Welcome back for Part II of our series on how to take advantage of social media. For Part I, we spoke with La Carmina, and Scott Isbell. With the latest entry, we were lucky enough to get responses from Maria Johnsen, Ameyaw Debrah, and Sam Hurley; who offered a wide range of experiences from across the world.

Johnsen spoke about how she approaches building campaigns for her clients; Debrah told us how he started blogging in a country where the concept was foreign; and Hurley talked about how he’s used social media to build his personal brand.


Maria Johnsen

CEO and Founder of multilingual digital marketing company, Golden Way Media, and digital marketing influencer.


Social media is the most important ingredient in digital marketing. Some companies don’t include social media in their campaigns which is a big mistake. We usually combine content marketing, [and] search engine optimization with social media marketing. I start with planning the timing, channels, languages, audience, gender, age and then create campaigns for my business and my clients’ campaigns. I never use my customers’ campaigns on my own channels. I always create customized channels for my clients.

High quality and compelling content gets more clicks on social media, if it is done right. We use some strategies to land sales via social media. Running campaigns on social media is similar to running a Google Adwords campaign with some differences.

The audience on social media is not looking [to buy] anything. So you have to combine some strategies to trigger [an] emotional response. For example: when I want to get prospects’ attention for my client who runs a dental clinic, I use hashtags and compelling images that have something to do with dental treatment. Using hashtags helps with sales.

We don’t rely on Google search anymore. Twitter search is a great tool to find news about companies or products. If I want to find a reliable provider, I use [the] twitter search function. If a company’s website is not working on my end, I head [over to] Twitter’s search to see if other members who use that company have the same problem.

When it comes to dealing with a business, I look for their channels on social media. If they don’t have a social presence, I don’t consider them serious in business.

We also use paid advertising on social media for example: Facebook‘s search has a lot of profitable keywords which can be used to target the right audience for our clients. Placing ads on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be good to drive in customers for our clients.

The truth is that Facebook advertising is never complete without touching on Facebook’s behemoth of advertising networks such as: custom pixels, lookalike audiences, and custom audiences, you’ve just run short of excuses for “not being there”. When I want to run my client’s ads on Facebook I create several ads and run A/B testing to find my winning campaigns. This way I am able to land sales for my customers.

It is significant to note that social platforms may work better in some industries than others.

Another aspect is to use creative images for each campaign. Since I work on multilingual websites in Europe and North America, I use different strategies when it comes to using images. Some images may get more clicks in a country while the same images may not work in another country. Therefore, knowing cultures, languages and buyer behavior is important to determine what works and what doesn’t in each region. I use color psychology to trigger emotional response.

When I want to run a tech campaign, I use black and white in retro style. This triggers tech savvy people’s response while in a travel campaign on social media, I use vivid colors to trigger daydreaming, pleasant feelings, love and romantic feelings.

Ameyaw Debrah

Award winning celebrity and lifestyle blogger and journalist based in Accra, Ghana


The emergence and growth of social media in Ghana and other parts of Africa has been of great benefit to most of us who work within new media, as well as other traditional jobs. It serves as a tool to reach audiences we probably didn’t know we could reach.

I started blogging some odd 9 years ago, at a time when the concept of blogging was new to Ghanaians, and at a time when social media was taking shape all over the world. Right from the beginning, I used social media to promote my blog by sharing content from the blog with friends/ followers. It was a great synergy – friends/followers on social media would see content from my blog and click to go and read, and more people started following me on social media because I became the cool guy to follow to know what was happening in and around Ghana.

Over the years my following on social media grew so much that it was no longer just a tool for increasing website traffic, building conversions and creating brand identity of raising brand awareness. It became a tool to share my voice and to influence. I now started using social media as a business tool by becoming an influencer for brands, social causes, as well as a tutor on how to use social media by sharing my experiences at seminars or forums.

Today, I charge brands to lead their campaigns and communications on social media – not just by selling the brands to the public, but testing how the public relates to them and giving feedback.

The services I provide include covering events live on social media for clients, using my network of influencers to start conversations for clients, strategizing social media campaigns for clients and more. Clients include musicians, movie producers and stars, fashion designers, technology and telecom companies, as well as travel and general lifestyle oriented companies.

I also manage social media for individuals and companies using my basic principal of: 1. Growing your Audience 2. Engaging your audience to sustain growth 3. Interacting with your audience.

Once you start gaining an audience, it is important to engage to give them a reason to continue to follow you or continue to trust you. Use engagement posts that may not necessarily be about your brand, but reflects issues of the day and issues that affect your audience. Interact with your audience to create trust and familiarity, make them feel like they know you – it is ‘social’ media after all!!

Sam Hurley

Growth Hacker + Social Media Influencer in SEO


I use Social Media as an extension of myself – nothing more, nothing less. Vibrant communication, humour and helping others are things I hold very close to my heart…and what better way to effectively channel or display them?!

The best part about social networking – I have been able to combine this with my professional endeavours so much so, I ventured into entrepreneurship a couple of months ago.

Twitter, LinkedIn and relationships are my lifeblood. They have enabled me to reach dizzy heights I never thought possible a few years previous. The fact you can literally reach out to ANYONE you want to in a few key strokes – I find that just incredible and each morning I make a habit of appreciating what the internet has given to us.

So, how have I utilized Social Media? I applied it to create my personal brand, to build strong connections with influential people and spread my message effectively – more so than any other method can provide (for relative costs).

I use the quick-fire, informal nature of Twitter to reach out to complete strangers and the business-focused sentiment of LinkedIn to nurture business relations, combining the two for maximum impact.

For my business, Social Media means fun, conversation, lead generation, email marketing, sales, culture, branding and conversion all rolled into one – above all…it’s just ‘me’. When that’s the case, it’s effortless. I love it!!!

My advice to others using social media marketing: Be yourself! Social Media is social. If you work for a corporate firm, guess what? It shouldn’t matter. Perceptions throughout c-suites need to change – there’s no room for stiff upper lips anymore. Get your GIF on! It’s time to drop the act and loosen up. With a little bit of effort, customers and clients will warm to your brand more than you ever hoped for.