Social Media is evolving quickly, and as entrepreneurs and marketers, we need to know how to leverage social media in our business. I have been analyzing social media use by Caribbean entrepreneurs vs. use by entrepreneurs in other parts of the world like North America. I realize that some trends presented themselves that Caribbean Entrepreneurs can take advantage of.
Video is still the most popular content type with most of the major social media platforms are pushing heavily for it. Youtube used to be the dominant player in this space. However, other platforms like Facebook and Instagram are making significant moves where video is concerned. Facebook recently launched its Watch network globally, giving creators a place to find videos they love and start conversations with friends. Videos have the highest average engagement over other content types. If you are not using video, consider making it an integral part of your social media strategy and that include live videos on platforms like Facebook.
In North America, a study done by Animoto shows that more than 50% of marketers surveyed planned to invest more in videos for Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram.
2- Paid Media
In 2018, this shouldn’t be a trend, but I have found that Caribbean entrepreneurs are not making full use of it. They are still spending the bulk of their budgets on traditional media like radio and television ads. While I have no problem with that, entrepreneurs are missing a tremendous opportunity not investing in ads. Facebook ads, for instance, is one of the cheapest forms of advertising you will encounter as well as the most targeted. To combat poor organic engagement and reach businesses are all turning to paid media. In North America, companies are spending more and more money on paid media.
Let’s say you put an ad on the radio and the radio charges you $1000 for the spot, can you guarantee that the person you are targeting with the ad will be listening to the radio at the time your ad is on? No, you can’t, however, with Facebook ads you can. You can target a particular person within a specific age group, with a specific interest and you can start with a little as $5. Every Caribbean business should be running Facebook ads.
3- Social Media has gone mobile
Gary Vaynerchuk once said, our mobile phone is the remote control of our lives. We are becoming glued to our phones. When we are on the bus, walking through the streets, even watching TV, our mobile phones are in our hands. The majority of us access social media through our cell phones. According to Buffer, 94% of monthly active users access Facebook through their mobile phones, and Instagram is well, mobile.
So what does this mean for you, well it means you need to start creating mobile-friendly content. Ensure that your images sizes match the recommended size to show up correctly on mobile. Analyze all platforms and find the best practice for mobile-friendly content.
4- Customer Service
Every business should be using social media, if not for marketing at least for customer service. In the past, if you pissed off someone, they may vent to their friend, but today they go to social media to vent and can potentially reach a massive audience which can negatively impact your business. Social Media is like word of mouth on steroids which is why you must pay attention to it.
If you ignore or shun your customers on social media chances are they will go to your competition. You need to listen to, reply to, engage and help your customers across the different social media platforms.
5- Leverage User Generated Content
With user-generated content, you get customers to talk about your business. It’s like free advertising. Users post content about your business and you, in turn, take these post and publish it on your business page. You can encourage users to use a particular hashtag so you can find their content easier.