In an age when digital presence is king, building a dynamic and strong social media presence for one’s business is a fundamental requirement. High engagement with content on social media indicates that the business is:
- connecting meaningfully with current and future customers;
- making a desired impact on the market and creating its niche;
- able to build credibility and trust.
These are important to bring the business a sense of legitimacy. This helps drive up the sales of the company. The key to getting a boost in social media engagement is to keep the business up-to-date always, and Socials Up is an excellent companion to take into account.
What Qualifies as a Desirable Engagement on Social Media?
Simply put, social media engagement is a measure of one’s successful presence on social media websites. Although an essential part of the package, it is not enough to only generate a large fan-base or followers. It is also necessary to keep this audience engaged and to keep it growing organically. Besides, to build the right brand image, a business should retain the existing audience’s interest while attempting to attract potential new followers.
It is crucial to remember that any interaction with one’s social profile is tracked as a kind of engagement. Getting comments, shares, likes, and reposts are hence one way of ensuring social media engagement. Finding mention in posts of other users is another way. Click-through, tags, hashtags are all means to raise attention on social media. However, for successful and relevant social engagement, one has to identify and reach the right audience.
How Can One Increase Social Media Engagement with the Right Audience?
- To boost social media activities with the right audience, one has first to devise marketing strategies that lead to gain visibility.
- The biggest mistake one can make to treat digital marketing strategies separately from social media engagement strategies.
- The latter should ideally be an integral part of the former’s planning and execution, even if one chooses to give it a more relaxed and informal persona.
Uploading regular, relevant, and quality social media content can ensure that the right audience is getting driven to one’s profile. This exercise, no doubt, involves much pre-planning. Its execution can be quite time-consuming, especially when a business is just starting out. Looking into time-saving strategies is hence crucial.
Tips on How to Increase Social Media Engagement
#1 Use Social Media Analytics to Your Advantage
To expand presence and build trust, a business must first review the existing organic audience engagement dataset. Keep track of what posts are getting more likes, comments, and shares. Most social media sites provide their analytics tools for ready use.Facebook, for instance, allows for the tracking of the following metrics for a post:
- How many saw the post.
- How many interacted with it by viewing, commenting, and sharing.
- How man hid the post.
- If the post was reported for inappropriate content or spam.
- Which demographics had greater visibility of the post.
- If the post led viewers to view other content.
- How the post performs over time.
Such tracking is important for making major decisions regarding one’s social media presence. The data obtained can save valuable time in figuring out what works to generate real audience engagement and what does not.
#2 Schedule Regular Content Publishing
It is not enough to create informative and engaging content. A business has to put content out for its followers on a regular basis to keep the engagement alive. The crucial question here is determining how frequently content should get posted and how. The tone and voice of content should always be created, keeping the intended audience in mind. So should the frequency of post updates.
Depending on the nature and size of one’s business and its outreach, the content may be put up daily or weekly. For most businesses, posting one to three times a day turns out to be the ideal number to keep their social stream active and organic. Depending on the analytics reports of the time span during which content is most likely to get viewed or shared, a business should select the timing for posting new content onsite.
- Doing this manually may be too tedious and stressful.
- It is smarter to line up content and schedule a publishing sequence and time for the same.
- The use of scheduling tools to block time for creating and publishing content comes in handy here.
When a business has a presence on more than one social media website, it is a good idea to update all the profiles at the same time. Most businesses are able to maintain an impressive presence on multiple social media websites by simply scheduling simultaneous publishing of content across the sites.
#3 Employ Available Social Media Engagement Tools
The best content puts information out for the target audience and strives to make a human connection to encourage audience interaction and engagement.
- Use available tools to save preferences for photos and video edits and to make the content more appealing to the intended audience.
- Tailor the content to ask questions to the followers. These encourage them to particulate in polls, contests and share the content with their social media communities.
- Create and schedule such polls and contests in advance for boosting social media engagement.
Again, what tools may be available are specific to the social sites used to build a business presence. For instance, if Instagram is the preferred site for boosting content engagement, following the hashtag activity around one’s content is crucial to determine how the post is being received and what demographics. It is prudent to save lists of must-have hashtags to reduce the time required in typing them out each time a new post is uploaded.
