The Power of Social Media

A single mother of 2 young kids, Kathy had been struggling to take care of her family’s needs. Her small business was not doing well and she was gradually sinking into a deep hole of debt. One day her friend Mary invited her to a women empowerment forum and she decided to attend, hoping that she would learn something to help her turn her life around. She could not believe what the speaker was talking about; that one can transform their finances by learning how to use social media to grow one’s business. Kathy was restless the whole night. She had struggled so much to build her business but it was as if she was losing ground by the day. By 3.00 a.m., she was up and seated at her old computer. She had not been paying much attention to the old computer since she was so busy struggling to make ends meet. Now it seemed like the neglected computer was going to open the doors of success for her. How can you leverage the power of the Internet to turn your finances around? In Business, there is power in Numbers Compare two businesses in the same sector; a large supermarket such as Nakumatt or Tuskys, and the small kiosk in your neighbourhood. Compare the numbers in terms of customers. How does that impact the success of these businesses? How much do big companies spend on advertising? Billboards along busy streets, TV/radio/newspaper/magazine advertising, etc. Can you build a big organization without reaching a large audience? How can you reach the big numbers without necessarily spending a lot of money? I often say that success is not handed to anyone on a silver platter. If you have to reach the big numbers without spending a prohibitive amount of money, you will need to put in the work. The Internet has already brought together a ready audience that you can engage, it means that your dream of reaching the numbers is not too far fetched. To capture at least a section of the online population, you need to begin with Personal Branding. This means that you will stand out as the expert in something. Begin by branding yourself professionally. These are components of a personal brand: * Professional Photo * Short resume * Give people value/post content through your posts * Be respectful in your online conversations * Genuinely care about people, talk less and listen more. Relationships are not just about you. People will trust you and cooperate with you when they know that you care * Gradually grow a following/fan base. Steve Harvey said that success is not like instant coffee, you’ve got to go through the process. Do not expect instant results. You have to build consistently and the results will surely come, but it will take time. Familiarize yourself with the different social media platforms. * Twitter * Facebook * LinkedIn * Google+ * Podcasts * Periscope * Instagram * Blog * Youtube * Snapchat Tips For Successful Use of Social Media Identify your target audience. Don’t just post with no particular audience in mind. What will you be posting in order to capture that target audience? The content you post should grab attention, be of high value, be engaging and shareable. Go beyond posting by engaging your audience. Like and respond to their comments. Post daily if possible but no less than three times every week in order not to lose your fans. Join the right online communities and socialize. Treat your time on on social media as being out in a party or like being out in a coffee house. Get to meet new people. Engage in conversations. Do not spam people/flash your business card in people’s faces left, right, front and back Show that you are a real person by engaging people and not just posting like a robot. Post content every day. Give people value and they will be attracted to you, find it a privilege to work with you. Conduct yourself online the way you conduct yourself in your day-to-day life. Imagine yourself at the bus stop. There are a number of people waiting at the bus stop too. You walk up to one person and the conversation goes something like this; ‘Hello. My name is Susan. I am a very good cook. I am inviting you to my house for dinner this evening…’ What results do you think you would get? Building relationships is the same everywhere, whether online or offline. Break the ice; ‘The weather is great today.’ ‘Those are great shoes you have over there.’ Communication is two-way; you cannot do all the talking and still build a relationship. Practice being a good listener and a good observer. God gave us two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason; use them in that order. Your success is up to you; it will take your commitment, dedication and consistency. People will take you seriously if you are consistent. Susan Catherine Keter is a Life and Health Coach with Trevo LLC, USA. Website: Cellphone: +254728999136

Financial Independence Africa

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