How to Get Going & Keep Going on Social Media 1

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Many small business owners have ventured into creating at least a Facebook page or Twitter page or both. And very often these social platforms haven’t gained the traction they would have liked them too. As a result, they neglect to explore other important, fast-growing platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. For small business owners, maintaining even one social network platform (never mind a few) seems an impossibility when there are the day-to-day concerns of the business to deal with. The key is to have a workable content plan and use social media management tools. But first, you need to know which social networks you want to be on. This is the 3-step plan to get going and keep going on social media: Know which social media platforms you want to be onCreate a workable content plan

Use social media management tools

In this, part 1 of the 3-step plan to get going and keep going on social media, we look at the major players in social media and what they’re about. Once you know a bit more about each platform, you can decide which of the platforms are right for your small business – it might be some or all of the platforms. According to the 2015 World Wide Worx/Fuseware South African Social Media Landscape Report, the top five growing platforms in South Africa (excluding instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat) were (in order of a number of users): Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Platforms with the biggest growth in that period included Instagram (up 65%), YouTube (up 53%) and LinkedIn (up 40%). The 2016 World Wide Worx/Fuseware South African Social Media Landscape Report shows growth for Facebook (up 8%), Twitter (up 12%) and YouTube (up 15%), with colossal growth for Instagram (up 133%), which has more than doubled its user base.2014 Stats for South Africa- Facebook (11,8 million)- YouTube (7,2 million)- Twitter (6,6 million)- LinkedIn (3,8 million)- Instagram (1,1 million)- Pinterest (840 00) DECLINING USERS

2015 Stats for South Africa- Facebook (13 million)- YouTube (8,28 million)- Twitter (7,4 million)- LinkedIn (4,6 million)- Instagram (2,68 million)

BIGGEST GROWTH

FACEBOOK is still the leading social network, in South Africa and around the world. It allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends, families, colleagues and their favorite brands. Hootsuite’s blog on Essential Social Media Statistics reports that nearly one-third of the 1.65 billion active monthly Facebook users engage with brands regularly. In September 2015, more than 1,5 million small and medium businesses shared videos on Facebook.

YOUTUBE is a video-sharing website that allows people to discover, watch and share videos. Users can create their own channels and use it as a distribution platform for original content. Hootsuite reports that almost one-third of all people on the internet are YouTube users. It is the second most popular social network platform in South Africa – evidence of the rise of video here. The most subscribed South African channel belongs to Caspar Lee, a South African teenager who started his self-titled YouTube channel in 2011. His main YouTube channel “Caspar” has over 6,6 million subscribers and his second channel “morecaspar” has over 1,9 million subscribers.

TWITTER is for news junkies who want real-time information about the world. This online social networking service allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. According to the Hootsuite report, over 100 million GIFs were shared on Twitter in 2015 and almost half of Twitter users follow brands or companies.

LINKEDIN is a place to connect with colleagues and professional contacts and is popular for businesses in the B2B sector. The platform leaped in usage in South Africa, with World Wide Worx reporting a 40% increase in South African members for its 2015 report.LinkedIn is internationally represented across 200 countries and territories, and nearly half of users are key decision makers. The main activities of members include connecting, publishing content and joining groups.

INSTAGRAM is a photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking platform. It was bought by Facebook in 2012 and has been growing in features and users. More than 70 million photos and videos are posted to Instagram every day. Users can use the new “explore” function to follow trending stories and real-time events as told through Instagramers, opening up more opportunities for brands to communicate with customers. Instagram is gaining recognition as “the” engagement platform for brands who want to engage with their communities. Instagram has also introduced a host of new tools for business users, including business profiles, analytics and the ability to turn Instagram posts into ads. According to this BizCommunity article, the most popular South African Instagramers include media personalities (like Minnie Dlamini) and photographers (like Gareth Pon).

