Short description of you and your background
I’m Ivan Bayross, a techno geek, digital marketer and visiting faculty member at AICAR in Mumbai, India. I did my Masters in Technology and Diploma in Business Administration a really long time ago. I’ve written and published more than 73 technical and marketing books.
Although I used to be a hard core techie, I can honestly say, that learning about marketing/sales has been the most exciting education I got in my 65+ years on this planet.
What does your company do?
Myself and a small team offer digital marketing, consultancy and training, to digital agencies and SME’s in India and abroad.
We provide the corporate training and/or consultancy that digital agencies (advertising/PR) of all sizes need throughout the year when they induct new talent, staff leave or when senior managers – steeped in brick and mortar marketing techniques – need to make a transition into the digital world.
How and why did you get started in social media?
Targeting more potential customers is the only way to ramp up gross income, which in turn ramps up profits. Social media provided a channel where large number of my targets gathered together in one place.
I found simple, but effective ways of engaging with my target audience through social media channels, which was the most effective way to drive them to my website. From there I was able to rapidly convert web visitors to leads using attractive offers. Finally, by engaging with these leads effectively I was able to convert them into paying customers.
What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business are?
Traditional marketing strategies using newspaper, magazine, TV and Radio adverts are becoming prohibitively expensive for SMEs. Additionally, there is no way to effectively measure the actual reach of these adverts, i.e. are they engaging the appropriate target audience.
This is why I see multiple benefits from using social media marketing instead:
- The costs of running a social media marketing campaign are negligible when compared to the traditional marketing channels;
- Digital marketing via social media offers incredibly granular ways of measuring whether content is being delivered to a target audience;
- Social media provides immediate feedback on audience engagement, something that traditional marketing channels just cannot offer.
What do you think are the common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness through social media?
- SMEs who hire the cheapest digital agency to execute their brand-building awareness via social media;
- SMEs who attempt to create an in-house SMM brand building department. Then hire the cheapest employees (fresh, inexperienced, undereducated) to their team;
- SMEs who can’t (or don’t) check the experience / skill of their digital agency’s content creators to communicate with their target audience.
- SMEs who can’t interpret statistics from digital agencies to validate the effectiveness of their branding exercise.
- SMEs who do not fully understand the impact of the cost of customer acquisition and retention on their profit margins. Believe me, there are so many SMEs without a clue, that it’s scary.
What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
They must understand business models and have a sound education to post graduate level in Marketing / Branding / PR. I’d say, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration followed by a Master’s in Mass Media would be a terrific baseline education. And an excellent command of language, both spoken and written.
The ability to deconstruct the ideal customer using demographics and create content that talks simply and elegantly to these traits. Then ensure that exactly the same demographics are used when targeting social media channels. They also should be able to constantly monitor comments on social channels and tweak your content / process accordingly.
How do business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
Firstly, check your profitability by comparing costs of customer acquisition and retention campaigns against changes in weekly / monthly sales. Then, check your brand equity by tracking customer engagement for about two weeks before the campaign, and every day during. Finally, note the kind of things potential customers are saying about your business on social media before, during and after the campaign.
How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years…what do you hope to see?
People constantly evolve, grow and change. Social media does too, because it is driven by people. Thankfully, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest are relaxing their stranglehold on the actual numbers that SMM / SMA content is displayed to. It is high time they realized that the relationship with SMEs is based on synergy if both are to profit.
What do you think are some of the consequences of not getting on-board with social media?
Competitors who are leveraging social media will win market share from you. It’s simple really and your product will be dead in the water within a short time.
What are your thoughts on social media versus more traditional marketing activities?
Day by day, the cost of customer acquisition and retention is getting higher in traditional marketing activities. It’s not that these costs are not increasing in social media (to drive profit) BUT the costs on social channels are attractively low today compared to traditional marketing.
Social media offers access to huge numbers of engaged people all in one place. Coupled with being able to target customers perfectly, this helps reduce costs exponentially when compared to traditional marketing.
Which one best practice would you recommend about using social media to grow a business?
Know your business and customer demographics, intimately. Nothing else really matters. Everything in the SMM and SMA space is driven by how deeply you know your ideal customer and leverage this knowledge to connect with them.
Social media management software for agencies and businesses
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