Afrinection Insights: making social media work for your business

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 The era in which the Yellow Pages were your prime source of information is long gone and has been replaced by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and platforms like Yes, we are a social media platform too!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 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.

> For tips on choosing the right social media channels for your business, click here and here.

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.

> For tips on how to use social media to connect with customers and improve your business' customer relations, please click here and here

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.

> For tips on how to use social media to find out what your competitors are doing (and use that info to your advantage) click here and here

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.

> For tips on how to use social media to increase traffic to your website, click here and here

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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