Celebrating Women of Worth

Celebrating Women of Worth

National Women’s Day in August gives us the opportunity to celebrate strong and worthy women. In this article I look at outstanding women from diverse backgrounds that share characteristics which make them inspiring leaders.  These common denominators include:  living their truth, empowering other women, survival, breaking the rules and activism.

 

1: Truth

“You will survive anything if you live your life from the point of view of truth.”Oprah Winfrey

Oprah built her mega-media empire on being curious, driven, communicative and honest. She’s well known in South Africa for being the founder of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She started the school to “Create that experience that I felt for myself, that sense of wonder that somebody cared about me that didn’t even know my name.” She’s spent over $140 million on the leadership academy in the last decade.

From earning 50c an hour babysitting to becoming the first black woman billionaire in history, Oprah garners global respect. She’s not always had it easy and many women can relate to her as she says, “My highest achievement: never shutting down my heart.” I particularly like her “One thing I Know for Sure” column, the content of which became a bestselling book.

 

you will survive anything if...

 

2: Empowering

“I have always wanted to start a digital channel that empowers people to create, act, become entrepreneurs or the best version of themselves.” Nokwazi Mzobe, Founder of Matoyana Media

Inspired by Shonda Rhimes’s book Year of Yes, South African author and Founder of Matoyana Business Solutions, Nokwazi Mzobe (in discussion with a close group of friends) decided to focus on a word to live by in 2018. The word she chose was fearless. This has led to the start of Matoyana Media; an offshoot of Nokwazi’s consulting business.

Matoyana Media launched in August 2018 with a digital campaign called Fearless Woman, featuring one video interview a day with an awesome, courageous South African woman. The interviews show women who are doing amazing things and finding ways to overcome their daily fears.  Nokwazi’s motivation is that by sharing women’s stories others will be inspired to act and not let fear hold them back from their potential and living their best lives.

empowered women

 

3: Survival

“Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

Anita Roddick will always have a special place in my realm of inspirational women. She founded The Body Shop back in 1976 and can be seen as the pioneer of ethical consumerism; with a cosmetics brand committed to providing people with natural and ethically produced products. She was also a human rights activist, environmental campaigner and had a knack for telling it like it is. In this candid interview she talks about the difference between men and women and how they are perceived in business:

“Until we stop measuring men or women as an entity of production, and start to measure people for the production of the human spirit, of which the family is important, we’re always going to have this sacrifice.”

She said in 2003 and things have changed, but perhaps not as much as they should have. Her book Body and Soul is still worth reading for any woman wanting to create a “livelihood” rather than a “business”.  entrepreneurship as a survival

4: Activism

“The rise of a female has a really loud bang.” Nomzamo Mbatha

As well as being an award winning actress, a representative for Puma SA and the face of Neutrogena, South Africa’s Nomzamo Mbatha is also the ambassador for the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC).

In keeping with her humanitarian work she’s been a spokesperson for The Lighthouse Foundation, which helps treat people dealing with suicide or battling with mental illness. Nomzamo’s Ground Six Productions also gives back to charities.

Voted as one of Forbes Africa Under 30 Creatives, her star is on the rise, see her on Cosmopolitan #TheActivismIssue’s August cover. In a TED Talk, Nomzamo explains that she supports refugees because she can be seen as one too. It’s refreshing to see a local celebrity using her talent for so much more than the limelight; I look forward to watching her rise.

the rise of female has a really loud bang

5: Break the Rules

“The more we can break the rules, the better off we’re going to be.” Indra Nooyi

Indian-American business executive, Indra Nooyi , was the Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world. After being the company’s top chief for 12 years and having been with the company for 24 years, Indra will step down on 3 October 2018. “As CEO, Nooyi grew revenue more than 80%, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year,” said PepsiCo board member Ian Cook the news of her stepping down was released.

How did Indra break the rules? She grew up in a socially conservative Indian city but climbed trees and played in a rock band. She continued to challenge the cultural, societal and gender norms of the day and went on to become the second  on Forbes’ list of Most Powerful Women in Business in 2017. She has many wise words to live by, but this quote particularly resonates with me, being in the marketing business:

“Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be more agile than anyone else.”

 

6: Just Plain Human

“Human beings are not like machines. Downtime is a feature. Taking time for a digital detox is essential.” Arianna Huffington

Did you know Arianna Huffington, as well as being the co-founder of Huffington Post, is a composer, songwriter and biographer of Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso? There’s a lot to respect right there, but her most groundbreaking message to women was encompassed in her book Thrive and now her start-up Thrive Global, dedicated to reducing stress and improving wellness.

