actual words your potential used to describe their struggles into your upcoming marketing posts, email newsletters or sales copy.

1. Tell Stories

To cut through the 1000’s of marketing messages, your Brand Hero sees all day long online, you’ll need to use stories to connect in a genuine and authentic way. As the online market becomes more sophisticated people don’t respond to boring sales copy anymore. Injecting a story is crucial to creating a community around your brand.

People need to feel like they belong and that they know you intimately, especially if you have a personal brand but this can work for any company. Think about Richard Branson as head of Virgin. He blogs and shares his life via social media. He seems like an all-around nice guy who we love to follow and you’re probably interested when he launches a new product or service.

Humans learn through stories and find them easier to remember than a bunch of facts being thrown at them. Think about making your content shareable. Is what you’re creating and putting out into the online world worth a share? Would you share it? Would you be moved to buy from your own message?

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” – Simon Sinek

Share your why. What’s the big why behind your brand and business? What’s driving you to do this? What’s important to you? What impact do you want to create in the world? Share that.

Related: How I Run An International Business From A Remote Beach Town In The Eastern Cape

2. Show behind the scenes, be real and human

A simple tactic to use for your digital strategy is to show behind the scenes of what it is you do. This can work across the board for many kinds of businesses and show the human side of your brand. Who’s doing the work? How’s your product being created? Where are your materials sourced from? Take people with you on a journey and let them see how it’s created.

If you’re a serviced-based business you can do the same. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and Instagram lives would be perfect for this sort of thing. Once a week, create an hour by hour account of your day and give your audience a glimpse into your workday.

Be fascinating. Don’t spend all your time consuming content. Turn the tables and get into the mode of creating. Treat your business like a mini media company and always be thinking about what you can share.

Create before you consume!

3. Live video streaming

Live video streaming

Live video is by far the number one way to stand out from the crowd. Video will make up 82% of all internet traffic in 2021, according to forecasts released by Cisco. Get uncomfortable by doing the things not everyone’s willing to do. One of those is showing up and giving value on a platform like Facebook Live. Livestreams are great as you can interact with your audience, show your expertise and take Q&A directly from your potential customers.

From a practical point of view make sure you’re in flattering light (preferably natural light from a large window) or invest in some decent lights on a stand. Use a tripod. Get a Rode VideMic Me, a directional microphone for Apple iPhone and iPad so that your sound quality is good. Have your juicy topic ready and write out some bullet points on a whiteboard so you don’t lose track halfway through. Now 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 press that blue live button!

4. Grow your List with an opt-in freebie and give results ahead of time

It’s not enough to rely on social media platforms alone. With ever-changing algorithms and the fickle nature of human behaviour, putting your eggs in one basket could come back to bite you. You don’t own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin. Take Snapchat for example. When Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, and basically swiped the idea and format, Snapchat lost users in droves! Ensure that you build your email list as that’s a rather valuable asset for your business and if you decide to sell in future you’ll get a higher price if your database is substantial.

Create a valuable PDF, Video series or Mini-Course that people would be eager to hand their names and email addresses over to receive. Create a simple opt-in page or a pop-up on your website with the enticing freebie offer. Once people agree to hear from you, you can then follow up with a welcome sequence and email out your newsletter regularly from your chosen CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) such as Active Campaign, Drip or MailChimp.

Remember to share stories, behind the scenes and valuable content with your readers and don’t simply bombard them with sales offers.

5. Be consistent

Pick two social platforms to focus on in the beginning. Don’t feel as though you need to be on every single one. The most important thing to remember is consistency. Get really good at posting regular content on a consistent basis. Engage with your audience. Respond to direct messages and comments. Build a loyal audience before expanding out to other platforms.

You can use blog posts, like I do, as pieces of pillar content that can then be spread around social media and posted to many platforms. My readers know that every Monday I release a value-packed blog post that will help them move the needle forward in their business. This goes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Medium and gets emailed out to my list via MailChimp.

