Hey there, My name is Abbas Shaikh. I am a digital marketing consultant and Founder of ‘Business Spectra’ a Digital Marketing & Social Media Management enterprise. I first began my journey into the digital world somewhere around the year 2016.
With an existential crisis looming all over me, I sought for purpose. There had to be a reason behind the things we do. The ‘Why’ of it all. Unknowingly, my soul started reaching out for the stars and this is where it all began. I started taking a keen interest in the work of Elon Musk and his vision to make humanity a multi-planetary species. I developed interests in the science behind this, the technology, the Research & Development for the same.
Fun Fact:- Did you know that NASA is currently working on ways to induce ‘Stasis ( Basically, sleeping your way through space) ’ in humans for longer space flight durations.
This timeline down below will probably give you a better understanding of how this interest progressed and gradually grew into my current self.
- Early 2016 — Developed a deep passion for space travel and the science of our universe.
- Late 2016 — Started my first WordPress blog and quickly transitioned to get my website. Published articles about various topics such as ( Empowering Men to empower women, Top 10 best/unorthodox career options to opt for. etc)
- Early 2017 — Started learning SEO & Content Marketing to increase the reach of my website and got my website on every Search Engine.
- Rest of 2017 — Spent my time learning Digital Marketing and Social media marketing tools & Techniques and Started working with various clients and brands as a consultant.
- Early 2018 — Started ‘Business Spectra’, a legal entity to be the brand for my Digital Marketing & Social Media Marketing Consultancy. Got a team onboard.Ever since then I have worked to enhance my skills and help various brands grow.
- 2020: Now I am here back with my blog, moreover a fresh addition to my body of work. You can now find me on a Podcast with the name ‘Add Life’
Add-life is a podcast where we discuss emerging business trends, industry insights, learning opportunities, Social media Marketing trends/strategies and stories that inspire and drive purpose. Listen Here!
The first episode is out and is titled ‘3 Step Social Media Strategy for every Brand”. The first episode consists of 3 strategies that every brand must use to build a strong foundation for its online/digital presence. The various aspects discussed in the episode are Organic reach, engagement, S.E.O and so on. This episode is a guide on where to get started and the things you need to learn right away for an effective social media branding strategy.
Here is an article that I was able to structure around my first podcast episode for those that would rather have access to reading material instead of audio.
When I speak about a brand, what do I mean? A brand in essence is not limited to a physical structure or a separate legal entity or even a business for that matter. Everything that holds a personality and an identity in the minds of the viewer can brand itself.
In the modern world, branding in itself has witnessed the greatest of all powers of the 21st century i.e. Social media. You will find access to a ton of online material that helps you better understand social media and its implications on branding. My objective with this article and the first episode of my podcast is to get you started on the fundamentals of social media. If you are an entrepreneur or an individual brand and you are looking forward to building your online presence, where do you get started? If you are looking forward to or have already hired a social media manager/consultant/team, what are the questions you ask them? What is it that you seek?
It is worth noting that, this article will only provide you with a glimpse into the vastness of Digital Marketing, but it is good enough to get you started.
Now as a consultant or as an entrepreneur, what do you look for in a social strategy?
There has to be a brand story, a story that the audience can relate to. The brand should have its very own personality and these things can be depicted through your social media messaging ( Does your social media reflect sarcasm? Is there a sense of humor in your messaging? Do you distribute educational/informative messages? etc.), your brand logo, your brand mascot, brand colors (Are you a passive-aggressive brand? Are you an eco-friendly brand? An educator/guru? A teen? etc.) These are things that give your brand a personality and the audience now begins to associate you with the same. For eg. Netflix brands itself on its social channels as a witty millennial that uses sarcasm as a coping mechanism with funny anecdotes and puns.
Consistency & Engaging content is vital to your social media growth as well. If your content cannot grab the attention of your audience and does not leave them seeking more, you lost the war even before the first battle horn went off.
These are all mandatory strategies that need to be implemented irrespective of what your brand goals are and shall form the basis of most all your strategies/plans.
In my early days I too came across a lot of clickbait content that did nothing to help me get started or gave me little to none as far as planning and executing a social media strategy goes.
Today I shall skip all of that and will try and piece together the best 3 strategies along with tools and learning material you can find online. I will also highlight some keywords or jargon that you will need to familiarise yourself with to comprehend concepts or further expand your knowledge.