Arianna and Thrive Global are working to revolutionise thinking and behaviour in terms of the culture of business (and burn out), lack of sleep, addiction to technology and more.  She encourages us to turn off our laptops, switch off our smartphones and take a much needed digital detox. I’m proud to say at Prana we do the same.

 

 

Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting

About Prana Business Consulting

Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business.  Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.

Email: info@pranabusinessconsulting.com

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796

Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / LinkedIn

 

Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting and has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses. Jainita’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses. Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on various marketing related topics.
7 Customer Engagement Strategies That Marketers Can’t Omit

7 Customer Engagement Strategies That Marketers Can’t Omit

Customer engagement today is very different than that of the past. Today, people have a lot of choices when it comes to the number of interaction mediums due to the large number of technological advancements, and customers expect brands to anticipate and meet their needs in real time.

Let’s ask the most difficult question – how does a brand go about engaging a modern consumer?

The customer experience is about so much more than just the sales journey — it’s about feeling heard, getting answers to questions, having problems fixed, and feeling a connection to the brand. In addition to marketing and customer service, brands need to be thinking in terms of customer engagement.

 

What is Customer Engagement?

Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty.

Businesses that focus on customer engagement are focused on value creation, not revenue extraction. They give people something meaningful beyond a sales pitch: a brilliant end-to-end customer experience, great content, or interactive, real-time customer support.

Customer Engagement Statistics

Here are some customer engagement statistics that might explain why so much focus is being put on engaging customers:

  • “Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies.” – Aberdeen
  • “Customers who are fully engaged represent 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer.” – Gallup
  • “58% of executives reported not having a formal customer engagement program in place, and 60% didn’t know how many customers they’d lost over the past year.” – Convero
  • “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.” – McKinsey
  • “Only 25% of Millennials are fully engaged customers, and their engagement is highly dependent on technology. In order to attain their attention brands much achieve excellence in every channel.” – Gallup

 

Here are seven customer engagement strategies that can build a loyal customer following:

  1. Listen to Your Customers

Mobile apps give companies amazing opportunities to learn more about their customers. Using surveys consistently will allow you to get feedback from your customers, which you can then use to improve your offerings. And though you might not like to hear it, negative feedback is the most valuable because it shows you where you can make changes to better engage your customers. The key is not to just gather the data. You have to act on it.

 

  1. Embrace the Omni-Channel Concept

Customers connect with companies via different channels. They have a wide range of channels to choose from and few use just one channel. For example, a customer might start with the brand’s print catalogue, graduate to the brick-and-mortar shop and make the final purchase online. This is the way the consumer operates today and you need to align with their needs, which means offering them multiple channels and an excellent experience across all of them.

  1. Get Involved

Regardless of the platform you use, you need to get involved. Don’t just talk at people, bombarding them with promotional messages all the time. Actually engage in conversations with them. Listen to their problems and learn from those issues. And respond. By responding, you show your customers you care, which can go a long way towards building that ever-important loyalty. Looming over your customers like a faceless corporation will not win you any brownie points, so get involved in the conversation.

  1. Engage them on social media and other online platforms

What’s the best way to get up close and personal with a customer? It’s on social media. Tag them, call them out, thank them, or offer them something to catch their attention. Not just on social media, use other online platforms and communities like Yelp.

But wait, don’t stop there! Share customer reviews and testimonials on your own social media pages to give attention to them.

  1. Use a Rewards or Loyalty Program to Charm Your Audience

There’s one thing everyone wants to get in on – rewards! Just the mention of the word lightens up the mood. And, people love it if they get something in return for their actions. Why not supplement your efforts by having a rewards or loyalty program in place? It’s a sure-fire way to increase engagement!

Host an Event and Invite Your Audience for Exciting Activities

Most companies perform some level of market research about their audience, mostly for marketing campaigns. Why not use that to host your own little event with only your audience as the attendees? It will make them feel special, and show them that you really care about them. Give your VIP customers personalized passes they can use to enter the venue, and then have someone greet them to offer them a taste of royalty.

  1. Invest in Employees

Your staff is your most important asset. The more qualified and experienced they are, the better they will be at engaging with your customers. And you need to promote a culture of engagement that focuses on creating an outstanding customer experience so that everyone in your organisation is on the same page.

