‘Spice-ing’ up social media marketing

Grace Hamilton, popularly known as dancehall artiste Spice, shared tips on upping social media marketing at the Flow Business/BTC Business INKOWVATION Conference on Friday, June 16.
KNOWN as Spice in the entertainment industry, Grace Hamilton shed her raunchy and explicit dancehall artiste persona at the Flow Business/BTC Business INKNOWVATION Conference on June 16, introducing herself as a businesswoman as she shared on the topic ‘Small business, big impact — leveraging social media marketing for small business growth’.
While noting that her business pursuits have included an eatery in Portmore, St Catherine, called Hot & Spicy Restaurant; Spicy Sensational Salon; and Spicy Couture outlets located in Mall Plaza, May Pen, Mandeville, and Montego Bay, Hamilton also pointed out that she had to switch her business model at the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
“When COVID came and I realised that everything was going online — boutiques and stuff — I decided to go online and changed my business to Graci Noir. So, I’ve been doing this a long time; I’m not new to this,” she outlined.
Pointing out that technological advancements have changed how people interact, including how they do business, the businesswoman is convinced that “the digital world is obviously where the future lies” and capitalising on social media is just one way of upping business competitiveness and visibility.
“Social media markets allow you to tailor your [marketing] efforts to specific demographics and interests [so as] to influence behaviours,” Hamilton said, adding that using various social media platforms to market products and services can redound to an increase in return on investment.0
Staying on topic with digital marketing before narrowing her focus on social media marketing, she explained that businesses can also use online-based tools to reach their target market — affiliate marketing, social engine optimisation (SEO), e-mail marketing, text message marketing, and social media marketing.
Moreover, Hamilton told her audience that digital marketing is more than putting an outfit or hair product on a website. Instead, she encouraged small business owners to create educational materials such as blogs, webinars and podcasts to engage potential customers and clients.
She also recommended giveaways.
“Since our topic today is ‘Small business, big impact’, our main goal is to leverage social media marketing for small business growth. I’m going to keep our focus there. The first rule of marketing for me is focus on your audience,” Hamilton said, highlighting that this nugget was the first of several she would share in her presentation.
Understanding who one’s target market is will be critical to knowing what social media platform is best to reach that market and promote goods and services.
“It’s also important to create a buyer persona,” she stated, adding, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of a company’s ideal customer.”
That buyer persona include’s the potential customer’s age, personality, gender, marital status, among other details. Again, Hamilton elaborated that having such information will be important in determining how to reach customers through social media.
“You have to remember that you can have the most aesthetically appealing online store, with easy navigation and the highest-quality products, backed by top-notch customer service and a high-pocket budget when it comes on to marketing — but none of this matters if you’re not reaching and engaging the right audience for your brand.”
Another nugget she shared was that social media can drive traffic to a business’s website. This can be done by posting the website link on a social media platform. Referring to Instagram, Hamilton reminded business owners with several ventures to use the Linktree option to drive traffic to the different websites.
Moving on to advertising on social media, Hamilton listed the three different types: paid, organic and earned. Earned advertising includes comments, shares, likes and referrals
“One thing I like about social media marketing is the easy access of having everything at your fingertips — the fact that you can respond to comments from potential buyers, answer public questions and concerns from your audience, and talk privately through DM. This type of interaction at your fingertips helps to humanise your brand,” Hamilton revealed.
She also encouraged the use of other digital media tools such as Canva, Adobe, Hootsuite, and Google analytics to enhance the social media experience. On this note she highlighted the dashboard as her favourite tool on social media, which dissects the reach of social media posts into age groups, countries and cities, among other demographic markers.
The businesswoman also explained boosting posts, hashtags, and tracking influencer marketers to ensure social media marketing targets are being met. With 4 million followers, Hamilton added that she herself has been an influencer for several brands.
“Don’t be afraid to fail; losses are lessons. You’re going to learn from that lesson so do not be afraid to fail…Believe in your businesses. Consistency is key. Use social media to leverage it. It is possible; and once you believe in your own businesses, focus on that, and you use all of the tactics to leverage it, it will be a success — I’m the living proof of that ,” Hamilton asserted.
“Businesses maintain through tenacity, sacrifice, risk-taking and staying innovative. Learn about the technology, leverage it, and don’t be afraid to level up your business and big up unnuself,” she concluded.


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