Having a large social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat can make you feel good. It gives the impression that one is desired by a large number of people and that he/she has a strong brand. Seeing is believing, Nigerians say, and our seemingly large numbers on social media sites will make more people to notice us.
The quest for acquiring thousands of followers has led to the sad trend of buying fake likes and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
Nigerian celebrities, corporate organisations, small businesses and even individuals are guilty of this. What most of these people fail to realise is that those numbers are what experts call “vanity metrics”. Vanity metrics in digital marketing terms are numbers which just make people feel happy about their activity on social media without really adding any value to their end goal.
Instead of buying fake social media followers, do these things instead. They may not give you that large following but you will get better engagement and conversions ultimately. The tips below are good for people who just want to begin a social media strategy and intermediate social media users (individuals, celebrities, small businesses and corporate organizations in Nigeria).
RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE
Before you begin any form of external communication (including social media), you need to identify who you are talking to. Know their names, age, lifestyle, habits, preferences, the challenges they face, where they hang out, the kind of phones they use, etc. This will help you tailor your messaging to what would resonate with them.
Tailor your messages as if you are talking to one or two people, and not everyone. A campaign that addresses everyone is not meant for any particular person. If you sell female accessories, your audience should be young females between the ages of 18-35, who care about their appearance. Your messaging should be themed around subjects they love and you know where to find such bunch? Instagram!
IDENTIFY WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL IS BEST FOR YOU
You should concentrate your efforts on social media channels that will give you the best return on your marketing and communications effort. It is important to know the best channel for you as not every channel will produce results. If you are a B2B organisation, Linkedin would be the best channel for you. If you are a B2C who deals with a lot of customer care issues, Twitter can be the best place to communicate. Celebrities can do both Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (if they have the capacity to produce content for all those platforms) while e-commerce stores should concentrate on Instagram.
BRAND YOUR PLATFORM
Use professional logos and cover images to brand your platform. People should be able to immediately understand what business you do once they land on your page. Write a good bio info/about us and include a good call to action that will encourage them to follow you so they get more updates from you. You can also add another means to reach you maybe via a phone number or email address.
CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
Now that you have researched your audience, determine the best platform to engage with and sell to them, you shouldn’t go to sleep and expect that your target audience will come looking for you. You should then create a content calendar to know what messages you should send out on particular days and time. Content could be in various forms: images, quotes, tips, articles, infographics or video. Remember to keep it concise and timely. Remember people have a short attention span and you have to capture their attention almost immediately.
GO GET THEM FOLLOWERS AND FANS
Now that you have your social media arsenal ready, you need to go get your audience. Thankfully you have done your research and you know where they are so instead of paying for the followers, you use that money (no matter how small) to do some targeted advertising. The set of people you attract through targeted advertising are those who are most likely to engage with you and eventually buy from you. Bots and fake followers will be there but never engage with you. You need real humans who can give you feedback, buy from you and even refer their family and friends to you.
Final notes: Remember social media marketing is a continuous process. You don’t do it and then stop later. As far as your business needs more clients and customers, you always have to be marketing.
However, don’t market too much that your audience begins to blank out your messages. One advice is to do 80% engagement and 20% marketing. Remember to be genuinely helpful and always provide value.
Olumuyiwa George, a digital marketing strategist, contributed this piece. Follow him on Twitter: @DelurgeConsult