  1. Use Customer Data Effectively

Relevant customer information is vital because you can use it to develop other strategies to engage your customers – ones that are tailored to your target market, which will make them even more effective. You should analyse customer behaviour and demographics. Don’t assume you know your customer because the reality might be starkly different to your perception. If you don’t conduct an analysis, you will end up making mistakes that will cost you in the long run.

Use all the tools at your disposal, from customer engagement measuring software to customer satisfaction survey tools, to get an accurate picture of your customers and what they want or need. The more information you have, including customer engagement metrics, the better able you will be to craft and implement effective customer engagement strategies.

Engaging customers is not as easy as it sounds. You have to connect with your audience on a much deeper level emotionally and build trust. Most importantly, it’s about going out of the way for them. We at Prana hope the above customer engagement ideas and strategies help your brand engage audiences of all sizes.

Reference:

https://www.ameyo.com/blog/customer-engagement-strategies
https://www.yotpo.com/blog/the-indispensable-list-of-new-customer-engagement-strategies/

https://www.getcloudcherry.com/blog/customer-engagement-strategies/

Top 10 Customer Engagement Strategies

https://www.outbrain.com/blog/3-golden-customer-engagement-strategies-that-marketers-cant-ignore/

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .
The Mix of Psychology and Marketing

The Mix of Psychology and Marketing

Across radio, print, web TV, and mobile, marketers invest advertising dollars, creative energy and time into targeted messages meant to trigger an emotional response among consumers. For their efforts, marketers hope they may improve the general sentiment towards their brand, convince new audiences to buy their product and encourage existing customers to complete repeat purchases. Their success, of course, is contingent on their ability to influence customer behaviours which makes doing marketing an exercise in consumer psychology.

The influential role of emotion in consumer behaviour is well documented:

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences), rather than information (brand attributes, features, and facts).
  • Advertising research reveals that the consumer’s emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on their reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content — by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials and 2-to-1 for print ads.
  • Research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.
  • Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on a brand’s attributes.

Emotions are the primary reason why consumers prefer brand-name products. After all, many of the products we buy are available as generic and store brands with the same ingredients and at cheaper prices.

Advertising companies use psychological tactics to get buyers to fall for their trap and buy their goods or service. So, it makes us curious: what truly influences buyer’s decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? Here are three techniques marketing agencies use to influence human behaviour.

Priming

Some call it subliminal advertising, some just call it influence. I like to call it priming. Priming happens when you are exposed to one stimulus, and it affects how you respond to another stimulus. Here is an example o

f priming.

Imagine an advertisement for a gel that elevates joint pain. This ad shows middle aged people experiencing lower back pain symptoms, having difficulty with activities requiring manual dexterity, etc. At the conscious level, this ad will be most effective when viewed by people experiencing the exact symptoms described; indeed, advertisers try to target examples that resonate with the maximum number of viewers. One can also speculate, though, that there’s also priming effect happening. As all viewers watch the images of struggling middle age actors, they will identify in some tiny way with what’s on the screen. To the extent that the message resonates with these viewers (e.g., showing images of youthful vigour returning after using the pain relief gel), the company may be effectively reaching a wider market than middle aged people with back or joint pain.

 

What’s this got to do with marketing? Well, lots. Using subtle priming techniques, you could help your website visitors remember key information about your brand and maybe even influence their buying behaviour. If you give customers or visitors a favourable impression of you and your business, they will keep coming back. There is a reason that supermarkets have flowers in the front of the store. Flowers have a positive association that reminds people of freshness. This is something consumers see every day that they don’t even notice. The goal of priming is to influence the person, in this case the consumer to start thinking about the product in a certain way and to keep them coming back to a website or place.

 

 

Social Proof

The next technique advertising agencies use is social proof. Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation. Everyone wants to be a part of the “in-crowd.” People follow the leader. No one is dancing at a wedding until the first group of people do, and then everyone joins in. If you hear that people are camping out overnight to get the latest I-Phone, that makes more people want to get that it. The restaurant that if fully booked for months on end is the restaurant people want to check out.

Social proof influences our actions. Social proof makes things easier to buy because it builds trust. An example of how social proof works is with social sharing and follow buttons that display the number of followers your accounts have or the number of shares a piece of content has. People see that others have already shared your content so they feel more confident in sharing it themselves because they trust the content is quality. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool. Most people who get a recommendation from a friend or family member will trust that recommendation.

