Social Media Is The Hello - A How To On Digital Marketing

"I want you to think of a like on Social Media as a hello." the presenter said at the start of the workshop. I was excited to attend the "Beyond The Likes" workshop for Global Entrepreneurship Week, and that statement set the tone on the information about to be shared.

BEYOND THE LIKES 

Global Entrepreneurship Week in Trinidad and Tobago is a week-long event filled with workshops and seminars all with the same goal. To provide the entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs of T&T information that will positively impact there business. This week I attended the workshop Beyond The Likes held by Monivan Digital Marketing Solutions and hosted by Ms Tamara Mon Louis. Monivan Digital Marketing Solutions offers marketing solutions to small and mid-size business across the Caribbean and the Continental United States. The Beyond The Likes, workshop focused on the aspects of digital marketing that we as entrepreneurs overlook at times. The two hours plus workshop dived into an assortment of topics that challenged and inspired the entrepreneurs in the room to look at their business with fresh eyes. These are the top ten takeaways I got from this amazing conference.


1. SOCIAL MEDIA IS JUST THE HELLO

As Entrepreneurs, we at times focus on the likes and followers that our social media accounts acquire, but Ms Mon Louis encouraged the entrepreneurs in the room to think of a like or follow as a future client or customers hello. It does not matter that you have tens of thousands of followers and get hundreds of likes, the point of these things is to convert to actionable steps that would lead to results that would make your business grow in a positive direction. The entrepreneurs in the room were instead asked to focus on continuing the conversation pass the hello with their followers. One such way suggested was for persons to create a website. The reasoning is that in reality the social media platforms are not owned by us personally. These companies can change drastically in a few years and affect the baseline of your company. One participant expressed that they did not see the need for a website but by the end of the workshop was asking for help on how to set up one. It is one of the first things one must consider when creating a community for your business. Create a space outside of social media for the persons who started the conversation with their hello's.

2. BE NIMBLE

The digital world is never static it is ever evolving. Tips and tricks that were useful for your business growth a year or two ago can now be obsolete, that's how fast the digital space works in this era. Entrepreneurs must remain open to these changes and adapt. This tip is not only useful for digital marketing but one of the foundations of being an entrepreneur, within Trinidad and Tobago the land of holidays this is even more useful. Fluidity is the name of the game as a business owner, flow with the seasons and market to best serve your consumers. If as a business owners you are stuck on how things used to be this will frustrate you and surely be the first step in losing your customer base and revenue.

3. DON'T PUT A LID ON YOUR MARKET

"Trini's would never", "Trini's don't" blah blah blah, stop underestimating the intelligence that exists in your market. Trinibagoans will and do buy whatever products and service once you cater to their needs and provide proper customer service to them. Instead of generalising all present or future customers on past experiences focus on the customers who do already enjoy your services. The clients who are consistent and open to all that you offer. One such way of keeping those customers engaged is through content marketing and email marketing. Don't only ask, give your client information that they may not have thought about and tie it back into your business. Content Marketing and Email Marketing are tools used in the digital space to engage your clients and can make you a go-to voice in your field as an expert, which in turn can bring you new prospects for your business.

4. PAY TO PLAY

As entrepreneurs, we must invest in our business. There are tools that we rely on as business owners that we must pay to create products and services. Google Ad Sense, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter Ads are necessary tools that we must consider to help us grow our business. Investing in the tools needed will help you gain a foot up on your competitors.

5. CONNECT WITH OTHER ENTREPRENEURS

Being a business owner can be very lonely that is why it is helpful to network as an entrepreneur. As a self-proclaimed hermit, I choose to stay at home nine out of ten of the times. However, in business one has to surround themselves with a network of like-minded individuals to learn new skills and to help you overcome challenges. GEW being one out of the ten times I left my house I was happy to be reminded of the value of these interactions. I was able to learn about Facebook Pixel and What's App for business. Tools I had never heard of before, useful tools that create information and services to allow for easier marketing in the digital space.

6. ASK FOR HELP

Video creation and editing are all tools in digital marketing I would love to harness for my blog. However, I don't have the skill to create the level of content I want. Although I know it is possible to learn this skill I have to prioritize. At times business owners must understand our limit and allow the experts to deal with the rest.

7. DON'T TRY TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE

Search Engine Optimization helps you reach your key audience. Keywords you associate with your business allow your website to show up when persons search specific words or phrases. Additionally, within the social platforms, we must remember to always speak to our audience. At times we can lose some clients and customers by trying to cover too many topics not associated with your core business purpose.

8. TAKE A STEP BACK

The daily work of being an entrepreneur outweighs the glamour that it brings. Sometimes you are at your computer or work on a product for hours or days before you share it with the public. It is no surprise that we get worn down by the daily work, especially when you are still "chief cook, bottle washer" and boss as we say in the Caribbean. It is filled with long days and even longer nights which can overwhelm and make us question our choice to become a business owner. At this stage, I strongly suggest you take a step back from your business and do some of self-care. Listen to some music, go out with friends, have a mental health day. Then the next day look at the Analytics of your website or Social Media and celebrate your successes. Review your goals and see where you may need to spend more time and restart your work. At times as business owners, things block our image of the bigger picture. Walk away for a day to refocus and channel your energy into "the why" for your business as it helps your clients and yourself in the long run.

9. OWN YOUR STORY

In the workshop, guest speaker, Mr Micheal Wiltshire of Liquid Adrenaline Water Sports highlighted the importance of owning your story. In this digital space one tweet, one photograph, one video can create a PR nightmare for your company. It is best to always own up to your error, inform the customer of improvements and assure the customer that their best interests is always your priority. Additionally, share your success with your clients, whether good or bad own your story so that no one else will. tell your story.

10. REMEMBER THE WHY

These tips would mean absolutely nothing if you don't remember the dreams and goals for starting your business. Dreams guide your goals, focus your business, influence your products and allow you to market to the right clients. Remembering the reason you got started would always be your north star and help you find your way. 

START THE CONVERSATION

These ten tips are my takeaways from the workshop. I hope it was helpful to you as it was to me as you make your digital marking plans. I am confident I can go beyond the likes and build a relationship with all my clients, I am sure you as well can do the same.

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