How to Get Going & Keep Going on Social Media 1

005._How_to_Get_Going___Keep_Going_on_Social_Media_1.jpeg

 

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

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Return to top
61 comments
  • The link is below great blog! http://daddyblogger.co.za/
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think it's different for the various platforms. Twitter is fast paced and needs to be quick and often to be effective whereas facebook is far less frequent and using the same strategy as twitter would actually irritate your audience.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • So I think it's important to research your individual platforms and tailor your posting accordingly.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • There are few skills that will make or break your social media success more than posting frequency. If you post too infrequently your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds. However if you are posting too often you will become a complete nuisance and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • So how do you strike a balance?How can you post often enough to remain relevant but not so often that you get blocked or unfriended?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • We have all heard the infamous “two posts a day” rule for Facebook marketing. This generic prescription comes with some side effects that you may not be aware of. You see the two posts a day rule worksifyou have a substantial Facebook following of at least 10 000 followers. Whenever you have an audience of this size there is almost no disagreement that posting twice a day istheway to maximise clicks and engagemetn on your content. But what if you have a smaller following? Say only a few thousand or even a few hundred? Does this rule still apply?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • The answer as with most things social media related is complicated. Whenever your Facebook following is under 10K you will have to make a choice. Do you want more engagementper postor more clicks to your website? Think about it.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you have smaller following posting twice a day will actually result in about 50% fewer clicks per post. This means that your total number of clicks will still be higher than if you were posting only a few times a week but your engagement per post will be reduced.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Conversely if you post a mere 1-5 times a month your clicks per post will almost double. This is one of the fastest ways to get more trafficto your site soset a goal and get posting.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • True Shaun it is quite a tough one the consensus seems to be.... no such thing as too much for twitter one or 2 post per day for Facebook and weekly or bi-weekly for Youtube but I suppose a lot of that would depend on the strength and engagement with your posts.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Always the big question!
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Suppose that also begs the question on how do you keep up with content creation especially as a small business that does not have a social media manager?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I read an interesting studay on Twitter marketing the other day where they examined over 11 000 different tweets from big brands to see if they could uncover the ideal tweeting frequency. What they found is that as with Facebook the ideal number of times to tweet per day depends almost entirely on your goals. For example if you are looking to optimize your engagement per tweet then 1-5 tweets per day is where it’s at.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • However if you want to generate more total responses then you can tweet your heart out. The study found that even tweeting 50 times a day did not have any adverse effects on your account! However it is important to keep something in mind when it comes to your Twitter marketing. If you are spending hours each day writing out 50 tweets those are hours that could be spent on activities that do more to drive up the bottom line. While you certainly can focus your Twitter marketing on generating a massive number of responses I recommend you focus on engagement. 1-5 tweets a day will not take too much time willincrease audienceengagement and will leave you with the time you need to focus on more important parts of your business.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks TastyChef very helpful never really use twitter effectively but think I should focus on it a bit more.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Sure Gareth Just make sure you balance your time as I said in my previous comment (not sure if you saw it) if you are posting say 50 times a day is the engagement you are getting from that worth the time you are taking to type them?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • This is something I certainly battle with and I'm sure many other small businesses do too. How much time and energy to put into it to make it worthy of doing but not at the expense of running your business.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • What about Instagram the weird kid on the social media playground. It seems that unlike Facebook and Twitter posting frequency is not all that important for your Instagram marketing. What it seems doesmatterfor Instagram is postingconsistency. So if you want to maximize engagement and generate followers you can start posting on Instagram 10 15 even 20 times a day. This will not negatively affect your Instagram account. That is until you change the frequency. If you make a habit of posting several times a dayand then transition to only a few times a week you will start to lose followers and generate less engagement per post. This means that the best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you can consistently maintain for the rest of your natural life. Or at least until you sell your business or retire to a beach somewhere.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • That's very interesting TheTastyChef so it seems that there is no blanket strategy for social media and it is admittedly more complex than I think most small business owners realise.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hahahaah very interesting insight TastyChef suppose that goes back to consistency but seems that is more important with Instagram than any other platform I find that with youtube it is very similar in terms of scheduling your audience is quite sensitive as to when you post and tend to look for the regularity i.e. every Thursday afternoon.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • So how does a small business owner keep up with content creation?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I believe it is about posting strategically... It is not required to post for the sake of posting. The main reason of being on social media is to communicate with your customers and followers. Regularly post content that reminds customers consistently in term of who you are as a business your values as business and successes as a business. To remain relevant you can post comments about something topical or that is in the news is a good start. The trick is to ensure that your comments are aligned and reinforce who you are as brand and your values. These comments can certainly be several times a day if need be...
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • TastyChef I couldn't have said it better myself! The different platforms attract different types of audience and have various uses. Once you understand the use and benefit of each platform... You can use it to your advantage as a business.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Another thing to bear in mind especially in South Africa is how you customers consume social media. For the millennials it is mainly via theeir handsets. Data is still very expensive in South Africa... Soyou need to be cognisant of the size of the graphics and videos that you upload as business. If the videosshort sweet engaging & to the point and not too large... It increases the chances of them being viewed in their entirety!
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Small businesses generally face harsher circumstances when it comes to planning and launching a marketing campaign. They have less revenue and capital which means they’re more limited in the strategies they can pursue. They have fewer resources which means their teams are smaller and less experienced. And they generally have less data and first-hand experience with which to strategize in the first place. One of the best marketing strategies for small businesses is content marketing due to its approachability and affordability but creating a content marketing strategy can still be a time intensive and intimidating proccess...what are the steps you can take to ease this process?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Suppose with regards to that you also need to take into consideration who your audience is and what income bracket they fall into.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • ... and also whether you are marketing B2B or B2C
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Very true the irony TastyChef is that we do content creation for our clients with no problems but struggle to keep up with our own online marketing as a result.... typical case of a mechanic and his car!
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Content marketing requires an understanding of your customers / audience and some creativity. You need to create content that will add value to your customers. An example if you are designer you can easily create content informing people about the latest fashion trends and even more useful how to style yourself effortlessly. You can include some of your pieces (marketing) and how they can be easily styles with clothes that your average customer may already have in their wardrobe (value add).
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @TheTastyChef Very Insightful advise indeed. Thank you for your contributions guys.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink