Is Social Media really Effective for my Business?
The answer is yes. Social Media has been doing wonders for many businesses around the world and in South Africa too. Social media is effective in targeting your target audience directly. Furthermore, it also allows you to communicate with your target audience directly. This is great for understanding their expectations towards your business and the issues they face. According to that, you can improve your products and services to match their needs better.
In this article, we are going to talk about how social media platforms are effective for small businesses especially. Before we begin, however, let us understand in a nutshell about social media platforms.
What is Social Media? A Bit on Social Media Platforms in South Africa
Let’s keep this simple. Social Media is a community platform for people all in a specific region or all over the world. It is a website that allows people to connect with each other through the internet. Through these platforms, they can interact, conversate, and share content and media with each other.
To this date, a variety of social media platforms exist and some of them are really popular. Even if you are new to the internet, you may quickly come across some of them and you would be able to recognise them instantly. In South Africa, the following social media platforms are particularly famous:
- WhatsApp – Chat and media sharing application for smartphones.
- YouTube – Video streaming and sharing multimedia platform.
- Facebook – Social gathering, chat, multimedia, event hosting, and more.
- Instagram – Social media platform revolving around photos and videos.
- Twitter – A unique social media platform where you express yourself in minimal characters and establish trends.
This list is ever-expanding as newer and newer platforms are emerging to mainstream popularity. This list has been sourced from Statista. For a full list, you can visit this link.
Why is Social Media Important for My Business?
Let’s break it down into subcategories for a better understanding.
1. Internet and Social Media Penetration in South Africa
In the past 8 years, the number of smartphone users in South Africa has skyrocketed. Given the statistics here by Statista, one in the two persons own at least one smartphone in South Africa. And the number is going to increase further and further since many affordable and high performing smartphones are available in the market. Taking a step ahead, even the internet has become affordable in recent years. In 2019, the internet penetration in South Africa was 56.1% of the total population.
This graph shows how rapidly internet users grew in South Africa.
Now, given the whole picture above, it is given that people are going to spend more time on the internet. They have accessibility to the internet almost anywhere in the country, and an affordable smartphone becomes the medium of communication. According to this report by BusinessTech, an average smartphone owning South African user spends around 1/3rd of their online time on at least one social media platform.
So, given how many people actually use social media platform(s) in South Africa, it really opens a new way for businesses to promote themselves. This opens a lot of new marketing opportunities for your business, and your business can and should take advantage of that.
Let’s see more about how social media is effective for businesses.
2. Opportunity to Directly Interact with your Target Audience
There are a variety of social media platforms out there, but all of them have one thing in common: being able to talk to your followers (i.e. target audience) directly. The catch is, before you can actually start doing that, you will have to build your follower base.
But, once you have a good follower base, your social media presence will continue to grow, given you follow proper practices. You will be able to communicate and understand them better. This will also help you in personalising your services and products and deliver a better customer experience. What’s more? A social media platform can also be used to provide better customer service.
3. Social Media Advertising – An Affordable Way to Extend your Reach
Social Media is extremely effective when it comes to this: advertising your business. In old days, you would advertise your business through newspapers, pamphlets, banners, billboards. Now, social media and search engine advertising is the way to go. Social media advertising channels are highly intuitive and provide a lot of options to customise your advertising campaign, just like how Google Ads do. These campaigns have proven to be cost-effective in nature and much more affordable than traditional marketing practices. This is especially important for small businesses as they can minimise the expenditure on advertising and invest the budget in other important things.
Given how people spend a majority of their online time on social media, more and more people are bound to see your advertisements, follow your business, and interact with you in case they need your services. In other words, this presents you with a good opportunity to expand and popularize your business amongst your target audience.
We mainly use Facebook as our social media marketing channel and so far, we have found it very effective to create our brand awareness.
Related: Advertising on Facebook in South Africa
4. Keep Up with your Competition
In 2021, there is a good chance that your competition already has a social media presence. They understand that this is the future, and if you do not keep up with it, somebody else will. You definitely should have a social media presence because it is effective, and it is the future. If you do not have one, but they do, then they stand a better chance at influencing a target audience you could have influenced. However, if they do not have their own social media presence, it is going to play in your favour.
Besides, it will also help you understand how your competition is doing their business on social media channels. You can study them and understand if they have any strong points you should be learning about or weak points you can take advantage of.
5. A Massive Boost to Brand Recognition
Given the potential to reach a massive group of audience with just a few clicks around ad campaigns through social media, a massive boost to your brand recognition is inevitable. If your business follows ethical standards and good customer service practices, then your business is going to grow in no time. Every opportunity to grow your brand value is important to your business, and social media effectively presents a massive opportunity for the same.
Social media presence is a great way to boost your brand, interact and understand your existing customer base, expand your presence to new customers, and more. The advertising platforms provided by social media provide cheaper, concentrated, and effective options to advertise your business to the right audience; way better than the traditional, offline advertising practices. Not having a social media presence means your business will lag behind in the competition.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
If you are new to this, it is always better to ask for help. At affordable prices, Digital Lime Green can handle your social media fronts and advertising. We are a website design and digital marketing agency in Cape Town.
If you wish to know more about social media services, please check out our Social Media Management service page.
If you have any queries, please feel free to reach out to us.
We wish you the best of luck!