Social media is one of the best advertising platforms ever created. People talk to each other anyway. Now, they do it all on social media. Word-of-mouth, or in this case, word-of-mouse is the best advertising a company can get. It’s a great tool for bringing in new business. It’ll morph into different versions of itself, but social media is here to stay. It’s not a new idea either; it’s the Caves at Lascaux, version 2016.
Arthur Goldstuck, head of South Africa’s leading technology market research company, World Wide Worx, says that for business in South Africa this is only the beginning. “The social networking genie is out of the bottle,” says Goldstuck, “Businesses have to recognise the trend, and begin developing strategies to address it.
According to We Are Social, a global social media marketing and communications agency, there are now 24.9 million Internet users in South Africa – approximately half the population.
The key is knowing who your target market is and where they ‘hang out’ internet-wise, and then position yourself correctly.
The Numbers: Approximately 12 million in South Africa
How to make it work for you: Facebook users are there for their two minutes of fame. So, when you engage with your customers, you need to focus on encouraging them to talk about themselves (which gives you valuable data) rather than talking about yourself (‘information about you and your business).
Also, thanks to Facebook Login, advertisers can use it to target users across multiple competing mobile platforms. Even if a user isn’t using Facebook itself, they’re using it to log in to other apps; 9 million people worldwide use Facebook to go to Pinterest.
The Numbers: 3.8 million users in South Africa.
Global stats indicated that 88% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn and nearly 45% of users are business decision makers. It has the highest average household income over any other major social networking site.
How to make it work for you: LinkedIn is the only major social network that allows you to include connections to your other social media sites. Busy, decision makers need the facts quickly. Be specific on LinkedIn and get connected. On LinkedIn, you can ask for leads. Every time someone visits your profile, acknowledge it and ask to connect.
The Numbers: 6.6 million users in South Africa
How to make it work for you: Twitter offers companies advertising choice and flexibility -great for small and medium-sized businesses. Even though you’re only allowed 140 characters, if you’re clever, that’s all you need. Keywords, hashtags, off topic tweets, click-worthy content, twitter cards – all of these must become your next best friend.
The Numbers: 840,000 users in South Africa.
How to make it work for you: Choose an optimized company username – vital for any company, on any platform. An optimized “About” section that links back to your website, differentiated inboards, speaking your customers’ language, and hashtags are all things you need to equip yourself with.