Microblogging an important message to businesses

By Bizclik Editor

Increasingly businesses are finding it imperative to stay on top of advances in the digital world if they are to keep one step ahead of their competition.

The Social Media explosion has created a whole new marketing platform which is much more immediate and capable of reaching far more customers in just seconds.

Microblogging is one of a range of new social media tools companies can utilise to communicate with their customers, partners and staff, and ultimately translate into some tangible business results.

Mike Saunders, Chief Executive Officer, of digital marketing agency Digitlab, said more and more businesses across South Africa, the continent and the globe are engaging with social media networks.

He said: “What businesses are starting to realise is that people don’t live just a virtual life or a physical life it is a combination of them both and so if you want to successfully communicate, lead, guide or manage people you need to be able to connect with them both in the digital and physical space.

“Businesses need to learn how to be successful in the digital world and we are seeing more and more businesses getting involved, particularly larger companies in South Africa which are managing their social media strategies internally and committing resources to allow them to do it correctly.”

Brand awareness

Digitlab is a Durban-based, 20-employee strong agency which provides marketing solutions for companies in South Africa, Nigeria, and London, New York, France and has interested companies in Australia.

With massive rise of Twitter, microblogging is proving an efficient and beneficial way for companies to do a wide range of marketing strategies from growing its brand’s awareness to helping it boost its customer service.

Saunders explained that quite simply microblogging is similar to blogging but uses short phrases to get a message across. Consequently, Twitter is the ultimate microblogging platform and what a person would do on the site is the same for a business.

Saunders said: “There are some other platforms that sit around microblogging such as Facebook. These short succinct conversational pieces allow businesses to talk to the consumer by giving them bite sized pieces of information or updates on their brand or services.”

Companies that have taken the microblogging route have found it invaluable for supporting customers and improving on the service they can offer to them.

Talk to customers

Saunders used South Africa’s leading retail giant Pick ‘N’ Pay as an example. He said: “They listened to their consumers talking about them on Twitter and if there was something negative said immediately worked to rectify the situation with that customer.”

To start a microblogging campaign, however, it is not enough just to make the odd tweet when someone on the staff remembers to.

Companies need to devise a social media strategy which will take account what sort of image it wants to present to the world, what sort of content should be posted and the frequency of postings.

“Once a company reaches this stage of where they strategically want to go with this tool it is a good idea to get consultants in this space because they can show what is possible and design a strategy around that,” explained Saunders.

“An agency can act as a catalyst within the organisation and help it to create value. However, over time most businesses would look to manage the strategy in-house and begin developing and executing skills within the organisation to manage it.”

What it does

Ascertaining value from running a digital social media campaign is still largely under debate, but Saunders explained that there are certain metrics that can be determined.

He said: “We can measure the volume of how people are talking about a company and then measure the sentiment within the conversation which becomes a very real metric. What needs to be focused on is the idea of what it does for us as opposed to saying what is worth to us.”

There is no doubt in Saunders’ mind that businesses who are not jumping on the social media bandwagon will get left behind as the advances in technology continue to accelerate.

“In the future to be successful in the digital world there are four main things to be thinking about,” he said: “Mobile, social, data and IoT (the Internet of things).

“The big thing to remember about all of these four things are that they are interlinked and you can’t just focus on one.”


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