#4 Tap into Employee Advocacy
Although it may look reasonably simple, managing a business profile for social media engagement is a fairly exhausting task.
- To effectively monitor it as constantly as possible, tap into the potential of employee advocacy.
- Get your employees and business partners to share, like, and generate conversations around the business content on their profiles.
- Employee advocacy can not only drive engagement towards the business; it also exponentially expands the reach of the content by bringing it to the notice of new audiences in the employees’ social media circles.
- It brings traction and ultimately leads to an increase in sales as having employees circulate content in a positive light can give the content and thereby the business a boost in its credibility.
If the business is a one-man show, it helps to get family and friends to take this task up on a regular basis to enable the business to grow and sustain its online presence. The ultimate goal of boosting social media engagement is to build a brand that also profitably manages to sell its wares. Hence, the business feed must getreal clicks and organic shares that will bring desired channels of advertisement and potential customers to the business. Delegating this means of content distribution to others frees up valuable time. Any time saved on social media can be spent on other strategies for driving up sales.
#5 Make Content More Variable and Interesting for Others
It is no secret that generating new content from scratch without compromising on quality or information is a task that requires considerable time. Time needs to be invested in research, drafting, editing and finalizing other more delicate aspects of any content before actually publishing it. However, social media engagement requires a faster turnover of content on social websites to keep the audience from losing interest in the business. For this, re-purposing already created content can be a quick and effective means of boosting engagement with the audience. An image from an earlier post can serve as a backdrop for fresh content, or a blog post can be retweeted with a new headline. Throwback posts give the business opportunity to bring back previously published matter to the audience as is. One could summarize old posts, build memory books of old photos, or turn the format of the content in an article into a new one to save time without compromising on the quality of the content.
Aside from repackaging old content in a new form, it can also be used as a take-off point to create a completely new post too. All it needs is a little creative brainstorming. For instance, if some post has already been made on how to dress up for a cocktail event, then the next one is recommended to be soon written about what types of closes to avoid on a cocktail event. Besides saving time, such posts can also be linked back to the original post to create traction for the earlier post and boost its audience engagement too. This can attract new visitors, but it can also open up dormant conversations around a publication, thus increasing search engine ranking for the older content.
Serbia: Job Creation and Green Transition Needed for Sustainable Growth
Serbia’s economic recovery is gaining pace, with a rebound in private consumption and an increase in total investments, says the latest Western Balkans Regular Economic Report. The growth rate is expected to reach 6 percent in 2021 and then return to about 4 percent over the medium term.
This year’s growth has been supported by the new fiscal stimulus package. However, the fiscal deficit is gradually decreasing in 2021, while a strong export performance has kept the current account deficit below projections. Going forward, consumption will remain the main driver of GDP growth over the medium term, while net exports will continue to make a negative contribution to growth.
“To unleash its growth potential and create new, high-quality jobs, Serbia needs to remove structural bottlenecks related to governance, the labor market, infrastructure, and the tax system,” said Nicola Pontara, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia. “Green transition, enabled through a more efficient use of raw materials and energy, expansion of green industries and technologies, as well as an emphasis on less polluting and more energy-efficient industries, can help Serbia build a clean and resilient economy.”
Macroeconomic stability will be maintained in the medium term and inflation, which has accelerated in recent months, is expected to return to the National Bank of Serbia target range. However, risks related to recovery in Europe, and globally, as well as rising COVID-19 cases, could impact this positive outlook.
Job creation and green transformation are common goals for all countries in the Western Balkans region, where economic growth is resuming after a COVID-19-induced recession in 2020. The outlook for the region has improved significantly, with GDP growth now projected to reach 5.9 percent in 2021, after a 3.1 percent contraction in 2020. Growth in the region is projected at 4.1 percent in 2022 and 3.8 percent in 2023.
The poverty rate for the region is projected to resume its pre-pandemic downward trend and fall by around 1 percentage point to 20.3 percent, close to its 2019 level.
