Nnanke Essien: The Visibility Expert

Nnanke Essien is a visibility strategist and business transformation coach. She helps individuals with awesome ideas, products and services to get seen and found by their ideal clients.

She does this using a 5 step visibility building process to build an effective and efficient visibility roadmap. Nnanke believes that the path to success is littered with awesome but poorly marketed ideas, hence her mandate is to support businesses find this sure pathway.

She is a John Maxwell Certified coach, a HR professional and a visibility builder round the clock. She has been supporting start-ups and businesses since 2007 even through college.


Why is it important to stay visible?

If nobody knows you exist, nobody will buy from you. It’s really that simple, you must always find a way for your ideal clients to remember that you exist. We call it top of mind awareness. In other words, if at any point your client has a need, your brand name should be top of mind.

How can brands stay visible despite strong competition on social media? 

Truthfully, social media isn’t going anywhere and the earlier business owners understand this and take ownership the better for brands. Firstly, to stay visible, brands must adhere to a stellar mindset.

Beyond this, brands need clarity on why they are in the business. This is in terms of the business mission, vision, values, identifying their business playing field (niche), their core message and their brand positioning on the value chain.

Brands also need clarity on their ideal clients. Who are the people whose lives and businesses will be transformed by virtue of the fact that this business exists?

Understanding the client’s exact needs, desires, challenges, what they need to transform, lifestyle, spending power and motivation is key to business visibility success.Finally, brands can also stay visible by authenticating their authority in the market. Having consistent, attractive and meaningful bio’s on their social media platforms can contribute to this. Their bio must contain relevant information on who the brand is.

Also, nurturing communities i.e groups, leveraging on content and becoming an information reservoir for clients can be a great way of authenticating authority. In all of these, consistency and building revenue generating models, systems, processes and assets are key to success and visibility.

What are your top three tips for business owners to incorporate into their brands?

  1. Have a consistent brand voice and visual appeal that is easy for people to spot and recognize.
  2. Focus on building relationships using KLT (Know, Like and Trust) techniques like live videos, Instagram stories, guest appearances et al.
  3. Leverage on content that your ideal clients need.

How can women balance putting themselves out there while not appearing too forward?

Woman know what you want. Don’t do things out of compulsion or pressure. The woman you buy shoes from didn’t shy away from her calling, the woman who sells human hair didn’t shy away from her calling.
Recognize your hustle. Validate it! Look for a group of persons or coaches and mentors who can help you identify your hustle, find your sweet spot, stay there, flaunt it and own it.

What do you wish more entrepreneurs knew about today’s changing marketplace?

I wish they would spend more time actually researching than copying and wasting endless time doing idle and non-income generating activities. Behaviors are changing. The spending power of your ideal clients is changing. Algorithms on all the social platforms you are using are changing.

What is the next step for you in 2018?

I want to have intentional positioning. This will include focussing on my visibility cure show and collaborating with industry veterans.

5 Innovative Initiatives Transforming Education in Africa

We live in exciting times where our daily lives are dominated by innovation. The education landscape is also gradually changing as new inventions and new ways of teaching become the norm.

It’s worth noting that innovation does not only mean technology, but it encompasses any creative, new way of doing things.

If it improves learning, processes, and systems, or solves a real problem, then it is innovation.

We want to highlight some of the ways in which creativity has been applied to solve some of these plaguing educational issues, across the African continent. They include:

  • High and unaffordable fees.
  • Lack of access to learning material for pupils.

Maths Meets Hip-Hop

One of the biggest flaws in the education system is the assumption that all children learn in the same way. A single, age-old learning method of sitting behind a desk and absorbing facts and numbers is still used across the world.

While this technique works for some learners, it does a disservice to others, who are left feeling academically inadequate.

A maths teacher in Cape Town is turning the traditional teaching method on its head.  He is using rap music to help learners remember their multiplication tables.

Kurt Minnaar, a former hip-hop dancer, and choreographer has creatively come up with a system of turning maths concepts and numbers into hip-hop lyrics – a language that his grade 8 learners understand very well.