Scarcity

I was at Dion Weird recently at the Blue Carpet Sale looking at the Mac Book Air 13 and talking to an Apple sales representative. I wasn’t 100 percent sold on buying this because of the price so I said “I’m going to shop around.” The sales rep quickly said “well that’s the last in stock at that sale price,” like the world was going to end. Scarcity is part of a simple principle called supply and demand. The more rare the opportunity, content, or product is, the more valuable it is. This sales rep wanted me to buy the Mac Book Air they had in stock because it would be the best price and me saving a R1000.

Companies use scarcity to get customers to buy all the time. On Take a lot do you ever notice Shop our amazing deals every day and get up to 60% off. Fast …” That’s a psychological technique that makes buyers want an item even more than normal. Everyone wants the last one. A tip to consumers would be don’t lose sleep over not getting the last of any product or brand. There are deals every day online through various website. Don’t be deceived.

 

These three tactics are used every day by companies, so the next time you’re shopping, take a look around and ask yourself “why am I buying that?” You might be surprised at the answer.

 

 

Reference:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3032675/5-psychological-tactics-marketers-use-to-influence-consumer-behavior

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282071

http://justcreative.com/2016/07/27/5-psychological-tactics-to-influence-consumers/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-the-consumer-mind/201302/how-emotions-influence-what-we-buy

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .
Create the Perfect Online PR

Create the Perfect Online PR

We are living in a new age of influence.

An age where news break around the world in seconds and citizen journalism is on the rise. An era when the majority of the world’s population has now plugged-in to a powerful online platform and where the continuous stream of new content and opinions flow like a river after the floods.

We are living in a time when one word – the internet – stands as the most significant revolution in communication history.

It is now a question of whether or not your business is keeping up to speed with the online metamorphosis.

 

What’s the difference between online PR and offline PR?

 

Public relations now has the ability to drive sales and growth and ultimately, revenue through more platforms than ever before.

 

So let’s define online PR: this involves activities fitted towards influencing media, audiences and communities that exist exclusively on the Internet using online channels. This includes blogs, search engines, news search, forums, social networks, discussion threads, and other online communication tools. Brand reputation monitoring and management is also a focus area for online PR.

Offline PR handles the same things except with radio, print, TV, conferences/events and other “real life” venues. One difference between online and offline PR is in pitching. For example, before pitching a print journalist, the publication’s editorial calendar is researched to see if there are any planned story opportunities. The subsequent pitch is specific to the upcoming story.

 

Regardless of the medium or the pace at which technology changes, the traditional principles of online public relations will continue to remain the same.

The more PR you do, greater potential for even greater media exposure

PR is not just media relations

  • “doing outreach” itself is PR
  • Other PR examples include:
    • Special Events
    • Special Promotions
    • Public Affairs
    • Internal Relations
    • Community Relations
    • High Tech PR: blogging, social networking

 

 

In order to get individuals to hear you, you must prompt many important influencers that your business, its services or products are worth their time to consider.

 

Listen, Create and Engage with audiences

 

 

Step one: Listen

The first step to successful online public relations is to listen. A business must listen to and monitor what is being said about their company, product or brand online, who is driving these conversations and where these conversations are being held. This research will provide a solid foundation for effective online communications. This ground work is vital in giving your company confidence to enter online conversations with the right content, in the appropriate space, to the correct audience.

Step two: Create
Create relevant content to post online. Regardless of the platform or technology a company decides to use, every piece of information posted by your company online must be relevant and of interest to the target audience. Fresh and new content will draw people continuously back to your company’s blog, website and social media pages. This will assist in raising your company or brand’s profile while also establishing your company as a thought leader in your chosen area of interest.

Step 3: Engage

The most important, a company needs to view online communication as a process of continuous engagement. Without interaction, social media tools can quickly become another broadcasting mechanism. Interact with others online by commenting on blog posts, replying to followers on Twitter, entering forum discussions and responding to tags. Make sure when engaging online to be personable in your approach. Any hint of a ‘sales pitch’ will be easily identified and your company’s presence on the social media platform may be hindered as a result.
The highly interactive world of the Internet has its obvious advantages and disadvantages, so any digital PR strategy requires careful consideration. But with the ability to listen and react to conversations, engage with consumers, provide compelling content and exploit new visibility avenues, the benefits are incredibly far-reaching.

