It’s a new world, where technology is dynamic and information is only a click away. For businesses looking to connect with the new generation of potential consumers and the highly informed digital natives, having an online presence is not an option; it’s an absolute necessity.
Looking at the various social media sites out there, the top three social media sites where a business presence is a must are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Of course, other social sites as LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest offer valuable presence and varied options for the digital savvy businesses. There have been numerous posts written about challenges that businesses face when it comes to making social media work for them. Read this and this … oh and this too.
This infographic documents the history of social media. It is quite obvious that social media has been around the block for a while now. In this post we will look at the NEW challenges that brands are facing (now that social media has become mainstream) and the solutions.
When I first read a tweet from @AlfredMutua on my timeline, I was marvelled that the good doctor was on Twitter. Going through his timeline I was in stitches due to the satirical and funny nature of his tweets.Take the example of the tweet below (which you can retweet, reply or follow from this post. Try it!). Does anybody know where the offices of Social Media are? — Alfred Mutua (@alfredmutua) April 20, 2012
Does anybody know where the offices of Social Media are?
— Alfred Mutua (@alfredmutua) April 20, 2012
It was only after reading the bio that I realised it was a parody account for the Gov’t of Kenya spokesman. The fact that it’s a parody handle is not immediately obvious and may lead to a certain amount of confusion among non-informed followers or would-be followers.
Wikipedia defines brand jacking as an activity whereby someone acquires or otherwise assumes the online identity of another entity for the purposes of acquiring that person’s or business’s brand equity.
In social media, this could simply mean online users hijacking a brand – could be a celebrity, business or government bodies – and pass it as the real thing for their own purpose. The not-so-bad news is that brand-jacking is not yet a big deal in Kenya among the business community (but it is rampant with our celebrities and media personalities); many brands are just discovering the power of social media.
However, to avoid a brand-jacking scenario of your brand, it always helps to get an account – which distinguishes the real brand from the copy cats. It helps to be active, making your consumers aware of your online presence and guiding them to these accounts will help a business maintain an authentic, trustworthy social media presence.
However, the online presence from the Kenyan business community is quite minimal. The dearth of this minimal online presence is due to another challenge;
Resistance to change
It’s painfully obvious that many businesses are stuck in the past, clinging stubbornly to old methods of doing business.
Sunny Bindra writing in his post here cautions businesses on the consequences of ignoring the power of social media and urging them to join, not for fun, but as an extension of their customer services options.
Safaricom and Zuku are examples of companies with a strong social media presence, even having Twitter accounts for their customer care (which is waaay faster in response and more efficient than calling).
The converse to having too little online presence is having too much leading to;
The secret to personal touch in social media is sticking to one or two social sites which are manageable for the brand. You can determine the best social sites to reside on through testing, monitoring and analytics. Spreading oneself out too thin leads to a situation where the brand is on so many social media sites that they can’t keep up with interactions thereby letting down their followers/potential customers with dormant accounts.
Excelling in social media marketing and managing one’s brand online effectively requires three things; time, personality and the concept of what you’re stelling. Just ask @bobcollymore if you don’t believe me.
Psst… stelling is a word we have coined in-house when we are defining selling through story-telling!
What are other challenges you have faced? Share with us.
Latest posts by Judith Kithaka (see all)
- Why the Pillars of Social Media is Like the Dating Game – September 20, 2012
- Why You Shouldn’t Launch That Business Blog Yet: Five Challenges to Overcome – September 6, 2012
- Take 6: Peter Nduati Talks Social Media – August 10, 2012
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