“There are four types of learning methodologies – kinaesthetic, visual, audible and the traditional reading and writing.

Kinaesthetic learning is when pupils learn through movement; visual through sight; audible through what they hear and the traditional reading and writing method is when pupils are more independent and able to learn in the traditional sense,” the Cape Town teacher explains.

“When you fuse creativity into lessons, you cater to more pupils, and more will understand because now you’re speaking their language.

Whereas if I just ‘chalk and talk’ and stand there in front of a class, it predominantly only caters to one type of pupil, who is also in the minority.”

Minnaar used to struggle with maths in school. At the time, he thought he was incapable of grasping the complexities of the subject but later realized he needed a different way of learning.

He says his students are incessantly in a cheerful mood as they come to class eager to break it down into his rhymes. The pupils’ marks have also improved, says Minnaar.

 

Mobile Schools

In some parts of Africa, the tradition of nomadic pastoralism is still alive. People move from one location to another in search of grazing lands for their livestock.

For children who grow up in such families, the on-the-go lifestyle proves to be a barrier to education as they struggle to attend school regularly.

Fortunately, for some nomadic school children in Kenya, access to education has become easier as they can now move around with their school!

In 2010, the Kenyan government joined forces with UNICEF to launch mobile schools which brought education to learners whose families had to relocate frequently in order to survive. As part of the initiative, teachers now live and travel with the nomadic groups, setting up tents and temporary schools.

The mobile schools normally plan their calendar around rainfall patterns. Most of the learning takes place during the rainy seasons when children do not have a lot of household chores.

Crowdfunding Fees with Feenix

The #FeesMustFall protests in South Africa shone a glaring spotlight on the issue of the rising costs of education.  Many students are struggling to pay for their tertiary education.

In an effort to help students, who cannot afford high university fees, crowdfunding initiatives have mushroomed.

Feenix.org is an online platform which allows donors to donate money to students registered on the site. 1068 Live student profiles have been uploaded onto the platform which features their biographies and fees statements.

Once a profile has been verified it, and the fees needed, becomes visible to anyone who visits the site. With the minimum donation set at R100 (USD $7.5) anyone is welcome to make a donation.  85 Students have been fully funded since this initiative started.

Up to date, R4.3 million has been raised by 744 funders (of which consists both individual and business funding).  Donors are also required to upload their information and go through a verification process.

E-learning is Growing 

Technology is transforming education in Africa at an unprecedented rate. With the rapid growth of mobile learning, the e-learning market is set to be worth well over US $530 million by 2018.

E-learning is not only helping students learn better, but it is also giving underprivileged learners inexpensive access to educational content.

In Kenya, adoption of e-learning is happening at an impressive rate.  Schools in low-income areas are using technology to boost their learning. In Nairobi’s Kawangware area, students are using eLimu, an app for primary school learners to learn and revise for their exams.

The platform contains educational content in the form of locally produced and culturally relevant videos, animations, songs, music, games, and quizzes to improve learning.

One of the other successful e-learning platforms in Kenya is Kytabu, a textbook subscription platform that provides low-cost digitalized books to millions of students.

Kytabu allows users to rent textbooks, chapters, and pages on a low-cost Android app and pay with M-Pesa, the successful East African mobile money transfer service.

Learning Through Robotics 

Ghanaian company, Metro Institute of Innovation and Technology (MIT), offers school children training in robotics and mobile app development.  Their aim is to promote science and entrepreneurship in this way.

The company applies innovative ways to introduce technology to learners and help enhance their learning.

Offering lessons to children of all ages, MIT established the National Robotics Summer School.  Attending this school, learners can take their science skills to the next level by programming robots and designing games.

“We’re trying to use robotics as a tool to inspire the study of science and maths, to relate classroom theories using robots so that if we’re talking about a scientific principle, they [the learners] shouldn’t just memorize the facts,” explains Ben Nortey, Founder, and CEO of MIT.


Jobs – Digital content associate

She Leads Africa believes in the power of young African women to build amazing careers and businesses, serve as community leaders and influencers, and eventually take over the world.