 

References:

https://cuttingedgepr.com/free-articles/core-pr-skills/10-reasons-pr-matters/

https://www.inc.com/murray-newlands/why-public-relations-is-important-for-your-business.html

http://www.mintcandy.co.uk/importance-benefits-digital-pr/

https://www.smartinsights.com/online-pr/

https://www.aps.org/programs/outreach/guide/pr/importance.cfm

http://www.toprankblog.com/2006/04/tips-for-online-pr/ 

http://www.prmrinc.net/blog/the-role-of-public-relations-in-the-digital-age

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .

 

Facebook’s Latest Changes, Impact Influencers and the Future of Social Media Marketing.

Facebook’s Latest Changes, Impact Influencers and the Future of Social Media Marketing.

On January 11th 2018, Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world when he announced Facebook will change its algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news. Soon after twitter news feeds flooded with headlines like:

Facebook Shares Fall”, “Facebook Is Changing”

“Zuckerburg’s Net Worth Has Just Taken A 2.9 Billion Dollar Hit.”

Over the next few weeks, Facebook’s news feed will start showing fewer news articles, and less marketing content and ads, Zuckerberg wrote . Instead, users should start seeing more vacation videos from their friends, photos of family living abroad, and other more family-friendly posts about the people they know. It’s a major change for Facebook, which over the years has shifted from being a social networking service connecting friends and family to one of the world’s largest distributors of news and online ads.

So Why is Facebook changing its news feed?

To hear Zuckerberg explain it, the increase in news articles and marketing has created an imbalance that “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” Based on Facebook’s internal research and outside studies, he said that people are generally happier and have a better “well-being” when they use social media to connect “with people we care about.” What “may not be as good,” however, is merely “reading articles or watching videos,” even if they’re informative or entertaining.

Zuckerberg says Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”. In November, the company published a post that claimed “passive” social media use could be harmful, arguing instead for a more active and communal approach to the site.

As a result, Zuckerberg says, Facebook wants to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.

Some of The controversies Facebook has faced in recent years over its relationship with the news industry. For example, critics slammed Facebook (FB, +3.17%) for failing to prevent the spread of misinformation, dubbed fake news, on the news feed during the run up to the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

The change will bring Facebook other benefits. By diminishing the influence of news media, it may be able to avoid a repeat of the bad press it received during the 2016 US election when it became a breeding ground for “fake news”, helping spread stories that misled millions.

And the company has long displayed concern over the decline in “organic sharing” – users posting content about their own lives, rather than simply sharing links to the wider web or professionally produced videos and photos. Users are more likely to share details about their own lives if they see others doing the same, and so promoting organic content begets more organic content.

 

Did Facebook do something like this before?

In December 2013, Facebook changed its algorithm to promote “high-quality articles” over “a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook”. In the process, it also took aim at publishers who produced content that was too appealing. The social news site Upworthy saw its traffic halve in the month after the algorithm change, a decline it has never quite recovered from.

Similar changes have happened over the years as Facebook decided to focus on promoting “instant articles”, a type of Facebook native content; to pivot to promoting video; to pivot from video to live video; and to pivot from live video to Facebook groups, the company’s most recent attempt to build a stronger sense of community.

 

How will Facebook’s News Feed change affect your business?

 

Zuckerberg explains. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Although this news may be surprising to some people, in reality, organic reach from Facebook Pages has been steadily declining for years. Some sources estimate the current organic reach for Facebook Pages to be as low as 2% (Hubspot).

To put this in context, if you publish a post on a Facebook Page that has 100,000 fans, only 2,000 of those fans are likely to see it.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. As Zuckerberg explained, Facebook users generally don’t log in to Facebook to see content from businesses, brands, and media. They want to see posts from their friends and family.
  2. Facebook’s main source of revenue comes from advertisers. If you’re a business with a Facebook Page, and you want more Facebook users to see your content, you have to pay for that privilege.

It’s also possible that the number of hours people have been using Facebook is declining, and the company is trying to adjust the news feed to get people to stay online for longer than they have been, according to Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser. He analysed Nielsen data about Facebook’s online audience over a 14-month period ending Sept. 2017, and found a small, but general decline in people’s use of Facebook. The report said that “Facebook (including Messenger but excluding Instagram) saw a decline in total person-hours (number of users multiplied by hours of consumption per person) during September of -0.1% year-over-year following a -0.9% decline in August.”

 

Facebook is about to get more costly
With Facebook clamping down on media within the news feed, these executives have legitimate concerns that it could impact how much money publishers can make from custom and sponsored videos. For instance, the cost models for branded content will likely change. It will cost more to run paid campaigns to seed videos in front of users in the news feed, which will cut into profit margins of every business.

