90% of small business owners in Africa use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp to conduct business. This shows the importance of these social platforms in helping small business owners expand their business reach and make sales.
Now, there are about 128 social media platforms in the world today. So, how does one know the platform to use or the one that would work best for one’s business? This and more would be answered in this article.
In this article, we examine what social media marketing means, its importance, and the factors to consider when choosing the best social media platform for your business. Let’s go right in.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the use of social media to connect with a wide range of audiences, in a bid to grow visibility for your business, build trust, and make sales online.
Now, a crucial aspect of social media marketing is content creation. This involves the creation of relevant content that showcases the value of your product/service, leading to engagement with potential customers and eventually sales.
From the definitions above, three things can be deduced. First, your social media marketing strategies should be targeted at achieving certain goals. Secondly, content is vital to showcase your business‘ value. And finally, trust is key to making sales on social media.
Why is Social Media Marketing Important for Small Businesses
It is rare to see a business today without an online presence, even if just on one social media platform,. The following are reasons you should take social media marketing seriously, as a small business owner.
Reach a large audience of potential buyers
Social Media helps you reach a large audience of individuals who you cannot reach with traditional marketing efforts and word of mouth.
According to Hootsuite 2022 Digital Trends Report, there are 4.2 billion active social media users. That’s more than half of all the humans living on Earth. And social media marketing allows you to place your brand in their faces, with the possibility of nurturing them to become customers.
Build brand awareness and visibility:
Social Media Marketing also helps to build online awareness and visibility. With social media, your brand can become well-known by many people beyond your immediate circle, thus giving your business wider reach.
Understand your competitor and how to trump them
Beyond making sales, getting visibility, and building awareness, social media can also be a monitoring tool. With social media, you can examine the marketing tactics of your competitors, the kind of content they create, and how they market their business generally.
This can help you uncover their weaknesses and strengths, to get ahead of them.
Build a community of loyalists around your brand:
One factor common to most successful businesses is the community of individuals who Know, Like, and Trust them (KLT). And with social media, you can build a community of loyal customers and die-hard fans.
See what Naijabrandchick, a marketing and sales expert in Nigeria said about the power of building a tribe around your business.
This is the ultimate goal for most businesses online. Because if your business is not making money, then are you even in business? So, sales are important and social media can help you achieve that.
With social media marketing, you can make massive sales from a few thousand to millions. It all depends on how well you position yourself online, target and engage with your audience and show the value of your product/service to convince them to buy.
Factors to consider when choosing the best social media platform for your business
All social media platforms do not work for all types of business. So, you need to be strategic in choosing the platform where you would advertise your business online.
Here are some factors to help you choose the best social media platform that would bring the highest ROI for your marketing efforts.
Start with your Audience
Your target audience is the first factor to consider when choosing the social media platform(s) to advertise your business. Audience is king. So, if you don’t go where your audience is, you would struggle with social media marketing.
Begin by asking questions like, who is my audience, which social media platform do they use, how active are they on those platforms, etc.
For example, if you are targeting the older generation, say individuals between the ages of 45-60, Facebook would be a great platform to reach them. When targeting Gen Z, TikTok and Instagram would be great choices. For professionals in the workplace, founders, etc. LinkedIn is the right channel to explore.
Your Business Type
Another important factor that mustn’t be overlooked when deciding the social media platform to market your business is your business type. Running a Business to Business (B2B) brand differs from a Business to Consumers (B2C) brand, because the market differs.
Your Social Media Marketing Goals
Your goals also determine the social media platform to adopt for marketing. For some brands, their social media pages are dedicated to providing support and responses to their customers. While others use social media to increase brand awareness and make sales.
So, it is important to define what you want to achieve with social media marketing, as this would help you decide the right platform to use.
Analyze your Competitors:
Competitor analysis can also help you choose the right social media platform for your business. This is not to say that you copy everything your competitor does. Instead, the analysis is to point you to the platforms that are working for your competitors, that you can also adopt.
If you discover that a platform works for them, that could be an indication that it would also work for you. And if you discover that they are not using a platform yet, that could be an opportunity for you to tap into.
Social media is one of the best places for MSMEs to increase brand awareness, make sales, offer support to customers, establish expertise, gain trust and build a community around their brand.
The potential for growth for any business on any social media platform is massive. And every brand regardless of the target audience, product/service offered, etc. should take advantage of this.
At Triift Africa, we help small business owners grow their businesses by providing support in the form of credit, business knowledge, and community support.
The growth of small businesses in Africa is our priority, and we are building a community of thriving business owners who would build the economy of Africa, with their innovative businesses. Join us today.
Need to speak to an expert on a niggling business challenge? Send a message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website.