There is no doubt that we are living in the thick of the digital age and that we will be until the end of time.
Almost every business has some form of online presence and those who don’t are practically unheard of. According to Kevin Leyes, the business world has transformed and adapted dramatically to grow with technological advances over the years [Leyes, K].
These days, the key to success is understanding the power of operating digitally. Social media has become a foundation for small businesses and new business entrants. As it is a cost-effective tool used to access the target market directly and gain a following. South Africa relies heavily on entrepreneurship for the growth of its economy. Joining the professional online community will open doors to endless growth and opportunity for your business, you as the entrepreneur/solopreneur, or any industry professional and the country.
It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know!
Online networking is a fundamental part of digital marketing, whether you are networking for personal gain or for your business, having an online social media presence is vital for growth. There are many social media platforms you can use to your advantage when it comes to sharing your content and forming relationships.
How to turn social media networking into a digital marketing strategy?
Choosing the right platform
Sharing your content on the right platforms is crucial to your success. When choosing which channels to use, you should look at your customers and your business. It is important to have a clear understanding of who your consumers. What platforms they use and why. Then it is all about creating an online presence and image that will resonate with both your brand and your consumer. Set a professional tone for each platform but keep in mind the overall continuous brand message you are aiming to get across. Each platform allows for a unique persona as well as reaching a wide range of consumers [Henderson,G].
For example, LinkedIn is a platform that focuses on professional networking and career development. Individuals can share their CV, connect with other business professionals, as well as seek employment. As a business, you can post updates of your achievements, increase your employment rate, and keep a close eye on your competitors.
In contrast, Instagram is a social platform that allows for a more casual tone. Businesses can target and engage with their consumers directly and advertise and complete sales. As an entrepreneur, you can use your personal following to kick-start your business following. As you can see, networking is the foundation of your marketing strategy.
There are many platforms of engagement that allow for much more than just networking and advertising. Social media allows you to track local and international trends and start trends. It is a virtual hub of endless creativity that can elevate your business. One can truly optimize all that social media has to offer and build a career.
Consistency is key
Due to the constant influx of social media content, it is easy to get lost in the mix. It is important to be consistent with your posts and online engagement, if you are not seen, you are not heard! There are many online tools that can be used to create scheduled posts to be consistent and remain relevant. Actively engaging with your consumers and other entrepreneurs and business professionals on a regular basis is vital for the growth and prosperity in South Africa.
Combining social media and entrepreneurship is proving to be a strategy for success. The endless possibilities it continues to create for the individual and the business is evident. Being able to network and operate 24/7 and have the world at your fingertips, is essential for SA. Local businesses are benefitting significantly from social media as it is the consumers who are essentially doing most of the advertising. By posting and sharing their own experiences with a brand, generates awareness.
The rise of digital marketing has brought an increase in technological skills development. There has been a significant increase in online entrepreneurship and digital marketing courses, such as the Digital Entrepreneurship Bootcamp by Success By Design. Which teaches you how to market your business on social media, provides you with tools and techniques needed to grow your business online, website creation, and entrepreneurial processes. Based on public testimonials, this Bootcamp has proven to play a critical role in the success of many entrepreneurs, business owners, and digital markers.
The possibilities are endless once you are online, especially when it comes to networking and building your brand. Start creating your online presence today and see for yourself.
Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.” — Jay Baer, keynote speaker, emcee, author, and entrepreneur