PINTEREST distinguishes itself as the ‘world’s catalog of ideas’. It’s a community of creativity and the platform of choice for people who like to plan. Instagramers use their ‘pinboards’ to plan holidays, special events, parties, birthdays, travel, mealtimes, DIY projects and more. There are about 50 billion pins across 1 billion boards and 75% of pins saved come from businesses. Although subscriber growth for Pinterest flattened in the last few years, keep your eye on this platform. Pinterest brand studies show that it is more effective at driving sales than any other form of social media. The platform has recently introduced a “Buy Now” button and according to this Global Web Index article, is now among the fastest growing social networks. The ongoing trend in multi-networking means users is continuing to shift towards and adopt alternative platforms. Facebook may be the number one platform, but users will also post photos to Instagram, for example. If users are multi-networking, businesses should be multi-networking too. This means developing and managing content and engaging with your market across multiple platforms. This sounds like a lot of work, but with a bit of planning and a little help, you can make multi-networking a multi-marketing success for your small business. Read more on building content for your platforms in Part 2 and using tools to manage multiple social media platforms in Part 3.

 

KEY TAKE-OUT: Don’t just stop at Facebook and Twitter. Other growing social network platforms you need to consider for your small business include Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. Users are “multi-networking” and small business needs to follow suit.

Author: Nicky Grandin

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61 comments
  • Tame a moment well a few moments (4:15 to be excat) to watch THIS INCREDIBLE VIDEO on social media and how it is changing and chllenging the way we do business and interact with our customers CLICK HERE
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  • What was the one thing you took from that? Mine was SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT PEOPLE!
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  • And of course we don't have a choice on whethter we DO social media the question is how well we DO it
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  • The one thing I have learned about social media over the past few years is to try and follow the four R's Regular Relevant Real and Remarkable Of course you can't be all of them all of the time but you have to strive towards them
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  • For a little takeaway here is a link to a social media presentation that I present to small business if you have any questions please dont; hesitate to contact me. CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD
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  • Thanks for sharing that MikeSaidWhat! There are some really useful tips on there which I will definitely be using to boost my social media accounts.
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  • I agree MikeSaidWhat success with social media and content marketing needs you to listen more and talk less. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.
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  • @TheTastyChef that is the very big advantage to be gained by using twitter effectively... you get to listen in on the converstations that both your clients and competitors are having
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  • I also think it's important to focus your message. It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.
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  • It's important to realise this is the long game requiring patience and persistence. Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.
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  • MikeSaidWhat thank you for sharing the article your presentation and the Youtube link. All of it isvery informative and valuable particularly to SMMEs as we sometimes turn to concentrate on our enterprises and feel all alone in the world of wilderness. Remember we are talking SMMEs - small and medium sized businesses wherein one could be steering the ship all by themselves and/or there could be afew employees all multi-tasking and not so much anyone dedicated to managingsocial media. I assume this process can be time consuming unless of course one uses Hootsuite one of the very first social mediamanagement tools which operates on a single interface where you can integrate up to 5 of your social media profiles. What I also like about it is that it provides afree plan which will enable the user to manage almosteverything on the interfaced social media platforms VERY GOOD forsmall businesses or self-employed people. There are many others I will share later which are very much in line with the presentations you shared depending on your purpose for using social media platforms.
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  • I believe that one of the most UNDER utilised platforms in South Africa is video and YouTube. There are so many great reasons to use YouTube and one of the main ones is that Google owns YouTube and it is a great way to get your business on page 1 of a search. With fantastic cameras and video cameras as well as ediing software available on our phones there is no reason not to take the leap
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  • For me it was LISTEN first and SELL second. Of course this depends on your purpose and as they say there are many ways to skin a cat.In my searches through my archives I came across an article I referred my young trainees to - 15 Entrepreneurs Who Built New Careers Through Social Media https://blog.bufferapp.com/earn-income-social-media. Anyone who is a social media junkie and is serious about using these platforms to drive sales build a profile and good chunk of followersshould have come across this article if not here is your opportunity to read this and see how many social media Rockstars havethese platforms created. The good thing is that they built their entire businesses and careers around social media many earning millions of rands and trading globally. These fifteen entrepreneursstories are inspirational perhaps we can learn from their narrativesof how they turnedpassions into a career through social media. The story close to my heart is that of Grace Ciao. Grace Ciao is the ultimate accidental social media entrepreneur. Since she was a little girl Grace has had a passion for fashion design and one day she noticed a flower a boy had given her was dying. So Grace created a fashion illustration out of the petals of theflower. She took a photo of her illustration and posted it on Instagram which quickly became popular. Grace earns a living as a full-time illustrator and has used her platform to book engagements for events. except from the article15 Inspiring Entrepreneurs Who Built Careers Around Their Passions Through Social Media bySarah Peterson ( I enjoy the author's inspirational insightstoo)
