One of the problems African businesses face today is that they don’t know how to apply the best social media advertising campaigns. There is literally no way a business can survive without its products or services being marketed on the social media.
Many consumers are readily available on social media platforms like Facebook which has more than 2 billion monthly active users. This serves as a huge avenue where African businesses can announce their online presence to the rest of the world.
By implication, for any business to succeed in the online marketplace, they must master the art of social media marketing so well. For without it, as more social networks add algorithms that filter what users see in their news feeds, your organic content may get lost in the shuffle and your business might never succeed.
Many people believe that social media advertising is basically a three step process:
1) Create new content
2) Share your content on social networks ( Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
3) People buy your stuff.
But the reality is, these things almost never happen. Social media advertising is a lot more; it is a whole package of work on its own.
Nonetheless, there are practical tips which if well applied, can guarantee the success of any business operating on social media.
1. Run social Media ads and campaigns
Social media ads provide the most scalable content promotion and are proven to turn visitors into leads and customers. Good news, it is cost effective. Most social media advertising is cheaper than traditional advertising, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reach more people, increase your audience, and grow your business.
By taking advantage of the low-cost advertising features offered by social networks, you can be able to promote your content and brand.
2. Define your target Audience
Sort out your target audience and increase your level of engagement with them. Don’t just target everybody or your fans; it will be a complete waste of time and money. People have different interests, values, and preferences.
Study other means on how to target the main people who show interest in what you are offering and build a community with them. Before launching an ad campaign, it will be a good idea to take some time and study the audience you are trying to reach. The ability to laser-target various groups of people on social media is a major benefit.
3. Advertise with video contents
Customers who view videos are most likely to remember your brand and buy from you. Make sure you post high quality videos that are interesting and easy to understand. Make it memorable; keep it short, and then target the right audience.
An example of this would be Boom By Cindy Joseph’s website and social media presence. Cindy Joseph uses high quality images and videos on Pinterest, YouTube and her website to walk her customers through the buying process.
4. Build a brand
One powerful benefit of using social media marketing is its ability to build a brand for your business. Branding will expose your business easily and you can do this by creating a consistent username across all your social media accounts; amplifying your brand image with attractive social media designs.
You can also create a brand voice with the end goal of developing authentic communication. Social media is a two way communication street; it gives you the power to learn about your audience and their interests while allowing you to collect feedback.
Taking advantage of such opportunity can help you create a strong online presence for your brand. By developing your brand image and voice, you can create a better customer experience for current and prospective customers. Coca-Cola and Publix are great examples of businesses that have successfully built a brand around their businesses.
You don’t just run an ad on social media and then forget about it. Always endeavor or learn to track your results. The reason why social media advertising is so efficient is because it is trackable. You can measure sales, website traffic, email subscriptions, and most importantly, the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
6.The A/B testing method
The A/B testing method has proven to be a very powerful tool that allows you to figure out the best way to promote your business online. The benefit of doing this is to make sure you are guided by advertisements that are statistically proven to perform. You can test different ad copy, images, landing pages, and much more to identify what works best for you and what doesn’t.
7. Share, tag, refer and talk about your products and services
Practice a lot of sharing, tagging, referrals and word of mouth because it can pull in unexpected customers. Besides, social media now drives 31 percent of referral traffic to websites. Many indirect sales might result from social media. For example, there may be situations in which someone who learned about your brand on social media referred a friend to buy your product or service.
Google Analytics and other sophisticated analytics systems may not be able to track sales like this back to social media.
Your business doesn’t just end at Facebook, Twitter, etc. Most often you need to derive a means that will drive people from your social media to your website to transact. To achieve this, practice giving out incentives and promotions to your potential customers.
One of the best ways to build a strong and loyal customer base on social media is to reward them. You can offer discounts, giveaways, contests, and more interactive incentives to engage customers.
9.Create a mobile app for your business
Today, more than half of African citizens own and use smartphones. The benefit of the increased presence of smartphone activity in our daily lives is huge for small businesses. Most major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, offer free mobile apps that let business owners manage their presence on-the-go.
Having a social media presence that’s accessible via mobile can improve the chances of your business getting found when someone is searching for a place to eat or a product to buy, while on-the-go.
10.Get the experts
It is not everything you can be able to do when it comes to social media marketing. You will not always have the time to post and create content, do follow ups, track results, share posts and still be doing business at the same time. To avoid wasting advertising money and time, hiring an online marketing expert or firm is recommended.
Also, with insights into your efforts from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn reports, you can identify where your campaign is lacking but you may not be able to analyze historical data and interpret numbers. That’s why you should leave the job for the experts.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it”
How does this help?
With a great brand, website, and product or service, social media can dramatically impact your sales. In How I Made $41,254 Last Month with Pinterest, a small business owner was able to significantly increase revenues through Pinterest advertising. There are similar case studies for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. With an effective social media marketing approach, your business can radically increase sales.
More importantly, social media apps let customers connect to their favorite sites wherever they are. Users aren’t just sharing updates from their own lives; they’re searching for businesses, products, and services and connecting with brands through their social channels.
No wonder president Paul Biya in 2016 referred to this generation as the ‘Android generation’. Everything has been made mobile friendly, and to succeed in business you have to follow the world’s trend. Hence, social media advertising is a very necessary and important practice that every Business in Africa should be involved in.
Social media advertising should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, if you intend to build a sellable online presence for your brand.