Gone are the days when we called the world a global village; now, it’s more like a bustling global thoroughfare. Connecting with family, friends, and strangers is just a click away. It’s time to accept it: social media has firmly entrenched itself in our lives.
In today’s world, it’s almost strange not to find individuals and organizations alike on social media platforms. The usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr, Digg, and Flickr have become ubiquitous. As of September 2023, a staggering 4.89 billion people worldwide were active on social media. Leading the pack is Facebook, boasting 2.989 billion monthly active users, followed closely by YouTube with 2.527 billion and Instagram with 2 billion users. Nigeria boasts an estimated 100 million social media users, ranking as the 7th largest country in social media presence. Everyone and everything has found a home on social media.
Yet, many corporate entities and influential figures on social media exist without a discernible focus, strategy, or clear intention to engage the vast online audience or market. This is primarily due to the challenge of maintaining a dynamic online and social media presence. Simply being online 24/7 doesn’t guarantee an effective digital footprint.
There are four basics to maintaining a successful online and social media presence. They are:
1. Contents: Content is the backbone of social media. Content is social media. What you feed a child goes a long way toward determining how healthy the child will be. Unless you publish fresh, relevant information regularly for your audience to consume, your online and social media platforms will not command traffic. Social media accounts that don’t churn out fresh content are considered dead. Your account shouldn’t be an identical twin to another person’s account.
2. Engagement: The second nitty-gritty for running a successful online or social media campaign is audience engagement. Organizations and individuals who engage their online audience are generally seen as friendly and responsive, plus many other positive perceptions, all of which translate into sales, patronage, goodwill, brand affiliation, loyalty, and an army of brand ambassadors who will go to any length to promote or defend your name, brand, product, service, or cause. Always remember that you are on social media because of your audience. Therefore, you need to create a bond between you and your audience. Interacting with them regularly would erase the thought that “it’s just another static account.” Let them feel that a face that cares is behind the account.
3. Skills: There are necessary related skills required to drive a vibrant social media presence, ranging from graphics, research, design, backend management, analytics, optimization, monitoring, etc. Not knowing which to deploy, when to deploy it, and how to deploy it, or utilizing them wrongly, is a sure road to virtual comatoseness or disaster. The need to get the right hand, learn the right skills, and know when to apply them is non-negotiable. Knowing ‘what to do’, ‘how to do it’, and ‘when’ is key to an effective online presence.
4. Consistence: Having just the skills to know what to do to have a winning social media presence and how to do it only guarantees success if such knowledge is backed by painstaking efforts and a commitment to doing it daily. Lack of consistency accounts mostly for the online failure of multinationals, institutions, and public figures, which have all it takes and the budget to be vibrant and visible online but whose activities are whimsical. It is more than just having the right skills and budgets; consistency is needed—doing the same thing every day. It is the only way to improve and learn new things every day. Always remember that social media is dynamic, not static.
You can cultivate a vibrant and engaging online presence by channelling your efforts into these specific areas. This presence will be crucial in fostering connections with your audience and ultimately assisting you in attaining your objectives.