ATTENTION BUSINESSES: FOUR STEPS TO FOLLOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

With COVID-19 pandemic impacting various industries around the world, companies are searching means to keep their business up and running. Therefore, business leaders are investing more into social media to promote their products or services. The narrative of turning social media button on and expect direct results is false and can backfire. The key word is ‘strategy’ to have social media work for companies. The real question lies on how to build the strategy and what aspects should be considered. I will be demonstrating the key elements of building a social media strategy and acts as a guide to firms in different sections.

What is a social media strategy?

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Some might misinterpret a social media strategy and define it one what they desire to accomplish. To try to simplify it, social media is the big puzzle and other things are pieces that formulate it including goals, tools, tactics, and plans. The strategy is what you are trying to achieve, and all other things act as mean.

Where to start:

Now we defined social media strategy. The next step is how to get the ball rolling. Here are the 4 steps for companies to build a solid one:

  1.  Define your goals:  

What are you seeking from using social media in your business? It can range across increasing sales, boosting business leads, reaching a wider audience, strengthening brand awareness, help in recognizing a cause, among others.

  • Know your target audience:

As a business, you should be able to know the direct target audience, which are the type of clients you reach out and interaction frequently to create revenues.

What about the ones who share common interest and can be reached via social media? What is the process of their selection? To help you answer these questions, you need to look into the below criteria:

  • Interest: There is no point in approaching an audience who has no interest of what you are offing. It will be a waste of time and effort that can be used in other areas of your business.
  • Location: The last thing you want as a business is to have an interested client and cannot be reached due to logistics reasons. Therefore, identify the locations of your audience based on your ability to reach.
  • Demographics: Which group of people eye on your product and able to use or purchase it. These can vary from age group, gender, occupation, purchasing power, etc..  
  • Select your social media tools:

Once you know who are you targeting , the next stage is to work upon it and figure out which social media they use the most . This can vary based on age, culture, location among others. Do some research on what the top 3 social media tools are used and you will know which channels should be applied. For example, if you live in the Middle East and targeting GCC residents , you should be aware that consumption of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok had increased as a result of social distancing, according to a new report : “How the Middle East Used Social Media in 2020.

  • Measure your work:

This part is where you start posting content on the companies’ social media platforms based on the above three points. You will not be able to calculate the ROI from social media, however, you should be able to work out if your business is impacted positively, negatively, or not at all. This can be done from monitoring the targeted goals pre and post social media activation, after a certain period.

Monitoring is key and servers as a learning curve for your social media narrative. It also allows you to have a feel on what type of content works best and the most suitable timing to reach your audience.

Creating social media strategy is key and provides a clear direction of where you are going. I will be posting in my following blog about the type of content that should be posted to have best the best engagement. Stay tuned! For now, do let me know your opinion, in the comment section below, about the four steps stated above to build a successful social media strategy.

SPORTS ATHLETES SHOULD PLAY THEIR GAME RIGHT ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS WELL

Social media changed the world in many forms and aspects, and one of the industries which got impact is the sports world. An average person can now easily reach out to a sports figures by couple of clicks on social media platforms, such as tagging them in twitter, live chats on Instagram and Facebook, just to name a few. Athletes can easily connect with their fans and followers, but everything has a flipside, and this can easily backfire on their brand images and even their performances. Some athletes played their social media cards right and boosted their brand image significantly, however, others got a reputation damage from one tweet or a post.

Professional athletes are getting strong followers on social media accounts. For instants, two sports figures in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are among the top 10 most followed Instagram accounts people in the world.

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As a social media specialist consulting a public sports athlete, you should know the right strategy and tools to amplify the brand of your clients. Here are five tip to help you boost a social media account for a sports person:

Stay away from emotions:

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Social media content fly fast and everywhere. Let your client know this fact to stay away from emotional posts that can backfire. For example, when we are upset, we tend to say something we regret afterwards.

To help in avoiding emotional posts, ask your client to run through social media activity by you before it goes viral and cannot be undone.  This process will limit the risk of having public humiliation.

Preparation is key:

Going live on social media is the new trend. With COVID-19 outbreak having people spend time more at home, checking their social media pages for entertainment, more users are now available to attend live social media feeds. This will result in less room for error for your client to make while going live.

Before your clients goes live to engage with their followers, make sure to get them prepared. Like a live broadcast interview, pin down the things they should emphasis on (key messages) and the stuff they need to stay away from. Of course, it varies from one athlete to another and is based on the individual.

