Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Social Media Day: Why your business should have a strong presence online

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2015 | 6:23 PM
Panelists speak on why digital continues to be the driving force behind their respective brand models at the recently held Social Media Keynote. Present were: (left to right) Safi James Barrow, Moderator (JAMPRO), The Gleaner's Online Brand Manager, Terri-Karelle Reid, Digicel's Senior Sponsorship and Development Manager Kamal Powell, CB Group's Communication Coordinator Andrew Raymore and MarketMe Digital Consultancy's Managing Director Christina Kerr.

JAMPRO last Friday hosted the first part of the three-weekday-long celebration of Social Media Day

The activities began in JAMPRO’s business conference room, where guests were entertained by an electronic screen that displayed tweets tagged with #SMDayJamaica in real-time, a speech by Lisa Hanna, and a panel of social media experts.

The panel included The Gleaner’s own online brand manager, Terri-Karelle Reid; Digicel’s senior sponsorship and development manager, Kamal Powell; communications coordinator at CB Group Andrew Raymore; and Kristina Kerr, director at Market Me, a marketing, public relations, and event management team.

The discussion centred around the need for businesses to have a strong presence online.

“We know social media works… you cannot build a 360 [ad] campaign without social media,” Powell said.

Reid firmly agreed with the principle of utilising the power of the Internet.

 

However, Kerr pointed out: “It isn’t just about being there [online]… it’s about creating an online identity that speaks to your values.”

After all, “no one wants to follow a brand… we aren’t Mercedes,” Raymore said with a chuckle.

Much like companies now use celebrity endorsements to spread awareness about products, utilising social media users with wide followings to promote products allows businesses to advertise without ramming advertisements down consumers’ throats.

Companies can “have your brand be talked about and used there without [the consumers] even knowing".

The New Generation of Consumers

Today’s young consumers, which constitute a large percentage of those reached through social media, are extremely impatient. “Anything over 60 seconds is too long” affirmed Powell.

Consumers don’t want to just watch ads all day either. Short attention spans on the consumers’ parts necessitate very short ads with generous amounts of other content.

“Content is king, but content is expensive,” stated Raymore. He explained that even a simple photo of a cook preparing chicken involves far more than the photo: one must account for lighting, renting a place, taking the pictures, paying the technicians, etc.

Businesses that are unable to adapt to the new social media paradigm will fall behind, agreed the panelists. As a newspaper, a more old-fashioned news source, The Gleaner has had to engage in initiatives to understand its online clients and enhance its social media presence, according to Reid.

The unofficial motto for the online Gleaner is “she old, but she nuh cold,” joked Reid.

George Tomblin