On a daily basis, I get invitations to like different pages on Facebook and from friends and contacts. I see various ads in my newsfeed from people trying to increase the likes on their page. But today, does likes on Facebook equate to anything meaningful, I mean at the end of the day, organic reach is so low that whenever you post something does anyone sees it?
It’s possible that very soon unless you pay to promote a post on Facebook, It will not show up in users newsfeed. Facebook is testing a new feature where it will be separating its news feed. The company recently launched the explore feed, which will contain post from pages that users do not follow. Currently, in the primary news feed, we see posts from friends and pages we do follow.
As a digital media enthusiast, there are two people I look to. One is Gary Vaynerchuk, the ultimate hustler, and the other is Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist whom I had the pleasure of meeting on his visit to Ryerson University. Both men are accomplished authors. Gary’s books include, “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”, “Crush It”, “#AskGaryVee”, and “Thank You Economy”, and Rushkoff authored “Programme or be Programmed” and “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus”. I see Gary as the practical industry practitioner and Rushkoff as the academic. However, both men agree with me on one thing, and that is, we live in an attention economy. The ultimate asset in business today is attention. Businesses are all vying for our attention and he who knows where to find the attention will win. I believe Caribbean businesses can find attention everywhere, but the variable of success could be much more valuable if underpriced or cheap attention is found.
Many Caribbean businesses invest a large part of their budget in radio and television advertising which often times does not pay the dividends that entrepreneurs envision. Admittedly, it would be irresponsible to declare that mass media advertising doesn’t work; however, much better ways to spend your advertising dollars exist. Let’s take Grenada for instance. As a business, you could advertise your products or services on Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) or Maitland Television (MTV) at premium cost. With such an investment especially for prime time programming, I am sure you would be able to reach the people you intend to. However, I think there are more effective ways to spend your money, reach the same or possibly more people when compared to television but at much lower costs, and that is using Facebook advertising.
The cheapest form of advertising right now and entering 2017 is Facebook advertising, and it will be the case for a while until everyone jumps on board which would most likely drive the cost up. Therefore, now is the time to start putting some of your advertising dollars into Facebook ads. Facebook is the most powerful social media platform in the world, outside countries like China. With 1.6 billion monthly active users and the ability to get as targeted as you desire, how could you lose? With Facebook ads, you could probably reach most in your country that are interested in a particular product, between a certain age, and of a particular gender. Let’s say, for instance; you have a product for women between the ages of 25 and 40. When you advertise on TV, do you have any guarantee that only women in the aforementioned age range would see your product? No, you don’t, but with Facebook ads you could. Now analyze your personal television watching habits. When you watch TV and the program breaks for advertisements, do you sit and intently watch all the ads, grab your phone to tweet or post on Facebook about what you’re watching, or do you use the time to get a glass of water or go to the restroom? Based on your personal admission, you may see why television advertisements may not be as effective even though it is costly.
Additionally, if you are an advertising or marketing agency, adding Facebook advertising to your services will be a huge boost for your business. One of the excuses I always hear is that people do not understand Facebook ads, but I have a secret weapon for you to learn about Facebook advertising. It’s called Google. You can learn anything from Google and Facebook advertising is no exception. Unfortunately, some persons falsely claim that Facebook ads do not work when they have never tried them. However, I challenge you to give it a shot because I have been running ads for the last two years, and I have been getting positive results. Therefore, try it and tell me how it goes.
When I younger, I wanted to become a soca artist. I even started writing songs with my friends, but I quickly realized I didn’t have what it took, so I decided to focus on what I was good at. In the past, soca artists advertised themselves to the public with the help of radio stations, DJs, and promoters, who booked them for shows. Therefore, artists didn’t have much control over their brands; however, because of technological advancements, the script has been flipped. Today’s technology now gives artists a significant say regarding the distribution and exposure of their musical products. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram practically give soca artists, regardless their stature in the industry, a somewhat even playing field. Artists now have the power to control and build their brands while bypassing the “badmind” DJs who often times intentionally neglect to share their music. Consequently, social media platforms are now making it easier for thriving musicians.