Keeping it real:

Cristiano Ronaldo posting personal content on his Instagram page

Athletes should not seem fake on their social media pages and show off with how much money they have. However, content should be engaging and reflect to everyone as social media can reach everyone and everywhere. Social posts should be personal mirroring the normal life of a player.

Examples of engaging content are workouts, family hangouts and personal moments. Sports figures should simply be themselves on social media and authentic followers will increase.

Connect at the right time:

Sports superstars are humans by the end of the day and have emotions. We as fans tend to forget that and expect them to rise above the occasion every time, which is not the case. Social media users can be mean sometimes and post harsh comments tagging stars, which will impact their performance on the court or field.

NBA superstar Lebron James, who is one of the most followed person on earth on social media , does not check his social media pages when Playoffs kicks off. This is due to the fact that he doesn’t want to divert his concentration from winning on the basketball court. If Lebron James can be distracted from social media, any athlete be affected as well. Therefore, players should not be focusing on social media content before a big game.

Content is king:

With the world going more digital, content is now reshaped, and more people are now watching videos on social media. Always have the right type of content on your clients’ social media and follow the trend.

For example, a new study revealed that soccer players are experiencing an 82 per cent increase in video views of their social media content during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are representing a soccer athlete, make sure to use video content to boost engagement.

Professional athletes should be aware on the impact of social media on their brand image and their future. It’s your responsibility as a social media specialist to help your client know the ‘dos and don’ts when using their pages. Let me know what you think of the above tips by posting your comments in the below section:

Facebook: Check out my new blog on how social media specialists can help sports athletes promote their brand via social media: https://bit.ly/2Q9134u

Twitter: Tips for #SM specialists to help in promoting #sports figures #brand #atheltes #soccer #basketball #Tennis #UFC  https://bit.ly/2Q9134u

LEARN FROM YOUR COMPETITORS: START WITH TRACKING THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES

There is always a room for improvement, right? Businesses need to constantly improve their services or products, so the real question is the ‘HOW’. Social media platforms are the new battlefield of marketeers targeting different audiences. Companies can always learn a thing or two from their competitors, the small and the giant brands. To find out what are your business rivals doing, just monitor their activities on social media. Sounds easy?  Not really, firms need to put the work to collect the relative data and analyze it accordingly.

Below are three key steps needed for companies to follow for them to monitor their rival’s activities on social media:

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Know your competition:

First thing first – as a business, you need to know your who are your competition. The main ones should be on your top of your head. However, there are some firms that are competing with you and are not on your radar, and these ones also need to be monitored as well.

A straightforward method to identify who is heading against you in the business is using a simple google search with the right keywords. The main keywords to be searched include the product or service your company is offering, location, target audience. You will be surprised on the number of firms who are competing with your brand and targeting a similar customer base.

Dig deep:

Now you have identified who is competing with you, the next step is to see if they are active on social media platforms. You do not need to be a tech savvy person to know if a company has a social media platform or not. Simply, check their websites and they should have a link their social media accounts on the header of footer:

  Designed by Freepik

Dig deeper:

After your have narrowed out which of your business peers have social media pages, the next thing to do is to check if they are active. The good news is that there are plenty of social media analysis tools to help you asses who is doing the effort on their social media pages. With the right tool, you can save time to dig out what and how are companies are doing via social platforms.  Below are two of the popular platforms you need to track:

  1. Facebook has 2.80 billion monthly active , and more importantly, there are more than 200 million small businesses around the world using Facebook’s tools (Facebook, 2021). I would say that is your start to monitor key pages. With Facebook’s ‘Pages to Watch list’ option, you can anonymously add up to 100 different Facebook pages to examine.
  2. With 67 percent of all B2B businesses using Twitter as a digital marketing tool (Statista, 2018), your competitors are most probably using this platform too. A great tool to check what your competition is doing on Twitter is using Twitonomy. To do so, just type in a you competitor’s name into the search box and a list of hashtags linked with that brand will appear.

Depending on your lined of business, you might need to check other social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Snapchat. Analytics tools are also available to help you track your competitors’ activities on these pages.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

I have listed the basic steps for brands to track down the activities for their competitors. The next step is to digest the data collected, analyze it, and finally learn from to grow your brand. Let me know your thoughts on the comments section below:

Facebook: Companies should be learning from the competition. Check out my new blog on how social media is a good start to do so: https://bit.ly/3dyG1Ew

Twitter: How social media can be used to track your #competitors’ activities #socialmedia #learn #competitor #brands: https://bit.ly/3dyG1Ew

Social Media is the new source of information! How can you verify fake news?

