You have basically been told that as a business you must have an online presence. You have been told that you need a website and you must also have social media accounts. You have been told that digital marketing is the real deal nowadays that is why. Once you have set up social media accounts for your business, what is next then? Many businesses actually have heeded the advice and do have social media accounts but there is a problem. Judging by a glance through their platforms you can tell they really do not know what to do. With that said, here is what to do with your business social media accounts.

Figure Out With Social Media Platform To Be On

This is largely a function of the nature of the audiences you intend to target. Facebook has the richest target pool given how it encompasses all age groups. TikTok is characterized by most of its users being Generation Z. I just gave those two examples to show you some of the differences borne out of the characteristics of platform users.

A lot of people with businesses or startups make wrong assumptions on this. In Zimbabwe, most businesses think that Facebook is the only platform to be on. That could be true in most cases, but then we have other platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Linked In, TikTok, and so on. You have to do thorough homework in figuring which platform is best for your business. The nature of your business has huge bearings on which platform is best. In trying to figure this all out there two broad approaches.

One, you can study metrics or trends that are published by reputable entities. For instance, POTRAZ periodically releases comprehensive reports on social media usage in Zimbabwe and more. Two, you can experiment and empirically compare by being on different social media platforms over a period of time. Overall, in Zimbabwe, you can successfully build an online presence for your business using Facebook. I have even noticed that Zimbabwean brands doing well on Facebook have very low engagements on platforms such as Instagram. Overall it is best to be on more than one platform. You will just have to ensure you know which one is your core and the other ones diversify your reach.

I can give an example of Yanaya Lifestyle – one of the most enterprising Zimbabwean startups. They are on all the major social media platforms used in Zimbabwe. They are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They have really good engagements on all of them too. It is mainly contextual so you should look at your specific business context.

Put Together A Strategic Plan

Failure to plan always culminates in total failure. You must be deliberate and specific about what you want to achieve and how. What you want to achieve must be objective lest you end up wasting time majoring in minors. For example, an objective focus would be to increase customer sign-ups. If you already have social media accounts for your business then start by taking stock. What have you been doing and has it been working? If not then you have to change some things. If you are starting then you have some work to do.

One of the smartest things you should do is to study your competitors. How are they are running their social media accounts and what is or not working? You simply have to emulate what works and adapt it for yours and even tweak it for more results. Go beyond just your competitors and study other businesses running successful social media accounts. Once all that is done, then you must schedule your content propagation.

Do not just randomly and haphazardly post content. Schedule it systematically. When it comes to posting content on your social media accounts there is rule of thumb. Let us suppose you post 10 posts in a week. 8 of those posts should focus on engaging your platform users. This could be in the form of posting useful information or simply entertaining them and having fun. Only 2 of those posts should focus on actually selling your goods or services. Most brands get it wrong on maintaining this ratio.

Build A Social Media Network

Over 40 per cent of people online find out about brands on social media platforms. You must not let them just pass you by; establish, nurture and cement relationships with them. It is always easy to draw people but retention is the biggest deal. Their several ways you can use to build this social media network. One of them is by setting up groups, e.g. on WhatsApp or Facebook. This helps create and maintain a focused group of people where you get to stir the boat. Take advantage of social media influencing. Engage with social media influencers to broaden that network.

In Zimbabwe we see most businesses engaging social media influencers such as comedians, artists, radio personalities, sportspersons, and the like. You get to tap into bigger audiences by so doing. Harness the power of tags and hashtags as well. These work well in increasing your brand mentions and in riding on current trends. Do not forget about features that social media platforms have. I am referring to features like live streaming, polls, Q and As, stories, and so on. The principle in all this is you must engage your audience; have interactive conversations with them all the time – do not just post and keep quiet.

There is so much more to talk about here but for now, internalize what I have been discussing. Remember that less is more; it is not necessarily about making numerous posts – quality matters the most. Experimentation is also vital; switch things up a bit and see how it pans out. Social media is dynamic so you must be fluid also in your thinking. One key piece of advice regarding a business social media account is to have a two-way conversation with your followers.