Social Media for Business


When I was speaking at the Global Entrepreneurs event in Johannesburg for Women in Finance, someone in the audience asked this question. “How on earth do you find the time to do all these things?”

Firstly, you need  to establish how much time you are going to spend managing your social media activities.  Once you have determined this, you can decide how and who is going to be managing your social media activities.  I recommended a minimum of 2 hours a day.

Chris Brogan recently posted an interesting blog “How much time should I spend on Social Media”. In his blog, Chris also recommends a minimum 2 hours a day and shows us how to best use this time by breaking it down in sections, starting off with listening to conversations, Read more….

Basing this on a 5 day work week, this amounts to 40 hours a month or one week in a month which is a lot of time to be spending on managing your social media activities.  If you are a business owner or a consultant, this may seem way too much time to be spending on social media and in our already busy lives it just adds more pressure, because we know it is a necessity, but you are like people already juggling all your responsibilities.

The good news is that there are other solutions, and you don’t need to be doing it all yourself.  In fact it is not necessarily a good thing to be doing it all yourself because, as Richard White would recommend, you should be focusing your time on face to face networking and fee income producing tasks.

My recommendation is that you allocate a set amount of hours for yourself because your audience needs to know that you are in fact participating and engaging with them on a personal level.  Then  you either use a staff member to manage most of your social media activities or outsource your social media activities  to a virtual assistant, who specialises in social media, to manage it for you.

The benefit of outsourcing or using an existing staff member:

  • You free up some valuable time
  • Adds another perspective and personality to your business which adds to your brand
  • A trained person in this area would do it far quicker than you would
  • Two minds are better than one, more ideas for content
  • Increases revenue

Many business owners think that by managing everything themselves they are saving on staff costs and therefore reducing their overheads but in actual fact you are losing way more but this is for another blog… Don’t be afraid to use a member of your team, you will be surprised at just how beneficial this is to you and your business.  Corporate companies are using existing staff members to manage their social media activities.  One business who did this extremely well is Zappos.

Romany Thresher


I was invited to speak at the Global Entrepreneurs week for Women in Finance organised by the lovely Colleen Larsen. The main theme of the event was around branding, digital marketing and social media.  Walter Pike shared some valuable insights into the world of digital marketing and how things have changed and where we are headed.  Some interesting facts he shared with us:

70% of offline advertising does not work.

29% of use user generated mobile social content daily.

75% of South African own mobile phones.

85% have access to WAP enabled phones.

It was good to see we were on the same page to the extent that I had planned to share similar content with regards to branding and marketing and so I had to change my presentation at the last minute, which was both nerving and quite an exciting challenge.

It was also wonderful to connect with fellow South Africans and even more wonderful to be a part of Women in Finance who have some wonderful events planned for small businesses in South Africa.

After the event, Barbara MacDonald of Spot that Zebra (what an interesting name for a business) invited me to lunch with her and offered to drop me back home safely.  I had an absolute ball.  Here we were driving in the hard of Johannesburg, Rissik Street.  I had my laptop on my lap totally forgetting how dangerous it was to do something like that, chatting away on Skype to one of the people I work with. Barbara and I spent the afternoon chatting about all sorts of things, collaborating and sharing ideas.

It was such a wonderful inspiring day and even more wonderful to meet such excellent and extraordinary people.


When you leave your home to go to a party, down to the shop, to the office or down to your local pub, you don’t leave your face behind or put on a mask to disguise who you are so why is it that so many people fail to upload their photos to their profile?

If you use social media as one of the tools for your business to increase your visibility, create brand awareness and build relationships, not having a photo of yourself can actually defeat the object of what you are trying to achieve.

I feel that someone who does not post an image of themselves convey the message that they don’t care about the people around them enough to take the time to be visible and transparent.  It also conveys a message of distrust.  You would seriously need to impress me for me to hang around and read your profile or pay some form of interest in you.  If I’m shopping in a store and a faceless person came to serve me I would be wondering what they were hiding and why they were hiding instead of focusing on the reason why I visited in the first place.

If your argument is that it is for security and safety reasons and to avoid shady and creepy characters online, then I have to ask, are you not creating an image of being shady yourself by not posting a photo of yourself?  In the real world, whether you walk down the street, attend a party, visit the pub, you are never 100% sure that there are no shady characters. In fact, there are shady characters lurking in families.  Watching Dexter last night reminded me of this.  Here you have a serial killer who has been killing for 20 years, but here he is a normal person with a family, a deacon in the church, a teacher at a university who hides his true character so well, moving around real people and no one is the wiser, so the risk is the same..

If you have experienced abuse or harassment from certain online people, then they have violated that privilege of connecting with you and with others. Surely, this gives you the right to expose them?  I would politely reply to them and say to them that they are out of line and that you do not appreciate the tone of the message sent and, if they persist or continue communicating in this fashion, that you would be left with no choice but to report it to the community leaders and to expose them publically.

Either they will get the message or they will be stupid enough to continue. Whichever way, you have sent a clear message to stop them in their tracks.  If they do persist, then I would take action.

One, however, also needs to be wise and distinguish between abuse and harassment; having a tiff or a fall out with someone or having a bicker about something does not constitute or give you the right to publically humiliate someone just because you do not agree with things or because you are not communicating in the same language.
What are your thoughts and views on this subject?

“Your super subconscious mind attracts into your life people, ideas and resources in harmony with your dominant thoughts. It brings you everything you need to succeed.” Flight Plan by Brian Tracy.

It is so easy to allow our minds to fall into the trap of negativity when someone upsets or hurts us or if something goes wrong.   It seems really difficult to get out of this state of mind or to push yourself to shift your mind into a happy place.  The hurt or pain that sets in feels like a strong force  your whole mind, body and soul feels heavy.

The key is shifting our focus on what we do want, what we want to achieve and taking it day by day. Decide now, what your most important goal is? If you could miraculously change one thing today, what would that be? This would be your right now goal. Keep this goal as your dominant thought and point of focus. Make a list of things that you would need to do to help you achieve this goal and each day do something from that list that will take you one step closer to achieving that goal.

Romany Thresher

Direct Assist Online

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