Our #MotherlandMoguls, as we affectionately call them, are the reason we exist and expanding – to provide them with more inspiring and educational content to help them live their best lives.
We’re looking for a digital content expert who’d like to join our dream team in building She Leads Africa into the number one destination for smart and ambitious African women.
This role is only open in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa only.

Reporting Structure: The Digital Content Associate will report to the Head of Content. They will also be responsible for managing a team of 2-3 fellows and additional staff related to large events or campaigns.

Responsibilities:

  • Be proactive about ensuring that SLA is a part of important conversations related to African women, business, career, and life
  • Grow the number of Facebook and Twitter followers, and page engagement
  • Lead weekly strategic meetings on content direction on SLA’s social media platforms
  • Establish and deliver community engagement goals on a weekly and monthly basis
  • Utilize data and analytics to drive decision making and advise social content and editorial decisions
  • Oversee social content production and editing every week
  • Develop new concepts and series for the community and seek out contributors
  • Listen to our users and encouraging dialogue on our platforms

Requirements:

The ideal candidates will have an interest in building, growing and scaling communities. You don’t have to have official work experience doing this kind of work but we want someone who is passionate about digital content and can learn quickly.
If this role is for you, you’ll be excited to work in a fast-paced environment and committed to working until the job is done.

Specific requirements include:

  • Intellectual curiosity and an interest in learning new skills
  • Excellent English writing skills and the ability to adopt and change your style of writing
  • Experience in building and growing communities across markets using a variety of content, marketing, and partnership strategies
  • Knowledge of digital marketing strategies
  • Social media savvy and being up to date on current trends
  • Able to deliver on metrics-driven results and an understanding of analytics
  • Graphic design and video editing skills are a major plus

Benefits:

  • Entry level salary with commission
  • Opportunity to travel across Africa and interact with Africa’s leading voices and entrepreneurs
  • Work with a moderately fun team who’s just tryna change lives and help women get that schmoney.

Applications close on December 10, 2017.

Submit your application materials here:

Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to contact everyone who applies. We will not be able to answer additional questions via email.

Blogger’s delight: Lee Litumbe of Spirited Pursuit

Lee Litumbe Spirited Pursuit

As the face and voice behind the popular travel and lifestyle website Spirited Pursuit, Lee Litumbe’s mission is simple: she is in spirited pursuit of travel, adventure, and new cultural experiences. Founded in 2014, Spirited Pursuit showcases dynamic travel stories, captivating photography, and curated city guides from culturally rich destinations. Geared towards curious and adventurous individuals seeking authentic experiences, Spirited Pursuit is quickly becoming the premier inspiration site for travelers.

As a visual storyteller, Lee uses photography to shape poignant narratives centered around cultural immersion and travel experiences off-the-beaten track. Driven by Lee’s Cameroonian roots, Spirited Pursuit’s primary region of focus is Africa. Other current geographic focuses include The Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, with some additional coverage of Europe and North America. Accolades garnered include features in USA Today, The Guardian, and Ebony magazine to name a few. Additionally, Elle Canada named Lee among the most “Inspiring Instagram Accounts that Make You Want to Travel”.

Lee Litumbe Spirited Pursuit

With a blog that features photography, travel, adventure, and cultural experiences from you and many around the world, what led you to start blogging?

To be honest, Spirited Pursuit was founded as a result of my quarter life crisis. The idea for the website began to develop after I turned 25 and realized I had no idea where my life was going. During that time, I was working a job I despised, struggling to salvage a dysfunctional relationship, and battling a severe bout of depression which all left me with dangerously low self-esteem.

After spending several months curled up in bed feeling sorry for myself, my two older sisters encouraged me to get off my ass and get back to doing the things I love: traveling, taking photographs, writing, and just being creative.

Those passions combined with my desire to provide a platform for others to share their transformative experiences and stories with travel are what ultimately drove me to create Spirited Pursuit. The website now serves as my creative outlet, which has given my life a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

As seen on your blog, you are also a photographer, and a model. How have these hidden treasures furthered the success of your brand?