We are all suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak and trying to find information on how to keep ourselves safe. Social media platforms are one of the main sources of information people are using nowadays. With everyone has the ability to write whatever they wish on their social media pages; how should we know what to read what information is legit when it comes to such crucial health topic with content being updated on a daily basis. According to the latest data from Pew Research, around 71% of people now get at least some of their news input from social media platforms. The research was based on responses from more than 9,200 Americans. This small sample shows that the world is heading towards social media to get updated on news.

Social media platforms is a critical news source in 2021, and people are relying on the content posted to make life decisions, such as how to pursue their lives in a pandemic.

Here are some tips to eye on when reading about the COVID-19 outbreak on social media platforms:

Checking the source:

How can you tell that a source is reliable on social media?

Global and local media publications are now relying on social media to post updated information for the public. I suggest following the social media pages of traditional news portal you usually seek information from. The credibility of lets say a tv channel will be the same on their social media platforms, but with updated information .

You access constant news every time you access your social media account (Source: Illustration: Guardian Design)

Do not rely on the comment section:

Most news post on social media are open for commentary, which is accessible for anyone in the world. By anyone, I mean who ever has an internet access and social media account. That easy! Therefore, some comments are critical issues can sometimes be based on opinions rather than facts. Relying on false information from a non-reliable source is a risky game especially with something that is impacting your daily life, such as dealing with COVID-19 outbreak! Therefore, do not take every comment on social media post serious but do your research on whether the content is factual or made up.

Comment section on social media pages may include false information. (Source: Economic Times: https://bit.ly/3cwrVnL)

Read thoroughly:

When checking news posted by a media member, influencer or any verified account , skim through what they posted in the past. What kind of news did the share or reshare? It all adds up the credibility of the source.

The type of content matters also. Have you heard the phrase before ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’? If someone shares updates on various topic in different industries, so he/she is not specialized in one area. I urge you not take the social media posts of that user as a reliable source.

Jack of all trades, master of none (Source: englishpecah.blogspot: https://bit.ly/3csBynw)

Going viral doesn’t make it True!

Remember not every news that goes viral, is true ! For example, consumers threatened to boycott McDonald’s after thew news went viral on social media regarding the use of worm in its burgers. That information was false, but sadly bad and false news travel faster than reliable ones.

Source: Twitter

We all agree that we should not be relying on false and fake news to build our decision on, especially on important issues like handling a pandemic. Do you agree with my above takes on how to know to verify the news if its true or not? Leave your comments in the below section.

Facebook: Information about COVID-19 pandemic are over social media platforms. Which sources are reliable? Check out my new blog on how to check which ones are true and the ones you should avoid: https://bit.ly/3lZtqOo

Twitter: Be aware of #fake #news on #SM platforms. Read my new blog on how to get reliable information on #COVID-19: https://bit.ly/3lZtqOo

SOCIAL MEDIA RISKS – BUSINESS LEADERS TO AVOID OR PAY THE PRICE!

Social media platforms are vital for any organization to reach their target audience and it is here to stay. Does reaching the right audience is the goal of firms? Certainly not.  The platform accessibility to reach a wide audience has its risk as much as its benefits.

I have listed the top 3 risks of using social media in the corporate world and how to make use of them.

Social media are not always butterflies and rainbows , we must asses the risks it brings
  1. Publishing confidential information:

Risk: Once the social media post or tweet its online, it will immediately be accessible to a large audience globally. Sometimes, social media administrators post information that can put the firm in a bad spot and even cause legal issues if the data is sensitive and confidential.

Avoid: Social media team should include a member that reviews the content prior posting. This will allow avoiding disclosing classified information.

  • Taking things personal:

Social media admins can sometimes take some comments offensive and disrespectful. That can sometimes lead to harsh response that will backfire on the brand’s reputation.

Avoid: Similar to publishing posts on company’s social media pages, the engagement process should be team effort and not restricted to one user. A person reviewing the comment will assess the tone of the content and make sure that the reply is representing the firm’s ethics and views.

  • Ignoring the surroundings:

Addressing topical issue related to company’s industry is crucial to keep it relevant. We are living a world where everyone is looking for instant answers and it is your responsivity, as a business sector member, to keep the public inform in things that is related to your domain.

Avoid: Businesses should be tuned on what is happening in the world, especially on the matters that are related to their enterprise. Afterwards, they should address it on social media and try to spread their knowledge as an industry player on topical issues.  A great example on how to stay relevant on topical issues is the post Emirates on what kind of masks should travelers put on their flight.

There are additional risks that corporation should be aware whilst using social media platforms. I am not sure what the future holds in terms of new social media platforms arising, but in either case, the above-mentioned risks are key to avoid for any existing of future ones.