Having a solid social media presence is important these days, and it should account for a crucial part of your marketing strategy. In addition to having a user-friendly website with consistent and relevant content, having targeted and focused social media profiles and activities has become paramount to one’s business success. The era in which the Yellow Pages were your prime source of information is long gone and has been replaced by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and platforms like Afrinection.com. Yes, we are a social media platform too! Despite the benefits, only a few African companies are successfully tapping into social media, writes Daniel Muraga.
Africa’s internet penetration rate has grown significantly over the past 17 years. According to recent statistics, Africa had 4.5 million internet users in 2000. This number has grown by 8503% to almost half a billion this year. Many of them are on social media. Facebook, for instance, enjoys the lion’s share of African users, with more than 160 million profiles.
However, Twitter, WeChat, and Whatsapp have become popular too, and so have professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Africa-focused Afrinection.com. A growing number of users are using social media for professional purposes. The reason is simple:
1. Social media helps you attract customers and suppliers further afield
No, not everyone in Africa is online, but the number of internet users and searches is growing rapidly. Google is currently processing over 3.5 billion queries per day, which translates to over 1.2 trillion annually (check here). Please keep in mind that this is not the only search engine!
The point is that some of these searchers are most likely looking for your products and services. It is, therefore, a good reason to be searchable. Social networking offers a perfect environment for cost-effective advertisements to reach out to new potential customers. Choosing the right channel is important. You should shop around and determine which channel is the best for you based on your product, service and envisaged audience.
2. Social media helps you connect with, assist and get feedback from (old and existing) customers
More consumers are turning to social media to make connections with their preferred brands for help, feedback, complaints, compliments and questions. A solid social media strategy can help you connect with the people who keep your business going: your customers. Receiving answers and feedback from them in real-time has become important to improve your operations.
3. Social media helps you find out what competitors are doing
It is important to understand what your competitors are doing and how you can beat them. Social media is one avenue. Checking your competitors’ social media strategy and all other activities will help you improve your own strategy. The feedback competing businesses are getting from customers can serve as a guide on what you should and shouldn’t do.
4. Social media increases traffic to your website
Social media users are likely to jump from your social media presence to your website, which may lead to extra exposure and sales. Some social networking platforms like Afrinection offer you added value by giving you space on their news and blog pages whilst offering affordable advertising partnership packages.
In conclusion, every business should explore the use of social media profile to drive their operations. Your customers are more likely to be online than offline. And as we said before: the era of the Yellow Pages are more or less over.
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