I think it just comes down to others seeing themselves in what you do. African (black) women are rarely used in major travel campaigns, so it’s a conscious choice to use myself as the face of my projects.

I want other young black girls and women to be able to see themselves traveling and being adventurous, while also giving readers the opportunity to connect with a real person. By using myself and my unique set of skills to capture destinations, I believe it makes my stories more relatable and attainable. It further demonstrates to my readers that if I – a young solo female traveler – can do it, so can they.Lee Litumbe Spirited Pursuit

Although I use myself as a subject, the narratives I produce always focus more on the place and experience, not so much me.

Have you been able to monetize Spirited Pursuit? If so, through what avenues? If not, do you have plans to do so or are you not interested in monetizing?

Spirited Pursuit began as (and still is) my labor of love, so initially there was no financial motivation. Early on, I made the difficult decision to keep our digital space ad free to maintain a positive user experience, choosing to accept donations at the discretion of our readers instead.

However, as the platform continues to see tremendous growth, I’ve opened up collaboration and partnership opportunities to like-minded brands, tourism boards, and publishers that are interested in promoting powerful travel opportunities to our community through creative advertising. I also separately offer my creative services (content curation/creation, creative direction, consulting, photography, and writing) to other brands interested in elevating the quality of their digital content.

Pursuing earnings without compromising my reader experience is important to me. I am consistently working towards finding a balance between keeping the lights on and maintaining a quality, minimally compromised, user experience.Lee Litumbe Spirited Pursuit What are your plans for Spirited Pursuit? Where do you want to take the blog/ brand in the future?

The goal is more travel, more stories and more inspiration – particularly within Africa and the African Diaspora. I’m passionate about building a community and platform that takes the anxiety out of traveling to Africa by creating informative and inspiring resources and guides. By curating content that shows others that Africa is not defined by the poverty, conflict, disease, and socio-political issues constantly being projected in traditional media, my ultimate goal is to attract more investment and tourism.

And by attracting investment, I mean compelling and propelling business opportunities within the continent, not just charity. Beyond that, I’d much rather show you than tell you, so please stay tuned for what’s next for Spirited Pursuit and me. Lee Litumbe Spirited Pursuit

What advice, would you have for African women looking to further their brand through blogging or social media?

The best advice I would give to others would be to speak on a topic they truly love and are passionate about; mostly because you’ll need that passion to stay motivated when things get hard (which they will) or uninspiring. If your goal is to build a large audience, focus on producing quality and original content consistently.

The people you hope to connect with will naturally gravitate towards your work if it’s genuine and honest, so don’t lead with trying to make money or being “popular”. I would also encourage others to add value to the lives of their audience by solving a problem they might have, while being as creative and original as possible in the execution of their ideas.

Finally, be sure to support others – particularly women. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my journey is that another woman’s success is not my failure. Your win is my win, and my win is your win. Instead of viewing other women as competition, reach out and build relationships with them so they become allies; there is enough room for everyone to succeed. Be kind and uplift others, I believe it will take you much further.


Enjoyed Lee’s insights? Share your thoughts and comments below. Have a favorite blogger you want us to profile? Drop us a line.

Beginner’s guide to marketing to an African audience

marketing in africa

Now is a good time to become a game changer. Social media has allowed the world to get a cultural peak into the diversity of African culture. From Azonto music to African films, many African media outlets are re-branding Africa’s image to the world.

Social media has given us the global platform to have unfiltered control over our own images (no pun intended) and build meaningful connections with those who are like-minded. Take advantage of the global opportunities that the internet has to offer.

Working within the field of marketing is based off of the relationships and connections that you build with others. When others see that you are of value to them in some capacity, they are more inclined to support you.

Content is king (or queen)!

Your content must reflect your values. If your mission statement says that you believe in high quality, but your social media images look like your little cousin Kofi took them, nobody believes you. High quality photos are non-negotiable.

The majority of your digital audience will most-likely have smartphones, if they can take semi-professional looking photos with them, at the very least, you can do the same. About 55% of online users leave a website within the first 15 seconds, this leaves little time to make a great first impression.

