It is no news saying the world is a global village; in fact it has become a global street. Connecting to families, friends and even strangers is just a click away. So let’s face it; social media has come to stay.
It is not unusual these days, almost everyone and every organisation has a presence on the social media, particularly the popular ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Flickr, Reddit, Digg, Myspace, Youtube and Pinterest. As at March this year (2015), there were 1.415 billion active users on Facebook, and 288 million monthly active users on Twitter. With the explosive youth population in Nigeria, you can imagine what chunk of those statistics we boast as a nation. Everyone or everything is on social media.
However, most corporate presence and iconic presence (prominent individuals) on the social media are mere presence with no marked focus, strategy, or intent to engage the teeming online public/market. This is largely to due to not knowing what it takes to maintain a vibrant online-cum-social media presence. Being online 24/7 is not a guarantee of an effective online presence.
There are 4 basics to maintaining a successful online and social media presence. They are:
1. Contents: Content is the backbone of social media. Content is social media. What you feed a child goes a long way in determining how healthy the child will be. Unless you publish fresh, relevant information on a regular basis for your audience to consume, your online and social media platforms will not command traffic. Social media accounts that don’t churn out fresh contents are considered dead. Your account shouldn’t be an identical twin to another person’s account.
2. Engagement: The second nitty-gritty for running a successful online/social media campaign is audience engagement. Organisations and individuals who engage their online audience are generally seen as friendly and responsive plus many other positive perceptions, all of which translate into sales, patronage, goodwill, brand affiliation, loyalty and an army of brand ambassadors who will go to any length to promote/defend your name, brand, product, service or cause. Always remember, you are on social media because of your audience. Therefore, there’s every need to create a bond between you and your audience. Interacting with them on regular basis would erase the thought of “it’s just another static account.” Let them feel a face that cares, is behind the account.
3. Skills: There are necessary related skills required to drive a vibrant social media presence ranging from graphics, research, designs, backend management, analytics, optimization, monitoring, etc. Not knowing which to deploy, when and how to deploy it or utilising them wrongly is a sure road to virtual comatose or disaster. The need to get the right hand or learning the right skills and knowing when to apply them is non-negotiable. Knowing ‘what to do’, ‘how to do it’ and ‘when’ is key to an effective online presence.
4. Consistence: Having just the skills – Knowing what to do to have a winning social media presence and how to do it, does not guarantee success unless such knowledge is backed by painstaking efforts and commitment to doing it day in, day out. Lack of consistency accounts mostly for the online failure of multinationals, institutions and public figures, which have all it takes as well as the budget to be vibrant and visible online, but whose activities there are a whimper. It is more than just having the right skills and budgets; there is also the need for consistency – doing the same thing every day. It is the only way to improve and learn new things every day. Always remember, the social media is dynamic not static.