One of the main reasons entrepreneurs fail to make effective use of social media is that it’s so new. The text books and vast majority of marketing courses in Zimbabwe, just aren’t teaching this stuff. The result? A marketing degree/ certificate/ diploma without even a basic understanding of the single most important marketing medium in the world – Social Media.
Doesn’t make sense.
Now there’s a lot to learn if you’re going to be truly effective in social media and gather hundreds or thousands (or much more) of people who genuinely follow you (not just like you). However, there are 3 things that if you don’t understand anything else, you should at least understand these 3 things;
1) Social Media is for heretics. If your message is the same as your competitor’s, forget about social media. What you need to do is spend/waste as much as you can on advertising in conventional media, like print newspaper advertising.
Social media is a tool for spreading ideas, but not just any idea will spread. It’s got to be unusual, remarkable, shocking. Basically crazy or supremely valuable to your market. Ordinary is boring and people just don’t interact with, talk about, or share ordinary. They barely notice it. If you have nothing to say, don’t bother saying it on social media.
It’s a waste of time.
2) Look for your first 5 people.
The temptation for many who hear that Zimbabwe now has well over a million people active on Facebook, is to try to reach all of them. Now unless you have an Econet Wireless marketing budget, this is a dumb thing to attempt. You don’t have the time, skill or money to hire the skill it takes to reach that many people, but you probably don’t need to anyway. Facebook for example is not a mass marketing tool (will cover more on that in a future post), but it’s incredibly powerful for reaching people who actually care.
A much smarter strategy is to find just 5 people who are super passionate about what your brand stands for. Then give them irresistible content they just can’t ignore and can’t wait to share. If no one is willing to engage and then share, retweet or in box a friend about what you’re saying, it’s no use trying to reach a million people with that message.
They’ll ignore it too.
3) You must be on social Media.
Zimbabweans, social media is not one of those things to ‘wait and see’ about. The opportunity is real and it’s now. Here’s one of my favorite quotes by Seth Godin
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
Everyday that you’re absent from where your market is discussion topics relevant to you, you’re fading away, losing ground. Get in on the conversation and earn the leadership positioning.
What else would you say is an absolute must for an entrepreneur to understand about social media?