“In 2014, 100 million people were using Facebook each month across Africa, over 80% via mobile. That figure has now jumped to over 120 million,” edition.cnn.com says. And that is just for Facebook. The number of Nigerians online is quite tremendous. It is not surprising that Nigeria ranks number 8 in the World Internet Users ranking with 13,591,174 Nigerians online, as at March 2017. It a safe bet that over 90% of these internet users are one social media. So what does these mean to us as entrepreneurs?
Millions of people are on social media everyday sharing, linking, interacting and sharing information and this can be a grate tool for your business. With social media you can talk to client and prospective client, get involved in conversation, build trust, share contents, reach more people and grow your sphere of influence. Social media can also help you understand your customers better; what they like, how they rate your products or services, and how they see your business in general, which can help your improve your business.
So how do you get on social media and reap all these benefits? Let’s see.
Decide on the Right Social Media Platform: There are various social media platforms on the internet but you don’t just go about joining all of the just because you want to build a strong online presence, if not you would be wasting your time and resources on platforms that add no value to your business. Before joining a particular social media platform, you need to consider how important the platform will be to your business. In deciding on the social media platform to join, it doesn’t really matter how big or small the platform is, what matters is how relevant it is to your business. You need to know what social network your customers or prospective customers are using most and concentrate on those ones. Although you shouldn’t wave off the idea of joining the large social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as most of your client are likely to be there, there are some industry specific platforms you also need to look out for. For example, you could join sites like TripAdvisor if you run a travel agency or Opentable if you run a restaurant.
Set Your Social Media Goals: As stated earlier, there are a lot of social media platform on the internet but before you start signing up and posting all over the place, it would be of a great benefit to ask yourself this simple question. What do I hope to achieve with social media? The answer to this question is what would guide your activities on social media. Maybe you are looking to gain new customers, a faster way to respond to customers’ inquiries, sell product or make your business popular. The goals are endless and yours could be more than one.
Setting your social media goal will help you know what to do and how to do it. It will help you map out your social media move.
Let’s say for example your goal is to raise awareness about your business and by so doing, gain more customers. First you will need to have what to say and people to say it to. In getting people to say it to you can connect with your family, friends, and some of your loyal customers. You can share with them and also ask them to share with their Network. Gradually you’ll reach your goal of raising awareness.
Advertise: Many social media platforms offer paid advertising opportunities. The best part in this is that it shows your adverts to people who are your customers and those who are most likely to be your customers. Social media can even help you narrow your audience more. You could chose to target your audience based on location, demographics, interest, behavior, connection or custom etc. This ensures that you are spending your advertising budget wisely. Some social media platform also offers special feature advertising for a price. For example, you may be able to pay to see who else in the network has been looking at you, or you may be able to pay to put the content you are sharing in front of specific group of people in the network.
You may want to ask; what if I don’t have the money for paid social media advertising? Well, that’s not a problem. You can advertise on social media even without paying. You could write about your new offers or post soft copy of your advert flier on your social media page. The problem with unpaid advertising is that, only people who are already following you will see the advert.
In conclusion, note that building your presence on social media is always a gradual process. Although you can accelerate the process with paid advertising, it is pertinent for you to post interesting and unique contents. Social media is not a one-way platform. Those who follow you also have their own network, so it would be of great benefit to you if you engage in discussion by commenting on other people’s contents and also replying to comments on your content. Engage in networking by sharing contents of people in your business line.
Finally, your tone should vary depending on the type of social media you are using. Some social networks such as Facebook are for personal relationship while some such as LinkedIn are for professional networking. You should use a more casual and friendly tone for personal relationship network and a more professional tone for a professional networking network.