However, the recovery remains fragile. Early warning signals from the labor market call for close policy attention. Job losses from the recession and its aftermath have disproportionately affected women and youth, which may set back efforts to raise the region’s perennially low rates of labor force participation. Youth unemployment in the region rose to 37.7 percent in 2021, up 5.4 percentage points from June 2020, further worsening youth employment prospects.
“As the Western Balkans countries look to a post-pandemic future, their policy approach will need to focus on addressing key impediments to job creation and economic transformation, including green transition,” said Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Country Director for the Western Balkans. “All six countries would benefit from reforms in the business environment, governance, and digitalization, which would contribute to growth and close the gap with EU countries.”
Global strides toward climate action are causing fundamental changes in society. Consumer and investor preferences are shifting, green technologies and new business models are disrupting more markets, and green policies are reshaping economic landscapes. As such, greening a country’s economy is becoming a decisive factor in international competitiveness and the ability to attract international finance and investments.
The Western Balkans now find themselves at a key decision point regarding the impending green transition. Effectively managing this transition, including the many policy tradeoffs, will need to be a core focus of policy attention for the region in the years ahead.
Credit Suisse to pay $475 million to U.S. and U.K. authorities
Credit Suisse Group AG has agreed to pay nearly $475 million to U.S. and U.K authorities, including nearly $100 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, for fraudulently misleading investors and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a scheme involving two bond offerings and a syndicated loan that raised funds on behalf of state-owned entities in Mozambique.
According to the SEC’s order, these transactions that raised over $1 billion were used to perpetrate a hidden debt scheme, pay kickbacks to now-indicted former Credit Suisse investment bankers along with their intermediaries, and bribe corrupt Mozambique government officials. The SEC’s order finds that the offering materials created and distributed to investors by Credit Suisse hid the underlying corruption and falsely disclosed that the proceeds would help develop Mozambique’s tuna fishing industry. Credit Suisse failed to disclose the full extent and nature of Mozambique’s indebtedness and the risk of default arising from these transactions.
The SEC’s order also finds that the scheme resulted from Credit Suisse’s deficient internal accounting controls, which failed to properly address significant and known risks concerning bribery.
“When it comes to cross-border securities law violations, the SEC will continue to work collaboratively with overseas law enforcement and regulatory agencies to fulfill its Enforcement mission,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Our action against Credit Suisse today is yet another example of our close and successful coordination with counterparts in Europe and Asia.”
“Credit Suisse provided investors with incomplete and misleading disclosures despite being uniquely positioned to understand the full extent of Mozambique’s mounting debt and serious risk of default based on its prior lending arrangements,” said Anita B. Bandy, Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “The massive offering fraud was also a consequence of the bank’s significant lapses in internal accounting controls and repeated failure to respond to corruption risks.”
A London-based subsidiary of Russian bank VTB separately agreed to pay more than $6 million to settle SEC charges related to its role in misleading investors in a second 2016 bond offering. According to the SEC’s order, the second offering as structured by VTB Capital and Credit Suisse allowed investors to exchange their notes in an earlier bond offering for new sovereign bonds issued directly by the government of Mozambique. But the SEC found that the offering materials distributed and marketed by Credit Suisse and VTB Capital failed to disclose the true nature of Mozambique’s debt and the high risk of default on the bonds. The offering materials further failed to disclose Credit Suisse’s discovery that significant funds from the earlier offering had been diverted away from the intended use of proceeds that was disclosed to investors. Mozambique later defaulted on the financings after the full extent of “secret debt” was revealed.
The SEC’s order against Credit Suisse finds that it violated antifraud provisions as well as internal accounting controls and books and records provisions of the federal securities laws. Credit Suisse agreed to pay disgorgement and interest totaling more than $34 million and a penalty of $65 million to the SEC. As part of coordinated resolutions, the U.S. Department of Justice imposed a $247 million criminal fine, with Credit Suisse paying, after crediting, $175 million, and Credit Suisse also agreed to pay over $200 million in a penalty as part of a settled action with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority.