Uploading Music Natively vs. Sharing YouTube Links
Facebook is now big on video sharing as evidenced by their push with video ads, 360 videos, and Facebook live. Sometimes, when artists share their music on Facebook, they first upload it via YouTube then share the YouTube link to Facebook. Going forward, however, consider uploading your videos natively to Facebook instead. Facebook is in direct competition with YouTube and unfortunately for soca artists, Facebook’s algorithms punish videos shared with YouTube links. Therefore, you will be rewarded with more reach and views if you upload your videos directly to Facebook. Mind you, you should upload your music to YouTube as well, but just be aware that if you want more reach on Facebook, don’t share the YouTube link.
Share Short Clips on Instagram
Before, videos on Instagram could have only been 15 seconds long. Today, however, you can upload 60 seconds videos. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share a one-minute clip from your video to pique listeners’ interest.
As previously mentioned, video ads are now a major part of Facebook’s product. So do you know that by spending $5US or less it is possible to get thousands of video views on Facebook? Obviously, you would need to know how to setup and run a Facebook video ad, but hey, it’s not difficult. You can visit YouTube for tutorials or contact me, and I will show you how. At the moment, one of my clients is a jazz artist, and we have been using video ads to promote her music and concerts, and the results have been phenomenal. Consequently, I advise soca artists to start taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Instagram ads are now becoming a big deal too, so you should definitely give it a shot also. Just imagine it’s the carnival season, and you are a new artist with a “wicked tune”. However, only the established names are getting radio time. Instead of accepting the status quo, here is a simple solution. You could circumvent the system by spending just $5US to promote your music even if you don’t have an actual music video, which isn’t totally necessary. Many persons, including myself, often listen to music on YouTube or Facebook with just a still picture. Therefore, with such a small but effective investment, you have little reason to sit and wait for radio play when you have the tools to get your music out to a much wider audience than the radio can offer.
Consistency and Building a Community
Shows like Power or Game of Thrones are successful in part because they don’t ignore social media. Even after each season’s finale, they are still active on Facebook and Instagram reminding you of the just concluded episodes and in preparation for the new. With that said, soca artists should pattern their social media habits after those successful franchises instead of using a cyclical approach. From observation, many artists are very active on social media during the carnival season; however, after the festivities are over, they make a huge mistake by going silent. Therefore, they should consider year-round promotions on social media to garner as many supporters, sales, and job opportunities as possible. Also, many soca artists mismanage Facebook and Instagram. Instead of using the platforms as a vital business tool and as a means of building a community around their music, they unfortunately, use them to spread their unfounded information, divisive topics and display unsavory conduct, which may alienate supporters and potential patrons. Consequently, artists should refrain from the negatives and strive to build a community around their music. And if they need help building, their music community, it is advised that they speak to a Facebook or Instagram strategist.
In keeping with the use of videos, I have realized that some Grenadian promoters now use live streams to increase their business ventures’ reach. Further, as soca artists, you can also live stream your performances through platforms like Facebook Live. Obviously, the actual streaming would have to be done by someone else like a member of your management team or friend of course, but you should consider live streaming your performances, the process of making your music, or practically anything you think will interest your fans to build brand equity. Right now Facebook’s algorithms are very favorable towards live videos so don’t pass up on this opportunity.
Pardon my tone but please stop posting nonsense on social media. Remember that most patrons tie your contributions to your products. Therefore, if you are deemed to be a constant poster of valueless material, it is possible you would tune out your intended audience when it matters. Therefore, please ensure that your posts are entertaining, educational, positive, or provide some kind of significance to your fans. Like I stated above, be consistent while providing value.