Related: Creating Power Digital Campaigns

6. Use launches to sell new offerings

Everything mentioned above falls under regular, organic content. When you have a new product, service or program to put out into the world you’ll need to map out a launch plan. This will involve going live more often, posting more often, creating branded graphics for social media and putting some budget behind paid traffic. You can do this by boosting your Facebook lives for example or sending paid traffic to your opt-in freebie that you’ve created so that you build your following faster and have eager buys to launch to.

To keep up to date with Chanelle’s tips visit http://segeriusbrucecoaching.com/blog/

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The Seven Rules Of Social Media

Here are 8 tips from the proverbial digital playbook.

So Interactive

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Social media has become indispensable when it comes to marketing and PR. Smart, carefully thought out, and well implemented social media strategies have shown to increase exposure and engagement, improve search engine rankings, increase turnover, encourage brand loyalty, and improve lead generation. Converting social media followers into true fans is the key and will set you well on your way to creating long term customer advocates and “ideal” customers.

Here are 8 tips from the proverbial digital playbook. They lay out exactly what brands can do and the ground rules that they should follow to prevent social media faux pas:

1. Don’t Over Promote Your Brand

Your profile or page on any social media platform should clearly communicate your brand message and offering to your target audience. Your social media posts need to be more than overt marketing tactics. Offer your audience relevant, interesting, and engaging content. Overly sales orientated content is a sure way to lose followers. Conversational and on trend content is the way forward.

2. Think Before You Post

Always take the time to properly consider your content before posting it. Think it through and ask yourself if it is relevant to your target customer, if it uses the correct tone, and does it put your brand message across accurately. Consider the purpose of each social media platform and the content that is generally consumed on each of them.

Plan, evaluate your messaging, and use relevant hashtags.

Related: Social Media Marketing For Start-ups: Essential Tips

3. Always Fact Check & Cross Reference

Fact checking isn’t just for journalists and TV news. Always fact check your content, especially when trying to tie in news and current affairs into your messaging. A careless mistake in your content can be extremely damaging to your brand. Making time to fact check can save you at the end of the day.

4. Damage Control

It is important to react quickly and professionally, be careful not to respond with knee jerk reactions. Never delete a post, comment, or response. It is important to own your failures and mistakes. Address issues out in the open and hold yourself accountable if need be. How you respond will make all the difference at the end of the day. You need to be prepared to take immediate action, to act fast, and at any time.

Take the time to properly assess the situation and make a calculated decision that is in the best interest of your business and brand. Transparency is key and showing that you managed a situation flawlessly will only reflect positively on your business.

5. Post Regularly

Manage and maintain your social presence effectively while promoting your offering by posting regularly. This ensures that your brand is kept top of mind while increasing brand exposure. It is important to keep in mind that over posting is not in your best interest and will only hold your brand back from gaining traction in the online space.

Your online audience and social platforms including social media could very possibly view your content as spam and flag it as such, including on Facebook. One to three posts a day are best practice and a formula used by most brands the world over.

6. Invest In The Time To Do Solid Research

Researching your customer personas, target market, your niche in the market, and so forth, should be researched very early on in the making of your business. However, going forward research makes for amazing content that is tailored to your target audience. A few hours of solid research can go a very long way in the process of creating quality social media content. Posting social content for the sake of the act itself is simply not an effective strategy. Posting carefully curated content for your target audience will yield higher engagement and conversions.

Related: 4 Key Social Media Mistakes You Might Be Making – And How To Avoid Them

7. Never Ignore Enquiries & Comments

Social media allows for two-way communication and conversations between businesses and their potential customers. Social media goes beyond simply putting the content on your timelines and onto the news feeds of your audience, it includes engagement between brand and customer in the online space. It is important to acknowledge your followers and your fans, every single time. This encourages brand loyalty and gives the impression that you value your followers. Answering messages and responding to comments shows that your brand is present and listening to the needs of the customer. Personal engagement and a speedy response speaks volumes.

Your first step is to consider getting a respected social media specialist onboard. Johannesburg based So Interactive is a highly respected digital marketing agency with an excellent reputation in South Africa and across borders. So Interactive is a boutique studio offering clients quality digital solutions. Get in touch to get your next digital campaign off the ground. Talk to So Interactive, and together you can create a winning social media marketing campaign.

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