VTB Capital consented to an SEC order finding that it violated negligence-based antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Without admitting or denying the findings, VTB Capital agreed to pay over $2.4 million in disgorgement and interest along with a $4 million penalty.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Lesley B. Atkins and Douglas C. McAllister with assistance from Wendy Kong of the Office of Investigative and Market Analytics, Carlos Costa-Rodriguez of the Office of International Affairs, and supervisory trial counsel Tom Bednar. The case was supervised by Ms. Bandy. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, and the United Arab Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
Brands for change: mainstreaming the value of brands for a more sustainable world economy
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that gives a product, service or concept an identity and distinguishes it from others on the market.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the European Brand Institute (EBI), have held the 17th Brand Global Summit at the Vienna International Centre and online. The Summit explored the topic of “Brands for Change”, highlighting brands’ role as major game-changers in the context of post-pandemic economic development, as well as their largely untapped potential for boosting recovery while unleashing creativity and innovation.
The Summit brought together leading branding experts and high-level representatives from governments, the private sector, academia, and international organizations. They exchanged experiences on applying brand management as a multidimensional-impact tool for improving business performance and resilience in an increasingly digitalization-driven world economy, while accelerating industrial upgrading and sustainable development at the regional, national and international levels.
“The pandemic has brought the need to reconcile digitalization with economic recovery to the fore. To meet this challenge, it will be crucial to promote innovative development tools, enhance professional skills, and create an enabling environment that drives digital, inclusive and sustainable digital transformation. Branding can play a relevant role in this process, as it can provide inclusive and highly customized solutions, reinforce business resilience, and support post-pandemic recovery through more sustainable growth pathways,” noted LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, welcoming the summit participants in his video address.
“Managing change, and being proactive in doing so, is a necessary prerequisite for quality improvements in the course of redefining the post-pandemic economy. Whether it will be characterized by greater sustainability and inclusiveness will largely depend on how economic actors move forward on their development pathways, to what extent they are ready to explore recovery solutions to “build back better” and embrace innovation that fosters the digital transformation,” said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director of UNIDO’s Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agribusiness. He highlighted the fact that branding has become indispensable as a driving force for change. Indeed, he said, brands hold significant potential to accelerate the shift to more innovation-intensive and intellectual value-added practices.
“Sustainable brands carried us through the crisis and will support further change. As intangible assets, brands have become more important to inclusive and sustainable development than ever. As digitalization continues to accelerate, the future will increasingly depend on strong and valuable brands. Despite their fundamental importance, the understanding of branding does differ widely among businesses, large and small. Investments in brands support economic recovery and resilience, create growth and secure prosperity for cities, regions and countries in the long run. There is a clear need to stimulate IP investment, support IP-based financing and give companies the tools to disseminate information about their IP, ensuring their emergence as a tradable asset class. EBI contributes to more transparency and works towards increasing confidence and certainty in Brand and IP valuations”, stated Gerhard Hrebicek, President of the European Brand Institute, in his opening remarks.
Against this backdrop, UNIDO and EBI are continuing coordinated efforts to promote branding initiatives as part of the joint “Branding for competitiveness and sustainable growth (B4C)” service module, blending strategic marketing, branding and digitalization to advance inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Embracing the influence of digital transformation on shaping intangibles-oriented development strategies, the B4C module provides a timely response in terms of facilitating a country-, region- or enterprise-level transition to a more robust and competitive digital presence underpinned by strategic brand management.
Most recently, UNIDO and EBI have embarked upon a number of new initiatives replicating and fine-tuning high-impact branding practices from their previous projects implemented across countries and industries. Specifically, these new initiatives include a global-level destination- and region-branding initiative in China, coupled with the innovative upgrading of the health industry value chains, with the main focus on enhancing linkages between the health industry and tourism; and a project in India, aimed at enhancing the bicycle production sector’s global competitiveness by applying innovation-intensive industrial design and branding.
To assist project beneficiaries in overcoming the pandemic’s devastating impact, UNIDO and EBI will further expand their branding project portfolio, including the organization of global fora, thereby facilitating a large-scale, public-private dialogue and governmental engagement to support structural and legal reforms and frameworks to make branding an easily accessible tool to constitute an integral part of a sustainable development initiative at any level.
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