Who are you and what does your company do?
I am Ekow Bansah, I am the Social Media Strategist at Bloom Interactive Ghana. Bloom is a boutique creative agency. We do integrated work that means we find fits for digital and social media on client projects whenever we can. We look to think differently in all areas even if we have to be an outcast to make it work.
A short description of how and why you got started in social media.
I spent my time on social media back in school around 2008. I mainly used it to show my photography. I was very much passionate about photography at the time, as a father who loved photography raised me. I became serious with social media when I got a summer job to work at an advertising agency. I was tasked to manage a condom brand. I was the youngest employee at the time. I achieved a lot with the brand as they were the first condom brand in Ghana to go social online. Trust me, it wasn’t easy. Yes, that’s what got me started. I started setting up and managing platforms for individuals and businesses. I worked for other companies as a part time job whiles in school and now Lead Social Media Strategist at Bloom.
What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business?
Social Media is very important to business because it gives an extra voice to the brand or product. Let’s look at the hospitality industry, when I want to travel to another country I am able to search through the best hotel according to the budget I have via accommodation without calling anyone. Now at this point reviews will help me confirm my decision. What people are saying about you as a brand makes you or break you. The other thing is that it helps you build a connection between the brand and the audience. That connection will always keep them coming to you. Those people will be loyal to you. And hey being loyal is a two way street. So you need to be loyal to them.
What do you think are common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness on social media?
Companies tend to make the mistake of concentrating on making sales or giving out stuff or having promos on their page. At Bloom we look at the values of the brand or company, what the company stands for and what the brand’s character is. We build content on that so the audience have that unique connection with the brand on every social media. The idea is to be social not boring. The brand should focus on who they are and what they stand for and make their page cool enough to make them join.
What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
Cool, fun, observant and accommodates change. Social Media managers must be cool in order to make the brand cool enough for others. This is of course making sure you understand the brand and make it your baby. That way you will be able to let others see why they should talk to you. Fun is very relative. What I call fun may not be fun for a 9 year old but there is always a way to make fun something for everyone, if not everyone then the people that get to know your brand. To be observant in the sense that as you engage with people online, you need to take notice of what the responses to your posts are, what people are talking about, if not your brand then what they are talking about in the field of business…Doing so would help you know what is working for the brand and what’s not. At Bloom, we don’t mess with that. Finally subject to change, Facebook now is not the same as Facebook in 2010. I can say the same for a lot of other platforms.Being the business means you need to be ready to subject yourself to change especially when you like what you are doing so much. If the people talking about you don’t like it. Find a different way to make them like it. Simple!
How do Business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
I am not sure if people go with definite numbers they can share with the client when pitching to them. What I mean is social media is about interaction. What you think works today, may work better at the end of the year. The proper thing to do is to set goals and
measure critically. If it is ads you want to buy, make sure you measure the returns to know if it was worth it. That way you can properly understand your audience. You can use promotions or discount features to test a campaign you are not sure of. After the campaign, the numbers tell you whether to scrap it or improve on it, as my boss always says.
How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years …what do you hope to see?
The change from cassettes to cloud is amazing when you look at the shift in the music industry. I see social media moving really fast into an environment where companies will rely on it more to get people’s attention and make it their number one form of communication to their customers. I see social media replacing websites. It is going to be the number one authentic identity for most organization. We’ve seen a lot of brilliant apps spring up lately and they are all focus on mobile. I think social media is getting to that point of being only on mobile. All the same no one can tell the future, we can only predict and hope it does happen!
What are your favourite platforms for social media marketing?
I don’t have a favourite because I think it hasn’t been created or launched yet. I think Twitter and Snapchat are powerful tools but they all serve different purposes for clients. I look to convince my boss about them! What I do is look at the brand or company, target audience and choose the right platforms for that client. Platforms that would provide positive impact for the client 100%. The goal here is make the client happy even if it takes a few frowns at the beginning.
What are your 5 favourite marketing tools/apps?
Twitter, Buffer, Simply measured, Sendible, Instagram in no particular order. I must say I was impressed with Sendible for the products they offer.