A social strategy in the virtual world is more like a wildlife survival of the fittest game. Imagine you were stranded on a deserted island with little knowledge of the availability of resources, no escape route and the need for a colossal amount of effort and energy that would go in keeping you alive and help you build a haven.
Starting with the very first thing you would do, Understand, analyze and read the area you are in. Check for Resources, Check for shelter, look around for nutritious food, surveillance of your immediate surroundings, look for potential threats and find a comfortable region that would allow you to work and focus your energy towards.
This in the world of digital marketing directly translated to our first Survival Technique :
№1. Understand Your Social Media Channels/ Profiles
Test all your social media channels and analyze the profiles that are best suited for your brand. Understand your target audience based on past experiences, personal judgment and secondary research and create a plan. A content plan for all your social profiles will help you seamlessly integrate and place content in various formats.
Your initial plans must consist of a content repository for a minimum of 2–3 weeks. Thus, allowing you to never run out of content and to be able to forecast and plan for trends, festive messages, occasion-based messaging, etc.
You have to be able to base your messages around the industry that you are a part of. This brings you your desired target audience and cancels out any unwanted noise on your channels. This does not mean that you cannot deviate from your industry, you definitely can but the frequency would be a lot less. As you create a plan take note of the fact that you have to be able to add value to your audience. Create content that gives your audience something that they can take back or share across with their friends. Even when you write content or blogs/articles, your content has to be formed based on in-depth research or just pure expertise.
The next Survival technique that will keep you alive in the wild is your ability to build with the resources you have. Food, Shelter & Protective clothing all of these are things that will add days to your life. The amount of time you spend in building and working on them will determine your run on the island. Your survivability now depends on the quality of each of these things.
The equivalent of this in the Digital world is …..Content.
And we now come to Survival Technique
№2: Content will give you life
Plan on details about the various types of content pieces you will initially focus on. Content ranging from text, images, gifs, videos, audios, AR or VR content, 3D content, etc. Understand your capacity to create quality content and the amount of time and resources you would have to invest in it.
Analyze and determine Various platforms across which you will distribute content, basically your distribution channels Including websites, social profiles, youtube, Podcast streaming platforms, etc.
To top it all :
Understand the basis of SEO for your content marketing strategies and how to reach out to more people. S.E.O stands for Search engine optimization, this in simple words is the process of making your content search engine friendly for the likes of Google and Bing. This allows Google to match your content to those that might want to read it.
There goes a lot into building a good SEO strategy and implementing it based on Google’s search engine algorithm update.
Factors like :
- Website Security
- Number of keywords
- Keyword Density
- Simple and Jargon free content
- Content size
And various other factors.
All of which are used to rank your site.
Understand terms like Content Seeding, S.E.O, Content Marketing, etc.
Once you’ve settled in, now comes the challenge. Everything that you ever learned from various sources or your understanding has already been put into practice. You have laid the foundation and the work is in progress. How do you know if you are on the right track? You now look for immediate feedback for course-correction. This ideally in the wild would be done by being vigilant and assessing threats that could potentially harm you or your foundations i.e. your work, thus also hampering your chances of survival.
This brings us to the next skill
№3: Know your Numbers
Let this be your means of identifying any Red, Yellow or Green Flags for your brand.
Knowing your numbers is vital. We’ve all long heard the reasons for knowing your numbers. In various aspects of our lives. May it be routine functions or business aspects, even our academics for that matter revolve around numbers.
Digital Marketing is no different. The numbers of your social profile will tell a story. A story with a moral. A story with a Protagonist and a supporting character.
Those activities that reflect a clear return on your investment and can be justified using your social media data are the protagonists of your story, these activities will generate revenue and provide you a sizeable return on every penny you spend.
You must take note of these activities and push them to build on it. Every business would have different measuring requirements, but a few that would remain common across all industries would be your organic Reach, your engagement, viral Reach, Click Through Rate, etc.
These Numbers will tell you a story of how well the audience relates to the lead of your story.
Your Supporting Characters are equally vital to your survival, these are numbers/activities that highlight finer details of each of your social media posts, or your profiles as a whole. Essentially, these are metrics such as page views, profile visits, Website clicks, impressions on each post, etc. These numbers though do not provide a direct impact analysis opportunity, in the long run help you better breakdown messages on your channel that worked and those that did not.
Understand all the terms I discussed above such as Click through Rate, Organic Reach, Viral Reach, etc.
These 3 survival techniques will help you with the fundamentals of your brand strategy and I sincerely hope this will allow you to get started on your very own growth journey.