Social media management is a big consideration among Nigerian business owners. In this interview we chat with Henshaw Jacobson, a social media manager who compares social media to a cocktail party and believes that people are wrong for thinking of it as being like a mall. His point: People come on social media to socialise and not to buy. But he knows how to get them to buy.
When you fill a form, what do you write as you profession?
I am a Social Media and Marketing Professional.
Is this the same as the IT guy whom you have in the office?
They are not the same. Social media has grown beyond being just a platform where we share our selfies or chat with friends. Social media is now the biggest marketing tool. More business owners are embracing social media to reach their customers and to market their goods and services. A lot of companies now have departments for social media managers. Celebrities also have people who are in charge of their social media.
It appears to be the latest job description, like an emerging field.
That’s because everybody is online. Remember last year, Mark Zuckerberg was in Nigeria because Nigeria is one of Facebook’s biggest markets. At the time we had about 17 million Nigerians on Facebook. Now, it’s over 18 million. As a business person you need to be where your audience is and connect with them. Even in church, while the pastor is preaching, you see people checking Whatsapp, you see people checking Facebook. That’s why the Social Media Manager is so important.
How does one identify a good social media manager?
I remember once I reached out to someone to offer my services. He looked me up. Just as some people say they are life coaches, they should be able to coach yourself. So you should check the person out and ask them, what have you done? I let my work speak for me. How does a Social Media Manager get their training? You could take online courses, pay for them or use the resources available on Youtube. Also follow the top people in the industry.
Why do you encourage clients to focus on Instagram?
Facebook is currently a pay to play platform. For your post to be seen you need to spend money. But with Instagram you can reach your target audience organically. The same post you put on Facebook will reach more people on Instagram. You can use location, hashtags and other things to reach your target audience.
Tell us some common mistakes that people make on Instagram.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make on Instagram is using hashtags that are not related to their industry or to what they sell. People say they use some hashtags and people from China are following them. If you’re going to use a hashtag you’ve got to use a hashtag that your community is using, instead of using a hashtag that people in Canada or India are using. Sometimes when you post you’re actually spamming because people only came to you because of the hashtag.
A lot of people are struggling with Instagram. I remember last year I had 400 followers. I currently have over 14,800. These are real followers, not bought followers. Another common mistake people make is buying fake followers because they don’t engage with your content
There have been a lot of announcements about Facebook changing its algorithm. What does all this imply for a Facebook user?
The Facebook algorithm is like a robot that decides what people see when they are on Facebook. Most times you see stuff from your friends and family. The platform now has 2 billion people and business owners and marketers are beginning to take advantage of this and they’re being very aggressive in their marketing,. Because of this, Facebook wants to encourage people to post more quality content, not just the come-and-buy stuff. So they want to drop content that’s more business related. So Facebook wants to encourage posts that promote community.
These days, Facebook seems to frustrate posts that aim to take people out of Facebook.
That’s why you can’t share Facebook posts to another platform. You can share from Instagram to Twitter, Instagram to Facebook but you can’t share from Facebook to anywhere. They don’t want year to leave the platform. That’s why it keeps growing. When I want to share a link I put it in the comments. That’s one way to hack it.
I also noticed that Facebook frustrates videos from YouTube. They instead want you to share a video that’s unique to Facebook.
Another way to beat the Facebook algorithm is to do live video. Video content is currently popular on Facebook. Promote your YouTube video on Youtube and create a separate one for Facebook.
This weekend @henshawjacobson is hosting an Instagram Masterclass for business people. His thoughts on social media:
Some people see Social media as being like a shopping mall. It’s more like a cocktail party. People come to a party to have fun and meet people – maybe you’re bored and you want to come online to meet people. Nobody comes to social media to buy stuff.