Admittedly, many more strategies for brand building can be done; however, these are some of the basic approaches that every Grenadian soca artist and those throughout the Caribbean should take if they intend to make a mark in a potentially lucrative business. At #IamGrenadian, we have shared the stories of many Grenadian soca artists, and as a digital marketing strategist, I felt it was my obligation to write this article to hopefully help others. Also, these methods go beyond soca music; they can be effective for any genre. Therefore, since you now have the power to build your brand using these platforms, just ensure that you use them properly or seek the services of a social media strategist if necessary. Also, for those who may object to getting help because you have a Facebook page and Instagram profile consider this. Having a car doesn’t make you a mechanic, so having access to the necessary social media platforms doesn’t make you a Facebook or Instagram marketer. Consequently, if you are trained in social media marketing, perfect, if not, then get up to speed or work with someone.
Many great brands and even small businesses have been experiencing a lot of success with Social Media over the last couple years. Businesses in North American and Europe have all taken to Social Media to amplify their brands’ presence. These companies have all been experiencing different levels of success with Social Media. There are even ordinary people who have been able to build a brand for themselves and a community around themselves using Social Media. Caribbean Brands have been using social media for the same purposes as well, however there are many brands in the Caribbean that are still resistant to change and resistant to the idea that social media can be the vehicle to take their business to the next level.
Why Caribbean Brands Need Social Media
There are many reasons why Caribbean Brands should be using Social Media, some of these includes;
1. Increase Exposure – Businesses, especially small businesses can get more exposure on social media for little or no cost to them. People spend one hour on average on Facebook alone, and more time on other platforms. You need to be where your audience is.
2. Grow your business – There are three ways to grow a business, you can increase the amount of clients, increase the average amount of transaction per client or increase the average transaction value per client. Social Media is ideal for this because you can achieve all three business growth strategies there.
3. Connect with your clients on a personal level – Social Media allow you to connect one on one with your clients, you can speak to them and they will respond. Also social media allows you to offer customer service to your clients, it’s always amazing when I have a problem with a company and I can tweet them and someone from their customer service team reaches out to me.
How to Implement Social Media in your Business
Implementing Social Media in your business as part of your marketing strategies or business growth strategies is easier that most people would think
1. Conduct A Social Media Audit – The first thing that a business need to do is conduct a Social Media Audit
• Find all your Social Media Profiles and document them, ensure you know
-Why you’re using this profile
-Why you want to use it
-Your main goals for using it
-Whether your Target market is using it
• Check the details of all profiles and fine-tune them, ensure consistency across all platforms with the message being sent and images
2. Create a Social Media Policy – A policy will mandate how Social Media will be used in the business. What will be your voice on Social Media, who is allowed to post on behalf of the company, how the company will respond to critics, what type of contents will be posted. Also what employees should be allowed to post since they are a reflection of the brand even on their personal profiles
3. Objectives – You need to decide what your objective is for using Social Media, whether it is brand awareness, brand engagement, to sell a product, launch products among others. Objectives must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (SMART).
4. Create a Social Media Strategy– Your Social Media strategy should include the following:
• Tools that will be used to manage your social media
• How you will be using Earned, Owned and Paid Media
• Your Content Calendar
• Your Editorial Calendar
• Your Tactical Plan
5. Create a content plan– Many businesses today are having tremendous success from operating like a media company. Creating and curating valuable, informative and entertaining content for your community is a sure way to gain credibility with them. Share useful information with your community and build your influence among them.
These are some quick steps to implement social media in your business as a Caribbean Brand, every Caribbean Business, large or small should be taking advantages of Social Media to help them grow their business. In many cases if they are unable to implement it themselves, they can seek out the services of a Social Media Consultant and amplify their brand presence online. Some Caribbean brands are doing a good job of this right now while there are other up and coming Brands using social media to build their brand online such as Greenz Elite which is a Grenadian reality game show where five contestants go through elimination challenges to come up with a winner. They began with a promotional campaign by spray painting their logo and the words “The revolution will be televised” on abandoned buildings along a main travel area to intrigue potential audiences earning a spot on their local news. Using this as a springboard they opened their Facebook page, (facebook.com/greenzelite), twitter and Instagram. The social media is being used to share production updates, create hype and connect with their audience while “feeling” out the reception of the concept’s pilot from pre-production and its evolving direction during production.