 

 

Here are 6 tips to help you become accustomed to this change and continue to build a blossoming business in 2018:

 

1.Build your audience on multiple platforms.

 If you’re building your audience online, make sure you that you’re diversifying that audience across multiple platforms. Our audience on social media, for example, is spread across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. If any of these platforms decided to restrict our reach (or shut down entirely), it wouldn’t be detrimental to us because we’re not relying on any single one of them to reach our audience.

 

2. Encourage engagement on your posts.

Facebook favours posts that are getting lots of engagement (likes, shares, reactions, comments). So if you encourage your audience to engage with your post, Facebook will show that post to more people.

Here are a few ways to boost engagement on Facebook:

  • Use Facebook Live
  • Ask questions to stir discussion
  • Respond to comments quickly
  • Hire a community manager (Depending on the size of your audience and the amount of engagement you get on Facebook, you may want to hire a community manager to respond to questions, participate in discussions, and moderate comments when necessary.)
  • Direct people to your Facebook posts from other platforms

3. Use Facebook ads the Correct Way.

If you’re posting content on your Facebook Page often, wait at least 24-48 hours to see which of your posts get good engagement. Use Facebook’s boost post option to help a post that is already getting engagement get even more engagement.

If you boost a post that no one is engaging with, you will be penalized with high ad costs. Boosted posts and ads that add value to your target audience and get engagement will outperform ads that don’t. Going straight for the sale on Facebook rarely works. Instead, direct your audience to free content, downloadable resources, webinars, etc. Get them off of Facebook and on to a platform that you control (like your website or email list) before you try to sell to them.

 

4. Create a Facebook Group for your audience.            

Instead of trying to get more fans for your Facebook Page, create a private Facebook Group for your audience and/or customers and start directing people to your group instead. Groups are much better environments than pages for engaging with others and building community anyway.

 

5. Build an asset that you can control.

Despite how much of a presence you establish for your business on social media, it’s important to remember that you do not own or control these platforms. Therefore, changes are beyond your control (like the one that just happened!) can affect your ability to reach your audience using these platforms.

As you build your audience on social media, make sure you are simultaneously building an asset that you can control: your database. Whether by collecting email addresses, phone numbers, or even physical mailing addresses, always be building a database of prospects and customers that you can contact directly.

 

6. Focus on customer success.            

Lastly, never lose sight of what should be your uttermost important priority: helping your customers succeed.

Successful customers are happy customers, and happy customers tell other people about your business. They become your biggest advocates. Word-of-mouth marketing is alive and strong, especially on social media.

Instead of asking: how can you reach more people using Facebook? Ask: what can you do to make your existing customers more successful? How can you make sure they’re getting the result you promised them when they purchased your product or service? How can you make them feel support and a part of a community of like-minded people that share the same interests and want the same results?

 

As for me, I believe this announcement means that the need to build a true community on Facebook will be more beneficial than ever.

Although this change is going to affect marketing strategies everywhere, the industry as a whole should embrace and mirror the efforts Facebook is making to continually satisfy their customers. Content marketers and people who can create engaging video and content for social media just went up in stock value BIG TIME.

This is also great news for chatbots… They allow brands to create that individualised experience that Facebook is looking to provide.

So, if you’re an advertiser, here’s what you need to do capitalize on these changes:

  1. Don’t panic or get annoyed. Remember that this change is happening to everyone at the same time, so be appreciative for the opportunity it creates.
  2. Optimize for Likes and Shares, again, not clicks. (The “sale” can come later with custom audience retargeting.)
  3. Invest in communities (i.e. Facebook Groups). Like all channels that are originally built on the back of early direct response pioneers, Facebook is making the pivot toward branding.

 

This is not the first time that Facebook (or any other platform that people use and rely on) has made a momentous change, and it won’t be the final. As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus famously said: “The only thing that is constant is change.”

 

 

References:

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/01/12/facebook-news-feed-changes

https://digiday.com/media/facebook-news-feed-changes-will-impact-publishers-branded-content-revenue/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/keenanbeasley/2018/01/15/how-facebooks-latest-changes-impact-influencers-businesses-the-future-of-social-media-marketing/#543c22301798

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/12/why-facebooks-news-feed-changing-how-will-affect-you

https://www.thinkific.com/resources/facebook-newsfeed-change-2018/

 

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .