Social Media has become quite useful, particularly, for small businesses that use it as a way of attracting new customers. Although social media appears simple, there are a number of important tips and lessons for people hoping to make the most of it. I was, recently, with Nkem Begho, CEO, Future Software Resources and she shared some tips for social media success.
Nkem is of the opinion that social media is still effective. “Definitely. I think, actually, it is more effective than ever and I think, more and more brands are getting aware of how they can use social media and digital media in general, to push their brand”, she observed. She stated that, when the recession set in, many brands did not have enough budget for marketing in the traditional way anymore, so, social media became the obvious option which most of them now settled for. This, in effect, she stated, has jacked up the trend for the preference of social media by many brands.
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Nkem agreed that social media marketing is becoming more expensive because of the input that now has to go into the process, such as the graphic design of images, proper brand identification and a sound strategy. “This is because, more and more people are competing in the same space, so, you have to have an attractive packaging. It’s all about packaging. That’s what marketing in general is”, she noted. She explained that people have to see the advertisement and say, “Wow!”, so, people need to work much harder in order to stand out. “Working harder, usually means that you need to spend a little bit more than you might have done two or three years ago”, she emphasized.
On the notion that small business owners may not have the capacity to put a huge budget aside for social media marketing, Nkem stated that the small business owners may not have to spend as much as big business owners because there are lots of tools out there that they can use on their own without necessarily being a Graphic designer.
Answering a question on the notion that, as people move on to social media, it is as if we are moving funds out of the country in tons because we patronize firms outside the country to provide these services for us, Nkem stated that, it is a Yes and No answer and she explained. She explained that, in terms of running advertisements, all that revenue goes abroad, while on the other hand, she stated that a lot of training is going on to train social media managers along the value chain in order to retain some of the funds in the country. “That value chain is something that we need skilled people for because it requires a lot of customer service and it requires a lot of sales knowledge”, she stressed. she stated that they are not really tech jobs per se, but they feed the technology pipeline.
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Nkem is of the view that government involvement should be restricted to sponsoring the training of Nigerians to acquire the required skills so that these jobs will be done in Nigeria instead of taking them abroad. “Nigerians will patronize Nigerians if they know that they are going to do a good job”, she opined.
On how brands, whose reputation are being maligned online due to the publication of fake news, should approach the issue, Nkem stated that they should go about it the same way they would have gone about it if it was a print publication was involved. “First of all, consult your PR Agency. Make sure that you respond.
Sometimes, the people making these accusations are actually beneath you, so, maybe you don’t even have to answer them and when you do respond, do it in a professional manner. No need for cat-fighting”, she advised. She further advised that you should use facts to prove that the news publication about you is fake. She explained that, if you have done something wrong and you are being exposed for doing something wrong, own up to it, apologize and show what you are doing to remedy it. “Social media has made brands more accountable because, they can’t just sweep it under the carpet”, she concluded.
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