You should always “sweat the small stuff”. Have an eye for detail. Putting elements of your personality into your marketing strategy sets you apart from the rest. It shows a level of creativity that no one else can effectively duplicate because there is only on you.

Engage with your audience

You have to tap into your audience’s needs on an emotional level. You must engage with your audience so that they feel connected to your brand; this is how brand loyalty is developed. Take the time to define who your target audience is and create content that is relevant to them.

Be as personal as possible when addressing your audience, they need to know that they are valued. Implement nuances that remind them of their culture so that they feel a level of nostalgia and camaraderie in association with your brand. Allow your empathy to shine through. Show your core audience that you “get them.”

Please understand that social media for brands is really not about self-promotion but rather to engage with your audience and build trust. Brands should use their social media platform to learn about their customers needs and find solutions for them. When you are marketing, you are in the business of solving problems.

Social Media Week Lagos

It is imperative that you take the time to know and grow with your audience. In knowing their values, you can develop marketing strategies catering to their interests. Majority of online activity for many is done on a mobile device (i.e. tablet or smartphone).

Your website must be mobile friendly, responsive web design needs be integrated into your website.  Responsive web design is “a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).”  If visitors have to struggle and constantly scroll across the screen just to read a sentence, they will easily become annoyed and less likely to visit again.

Your website should be easy to navigate. If you are selling a product or asking visitors for donations on your homepage, visitors should not have to maneuver through three different webpages before finding the right button to click. People in the digital age are less patient, you have to find ways to accommodate that. I beg, “African time” need not apply in the digital world.

Create customer profiles

When marketing to an African audience, create a customer profile. A customer profile is just a detailed description about who your target customer is. Many marketing teams do this in order to make customer centered decisions that appeal to their target customer. The customer profile could include the following:

  •      Name
  •      Age
  •      Hobbies
  •      Where they live
  •      Favorite movies
  •      Goals and aspirations

In addition to the above, you can even google a picture of what your target customer would look like, be as visual and descriptive as possible. According to user experience researchers from Experience Solutions “most projects evolve from an idea, and grow through the opinions of influential members of the project team. The trouble is that these influential members of the project team are rarely the end user or customer.

This often results in a product or service that doesn’t quite meet customer expectations or needs…” Having a thorough customer profile serves as a reminder as to who your target audience is. You are more likely to accurately focus your branding strategies around their interests.

Make Google analytics your best friend

Make Google analytics your best friend. Google analytics is a free web service run by Google that tracks and reports your website traffic. You can use this tool to track the geographical location of your users, view which pages on your website they are visiting, the time of day that they visit the most, and a host of many other details.

In knowing how your audience moves, you can study trends and plan strategically. For example, if Google analytics shows that your blog has that highest amount of web traffic on Tuesday’s between 3-5pm, you may want to release new blog posts during that time. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that walk you through the process of using Google analytics.

Africa is not a country

Finally, marketing to an African audience requires significant research. Africa has over 50 countries, each of which has its own unique culture. A marketing strategy that works in Nigeria may not work in Kenya.

Collect data, analyze and respond accordingly. As long as you are working with a well-defined goal in mind, it is easier to establish your target audience and market to them effectively.

Have any other tips on marketing effectively to an African audience? Share them below.

 

4 simple ways to keep up on the digital inbound marketing trend

digital marketing trends

Are you interrupting your customers this year or are they on the hunt for you like a daily vitamin?

As you are trying to peacefully creep through the pages of Bella Naija, I mean do important research on the latest happenings around your entrepreneurial purists, the last thing you need are those pesky ads interrupting your research.

There are a few alternatives to those google ads and they call under the umbrella of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing practices have been taking over how we interact with users digitally. Inbound marketing is the ability to draw your customers to your site and products by creating highly engaging content. I emphasize to my clients – instead of interrupting users through traditional marketing methods, find other organic ways to flow into users’ day. .

Inbound practices are not only friendly to the user but they are economically friendly to entrepreneurs as well. It allows you to connect naturally to your users without spending a fortune on ads. Below are 4 effective ways to bring customers in.

1. Opt-in Emails

The lists built with care.