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  • I am nervous of social media integration tools as I believe each chanel is so different for example I would hate to see all those HASHTAGS on Facebook that are so common on Instagram and Twitter when I see it my first thought is lazy
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  • I was giving a talk on Social Media to a group of small business owners last week and was quite amazed by the number of people who are very scared of social media and what it exposes them to. Of course there are pitfalls and you need to understand that once you post it it is out there but on the whole it is just common sense
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  • I am busy learning how to use Hootsuite as on the face of it it looks like an amazing time saver! However after your comment MikeSaidWhat do you think that the readers/potential customers would feel the same way? I would hate for a time saving tool to backfire and make my brand come across as lazy or not fully invested. What are your thoughts?
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  • Yes Mike I have definitely noticed a fear of social media mostly amongst the older generations. It would be great to have some tools that could demystify social media for small business owners in the right hands it is an incredibly marketing tool that is for the most part free!
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  • I think it is just about understanding. I asked what they were afraid of and two things came up 1. Fear of giving away personal information 2. Fear of making a fool of themselves
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  • I certainly believ there is a place for Hoot and Buffer to schedule posts but I would avoic cross platform posting. Facebook is about sharing detail twitter is to drive traffic through links Instagram is about the image. I know when I see the ifentical posts across all canels from the same client I feel a little let down.
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  • I think the one thing that small business owners need to take away from this it that it doesn;t matter what mediums you use how often you post or whether you are using auto posting software... If your message is wrong if you try and sell sell sell instead of listen you may as well not do anything at all
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  • True that- social media management tools can be time savers but they are not a be all and end all MikeSaisWhat and of course they have LAZY written all over them. Truth be told they are not to be naively consumed however they are there to be given a try and they cangive someone the most neededsupport if you do not have a full suite of operators/managers in your little backroom office. Social Media requires patience indeed. No doubt about that Clint. Dare I say that this media can beso unpredictable tooand it can sometimes hit an upward trajectory when you least expect. While we all have to be careful of the backlash referred to earlier just want to share this. In one of the businesses that we were involved with - a client had approached us with an event she could not secure bookings for.We used HootSuite ON AND OFF to promote thatevent which had no bookings 72 hours prior - as a tester and a risk to our enterprise really. In 72 hours we were fully booked with paid for seats over subscribed and the event went on as scheduled. Client was happy! Although this may be a small victory we have had major ones too with automated messages for one speaker client we have whose speaking engagement is aligned to social media postings - Hootsuited we see an upward mobility in his social media interaction likes etc.during and after his presentations for 3-4 days. His bookings also shoot up.
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  • Hi Mike - I notice that you run a blog called Daddy Blogger how do you get the balance right - between over sharing and still being valuable to your followers? BTW: the Daddy Blogger posts and adventures are a great read!
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  • So true Mike you need to engage with your audience as opposed to hitting them with a sale It is a great opportunity to learn about your consumer and adapt to their wants and needs so rather don't waste it!
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  • Do you have a link to that blog daddy blogger? I would like to give it a read.
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  • I agree Mike while there is definitely a time and place for professionally produced video your content marketing does not always require a high production value especially when doing impromptu direct messaging to your audience there is a lot that can be done with your cell phone.
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  • Some great advice and opinions here and I am looking forwards to reading more about building the right content in part 2!
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  • Yes I agree TheTastyChef now that I know what platforms to use I would love some guidance on how to make sure my content is suitable for my customers.
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  • At what frequency should you post on each of the Social Media platforms? I think it is a fine line between not posting enough and annoying your audience.
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  • True and I think when we realise that we become better marketers.
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  • Great video MikeSaidWhat!
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