We’re in the information age and the internet and technology are arguably the hottest things around today. This is the age that has produced Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of social network which have truly altered the way we interact with each other.

The world is finally becoming as interconnected as a village; it’s easy to sit on your couch and be in tune with the rest of the world by simply owning a smart phone. It feels like the world is trying to stuff you with enough information to give you stomach ache.

If there’s any true testament to how social media has changed the world and the way we see it, we can readily cite examples from the Arab Spring; a wave of political consciousness and people activism which toppled long serving heads of state from Tunisia to Libya all the way to Egypt and kick started a war in Syria.

Even in Nigeria where most people are sceptical of the importance of social media in creating any real difference, the success of “Occupy Nigeria” can be said to be owed in part to social media. The recent “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign is proof of the role social networks can play in creating awareness.

There’s even a movie purportedly talking about the life of the Facebook founder; that’s how important these things are today.

With all these indices, the business world and many brands have sat up and taken notice, many brands now understand the importance of letting their target market engage them and follow them across numerous social networks.

In this day and age, sometimes star power is measured by Twitter followers or Youtube views. It has been taken for granted now that every serious business or brand needs to have social media presence.

However, the question remains, can social media really help your brand? Will it do more harm than good? Is it all just hype you can do without?

Here are the facts, Facebook has registered well over one billion users while Twitter has a little over 200 million users. This means that on just two social networks you can connect almost 65% of the world, and all at no real cost whatsoever.

There’s no other medium which allows for this kind of exposure and access to consumer market. Therefore, if you run a business, however small, you should look into cultivating a social media presence.

However, small and medium scale businesses or brands have faced a fundamental problem in recent times; most brands are clueless as to how to engage people once they’re on social media and eventually their presence fizzles out.

The key is to ensure you keep your followers engaged and come up with fun things on your timeline. There’s hardly any need to clog their timelines with run of the mill quotes or constant advertising of your product.

Go a step further and create trivia, mini interviews on people who have used your product or even put a day aside for giveaways. People love free stuff 😀

However, in the process of engagement, be careful not to engage in arguments or trade insults with people who do not have kind words for you and your business. In today’s world, this kind of stuff is bound to happen.

One common feature of social networks these days are people who claim to be social media marketers who charge you an arm and a leg to help you trend a product, your song or even a video.

Here’s the cold hard fact, the fact that your brand is trending is not an indication of success especially when those hashtags are attached to meaningless tweets and posts.

Today, the world of social media thrives on creativity, originality and people engagement; it’s up to brand managers to actually get people talking on whatever issues. It gives enough traction for people to easily find you even in conversations.

So, here’s a last word for brand managers; don’t go through the painless route of paying “marketers”; no one knows your consumers like you do; put in the work yourself and engagement might just be what your brand needs!

Leave a Comment