Your users visit your site and sign up to be apart of the greatness you have brewing. It’s an opt-in because they chose and verified that they wanted to receive that information from you.

It can be as simple as a “Sign up for our newsletter” box to the right or generously offering a free give away for signing up for your emailing list.

For example, if you’re a branding extraordinaire you may offer a quick and easy digital workbook in exchange for their information.  

Positive: Anyone that signed up for this emailing list is looking to have you there.

Difficulty: It takes time and strategic positioning to gather theses lists. You may have to form multiple partnerships with other entrepreneurs / businesses/ orgs to create visibility for yourself.

2. Thought Leadership

Are you an expert in your field? Do you have a niche area that you can speak about better than anyone else? Are you the new technology expert that’s going to tell me how solar powered refrigerators are going to change my life? Thought leadership has become the ultimate trend for entrepreneurs willing to share the best and most up to date information about their field.

Positive: Thought leadership opens doors for more speaking engagements and business opportunities because of your expertise.

Difficulty: You. Must. Be. Consistent. To whom much is given, much is required. Taking the step to being a thought leader, especially in a very in-demand field, requires consistency to remain relevant. If those refrigerators can suddenly teleport, I’m looking to you first to tell me why.

3. Blogs

A form of expressing the thought leadership are blogs! Start-ups to larger companies such as Price Water Coopers are utilizing the buzz. Potential customers, competitors and collaborators want to what you’re up to and where your interests lie. Fill them in.

Positive: It’s a quick and easy way to get the information to people that are already following your work.

Difficulty: There is a fine line between too little information and too much. People want to be engaged, educated and/ or entertained in a matter of a few minutes. One platform that I absolutely promote the utilization of is: Medium.com. A quick and easy platform that allows you to connect to fellow bloggers, business owners and politicians.

4. Community Building

My favorite building trend. Yes, I am shamelessly biased to this form of marketing. When you create a community, you create a space for your customers/ readers to feel engaged,included and connected.  This is the first market to sample that great item you have on display.

As your continuously building that tribe of people who are invested in your product and expertise, they give you the right to infiltrate their inbox. What will you do with that power?

Community building is also a great leverage when forming future partnerships. This community is your direct audience; this is a selling point when meeting with potential sponsors.  Who can they really reach by working with you?

In sum, goal setting and discipline are a few keys to success! Pick one that you haven’t started yet and add it to your already bubbling list of New Year resolutions. All of these items build on each other, but choosing one to focus on first will allow you to measure impact and what is and isn’t going well with how you engage your users.

Quick 1 Min Guide: Tips to quality, engaging social media content

Social Media

Are you looking to improving your business? How do you engage your audience online?  

Below are 7 tools SLA Cofounder, Afua Osei, shared on enhancing social media strategy at SheHive Accra 2016.

1. Determine the objectives of your business

How can social media meet the goals of your brand?

 

2. Choose the platform(s) for your target audience

social media explained

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

 

3. Conduct research to help you generate content

What hashtags, pictures, and or videos are trending?

 

4. Be consistent in your approach to branding

branding guidelines

Use the same format (font, colours, logos, etc.) and language to communicate to your community every time.

5. Develop material that is unique to your business

unique-really_o_1463341Be clear about who you are and what you are trying to accomplish.

 

6. Proactively interact with audience

You can use an app like Crowdfire to manage your subscribers and tag photos of followers that use your product/service.

 

7. Gather and analyze data from your social media to see if your strategy is working.

You can use analytics from Facebook, Twitter or platforms such as Iconosquare and Bitly.

Don’t vex: 10 must do’s for using social media for business

There is so much hype on using social media for business. Yet, many brands are not using it at all or many of those who are, are not getting it right. We’ve complied the basic must dos for all of us to revisit once more.

Thousands of businesses have taken to platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus to build a brand that’s accessible, lovable, and profitable. Instagram has proved to be an especially viable means of building a customer base for fashion brands. Think Orange Culture, Eve and Tribe, Shop Zuvaa, Iconola, Tzar Studios, and so on.

