24 March 2010 21 Comments

Brands: how to differentiate your social media efforts

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

social media 22Yesterday one of the major print media in Nigeria sought my opinion on the value of social media to business. This discussion is published today in the paper’s business page. I am happy that social media is beginning to show up in the radar of our business operations. But as we know the bandwagon effect of many businesses rushing to embrace the platform will affect Returns on investment they can all derive. Social media is helping business owners shape perception. Like one writer says ‘Perception is all there is. There is no reality only perceived reality’ Therefore we must learn to manage perception in social media through a stand out initiative.

Most brands join the bandwagon of social media application to business promotion with an erroneous impression that people are bound to listen to their marketing pitches. The naked truth is that people are damned tired of listening to such stuffs. Customers are tired of being marketed to. They are seeking for solid relationship that will lift them up, make them make better and informed decision.

Since social media provides an equalizing platform to express and connect with targeted audience through valuable content, the amount of information available has compelled audience to either close their eyes or ears to some business initiative in this regard. To really stand out in social media effort, business must rethink the strategy of holding up money, merchandise as major factor to building solid relationship, impact.

To stand out, I have come up with four unique factors that will enable any brand stand out in its social media effort. I do not claim to know it all but strongly believe these will work any day.

1. Compelling content: content is king in social media. Never underestimate the power of great and compelling content that will help your target audience excel, look great and smart among their peers. Whatever platform a brand chooses, content drives traffic. Great content propels word of mouth advertising that will spread the buzz about the brand any day any time.

 2. Creativity: I like to define creativity as the open difference you make in turning something common to an extra ordinary experience. How creative are you in the dissemination of your content. Do you focus on text or add audio, video, great visual design that is appealing to the audience? I have since discovered creative video adds a lot of credibility to content creation and I may soon be incorporating this if my logistic is perfected.

3. Clients/target collaboration: A tree does not make a forest is an age long cliché. To stand out in social media it will be good to find a community of admirers, followers, target who will be willing to help spread the buzz. To become viral, your community collaboration will help a lot.

4. Consistency: whatever you do, you do not stand out by once in a blue moon appearance on the radar. To stand out, you need persistence, commitment, consistence innovation, trial and error. I have not seen an outstanding social media expert who had not heard his/her own share of failure.

Let me conclude with Allen says’ opinion when he wrote ‘create the site you have been looking for, write like you would like t be written to, sell like you would want to be sold to, talk like you would like to be talked to, deal like you would like to be dealt with, create for others what you would like created for you and excite others the way you would like to be excited. I guess these are golden rules of social media that make your brand stand out or what do you think? Write your thought in the comment section.

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