Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon

I wrote an article about Taking Advantage of Social Media in Zimbabwe and have received some great positive feedback from it, which was not expected at all.  I submitted it to Creative Loop, a Zimbabwean blog that encompasses anything and everything to do with creativity in technology, business and social networking to name a few.  They were looking for someone to contribute to their site and you could choose from a broad range of subjects, so I went with the ever popular topic of Social Media.

I am not an expert in this field, but I am an avid learner so I have spent long hours researching this interesting and always evolving topic.  Previously I was not convinced that Zimbabweans were embracing this enough, but daily I am finding interesting new facebook pages and twitter accounts to like and follow.  I feel like I am literally learning something new, fresh and interesting every day, and I love it because it has been a very long time since school.

It’s even suprising how many “common ordinary” Zimbo’s there are on Twitter.  Of course you expect local artists, celebs and politicians, but there is also your just as usual mix of everyone else –  black, white and in everyone in between, who are sharing everything from religious viewpoints to their crazy aspirations and political viewpoints.

There are more people out there than you would even think, people to socialise with, do business with and make friends with so here are a couple of tips to expanding your social media circles…

SOCIALISE.  That’s the whole point right? Engage in conversation, respond to comments and feedback and be a real person not just a status or page.  Share a little about yourself.  Be personal.

SHARE.  Share interesting infomation about your industry, news, viewpoints.  Share video’s and photos.  People are more likely to click into one of these mediums than the standard news typed update.  Your content should also prompt others to share, this is where things start to accelerate.

STAND OUT. Be interesting and share interesting content that not many others would have seen.  Seek out interesting facts and figures and make it relevant to you.

DON’T SELL. Rather than pushing your products down everyone’s throat until they are sick of you try giving useful tips or advice about your industry of products.  Think – shocking, ugly, beautiful, disgusting, funny, outrageous and post relevant content to your business.

POSTING TIMES.  Try posting the same sort of content at several times of the day and guage which gets more views or responses.  Try and post at times when your target audience is likely to see it.  Some say early morning and late at night have some of the best response times, but everyone is different so you have to see what works best for you and your market.

FIND YOUR FANS. You should start finding fans and followers that are applicable to you when trying to grow your own network.  Like and follow people similar to you but who have a huge following and find others to connect to through them.  Re-post from those popular or famous people enough times to get their attention and they may follow you back too.

I have been fortunate to help set up and create several facebook pages for people I work closely with and it’s been interesting to try out some of these little ideas myself.  Each of them are different, so I have had to adapt methods and try new ideas but it’s interesting to see small steps of progress immediately after some thoughtful methods were executed.

Social Media ia now a mainstream form of communication and we should try and understand as much about it as we can to fully reap the rewards of it.  It does take up a lot of time, but soon, if not already, it just becomes part of daily life like driving to work or drinking a cup of coffee in the morning.  The quicker you explore the options and go with it the easier it gets and it can be a fun learning curve.  After all knowledge is power.

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