Social media gives you access to an enormous audience that could be converted to loyal customers if you play your cards right. Below are 10 steps that will help you dominate social media and harness its potential.

1. Know your why

Explore why your business is on social media and why you are on each specific platform. While social media allows you to build a relationship your audience, the nature of the relationship you have with your consumers is completely up to you.

Are you on social media to share relevant information to your industry, showcase your business products, establish yourself/business as an expert or some mix of them all? Whatever it is, knowing your ‘why’ is an imperative first step.

famous-characters-troll-face-y-u-no-guy-175149-png-1600x1200-1

2. Decide the best platforms for your business 

Use your why to inform the social media platforms you choose for your business. There are over 400 social media platforms currently active and it is impossible to be them all. What platforms do you think would be more beneficial for your business? Let’s dive into the benefits of a few: Instagram and Pinterest allow you to connect with audience on a visual and emotional level.

Google Plus helps with search engine rankings. LinkedIn is great for publicizing your company profile page or business resume. Ryze is a social network for businesses, may especially helpful for business to business (B2B) companies. Twitter, Facebook, Talkbizniw, Affluence, and Quora; the list is exhaustive.

Take time to study the benefits of each of these platforms then pick at most 3 of the those platforms for your business.

3. Develop a strategy

Wondering why 100 fashion bloggers are talking about the same shirt from a particular fashion brand at the same time? Well, it’s no coincidence. Welcome to the world of strategy – the ultimate key that unlocks opportunities for businesses.

To start, your key strategies must align with your company’s mission. While all of the elements listed below are part and parcel of doing the strategic work, it is important to understand that setting time aside to write our your overall social media strategy is a vital actionable step that stands alone.

Having a good social media strategy is essential for growth. Your strategy should include all of the elements listed below as well as data and feedback metrics. With a clear metrics for examining progress and growth, this work will be for naught.

maya-rudolph-thinking gif4. Get the timing right

Preparation + opportunity = success.

Opportunity is a function of time, and posting the right content at the right time makes a difference. On Facebook, post from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m any day for the highest average click through rate; 3 p.m. on Wednesdays is the peak time.

For Twitter, post from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. The peak times for LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus are 5 p.m. daily, 3 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays respectively.

5. Be human

Think of developing a well rounded person as you develop your brand on social media. You must clearly articulate your mission and choose consistent brand colors, style, and tone for all of your social media accounts.

Remember to show empathy in your branding, after all, there is a person on the end of the screen.

nicki-minaj-human-being6. Know what your audience wants and give it to them

As you begin to build your followers and audience, take the time to listen to them. Study the kind of posts they react to; which posts get the most comments? Which ones get the most likes?

Which of your social media pages does your audience constantly engage on? Are they creating content and visuals related to your product that you can repost. Social listening and data collection is crucial: once you provide your audience with what they want, they’ll stick around and tell others about you.

7. Use hashtags

As distracting as they appear to you, hashtags go a long way on social media. People are constantly searching for things, and correctly hashtag-ing your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, will put you on the radar and increase your visibility on search engines.

Use hashtags reasonably and strategically, and soon enough you’ll see the benefits.

8. Offer promotions, contests and discounts 

Everyone likes freebies in every shape and form. Giveaways, special offers, and discounts will get people to notice your brand.

Be clear on how every giveaway you host improves your business, helps you grow, or increases audience interaction and participation. In order to create a win-win situation, everything you do must also be beneficial to your brand.

oprah-you-get-a-car_55bef06bc164c8933

9. Link back to your website

Many people forget this step: don’t forget that social media is there to help improve your business and as such, people must know where to find you off social media.

Connect everything to your website so that your followers can actually make the purchase after you’ve done the work of building the relationship and converting them to loyal fans. Don’t just add your website link to your social media profiles; share that link with your audience intermittently as reminder.

10. Stick to the plan

Finally, it is so easy to fall off on social media as a tool to grow your business if you are not consistent with steps 1-9. But there only way to win in the long run is to be consistent.

As famous entrepreneur Jim Rohn accurately described: “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic principles”.

We would love to know – what are some social media tips that you apply to your brand?