#SM: Shift From Mass Marketing to Micro Influencers

“Buy 7,500 followers at only $250, offer expires tonight!”

My mother raised me with the right values. Never buy friends, never bribe someone to acquire that person’s favour. Therefore, I have always frowned upon these “follow trains” on social media. Why would anyone want one million two hundred and fifty three thousand friends? My own take on this has always been that I am on social media to learn from others and to share my own life experience. Therefore, when you check my Twitter account @railCT with a tool such as Twitter Audit, you will see that it gets a 100% rating, even though there are four or five fake followers – automated bots following me.

It serves no purpose to amass followers that one has no relationship with, or sharing no interest with their accounts. I immediately mute or even block people sending me dirty jokes, racist comments and pornography. I have no interest in that, so why keep such users alive on my account? I would not invite such to my home, so why tolerate them on my social media accounts?

I am Awethentiq. This means that I write from my own experience; I do not grab information from a brochure or website to write about your venue. I have to experience it myself. With my understanding of social media, I then get into the mind of your patron and speak to such in a language that will be well understood.

So many owners tell me “but I have a website already!” Oh, really? How are people going to find you if you are a white Hyundai parked among another 530,000 white Hyundai’s on a large field? A website serves those who already know and patronise you. What I am doing, is to expand your horizons. Bring people to your front door. At the time of writing this, there were 68,517 views of Good Hope Bakery at 77 Donkin Street, Beaufort West. I posted the photo on December 3, 2016 only. What is of importance here, is that these were viewed by travelers using a GPS in search of food! These are not just web browsers, but people looking for a solution and getting directions to the front door. I think that Uncle Johnny must have sold a few more springbok pies than usual!

Isn’t this cool?!

A recent street view photo of Harbourview Restaurant in Simon’s Town already was viewed by 4,588 folks using a GPS in search of a great dinner – and if only 1% visited and had a decent dinner, revenues would have been above R25,000! From one great photo promoted in the right way. The thing is that I have posted many more photo’s, some of which also had around five thousand GPS-related views. Someone was hunting for supper and my photo’s took them to Harbourview. If you are ever in need of a great meal, a sociable venue with great views and equally great service, visit http://www.harbourviewrestaurant.com/

Gifted, talented musician and music producer Quinten Pendle’s offices already had 399 GPS views in less than a full two weeks! Visit http://www.pendlepro.com for all your audio production needs, backing tracks, studio recordings, music at events, etc. Quinten and I have recently recorded five radio interviews about rail tourism, which he already has aired on two radio stations, one of which an international one.

My main activity is to promote tourism in general and rail tourism in particular. My wife and I travel frequently on our long distance trains, being the tourist class ShosholozaMeyl, best described as a great backpacker on wheels, with a good restaurant on board. Also, the affordable luxury PremierClasse train, the svelte sibling of the ShosholozaMeyl. Every journey on either exceeded our expectations. We have become brand ambassadors of note; we influence so many people via social media but word of mouth is what we really do. The same can be said for our experiences on The Blue Train, an opulent and sublime experience. We so frequently get asked to tell people about our experiences and we can give an Awethentiq review. Budget permitting, you simply cannot go wrong with any of South Africa’s main line passenger trains. We travel, on average, twice every two months and we have never been disappointed. We are sometimes astonished by public perceptions, something we change ever so often. Do visit http://www.railloverevolution.blogspot.co.za

Your restaurant, guest house, hotel, travel company or other business can really benefit from this values-driven influencing. One of our respected venues is Steenbokkie Private Game Reserve just outside of Beaufort West. Like the others, we have placed them on the map in a new way. An oasis in the Karoo, with air conditioned rooms and well appointed cottages set in a lush garden, or a lovely grassed campsite under leafy trees. Farm animals, wild game, all for your enjoyment. A place to take your children to, take a look at http://www.steenbokkie.co.za and http://www.steenbokkie.blogspot.co.za

Whether you remanufacture power steering systems like Roy’s in Salt River, or manufacture designer jewellery, we can drive feet to your showroom! Who are we? Me, Pete and my wife, Karen.

A final case study: our friend of well over a decade, Anthony Swartz, was the first non-white commercial coffee roaster in the Cape Town CBD. Tony has a quaint little coffee shop called Anthony’s Golden Cup at 59 Loop Street, Cape Town. He has a website and a Facebook account, yet foreign visitors had difficulty finding his little store. I did my trick and, soon, just one of the GPS-searched photos had almost nine thousand views! A few times now, we saw how people from Denmark, Korea, Canada, the UK, USA…..walked in the door, still wielding the GPS! People who had visited ten, twenty years ago and forgot where it was. A Google website search did not help at all, but the GPS brought them to a freshly ground cuppa aromatic coffee, rated as the very best in Africa!

Why wait? Let the proven influencers bring the boys to the yard!

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