Social media management is one of the most difficult tasks to get right, especially for a small business. South African economy is majorly supported by small businesses and small businesses are always looking for growth. Social Media channels can be one way to grow your business. However, making your social media presence is one thing, but managing it is another. So in this article, we are going to focus on the important parts that can help you with social media management in South Africa.
Social Media and South Africa
Social Media is a powerful medium to improve your brand reputation, get more customers for your business, or improve your search engine rankings. According to Statista, almost 50% of the South African population uses at least one social media platform in South Africa and that number is growing significantly each year. This is why, as a small business, social media opens vast opportunities for advertisement, engagement, and growth.
The usage especially surged during 2020-21 as the pandemic happened. As the economy is slowly trying to spring back up, leveraging social media to quickly jump back into the game opens many opportunities for your business. Let’s understand more about how you can manage social media for your business.
Managing your Social Media in South Africa
In a nutshell, social media management is:
- Identifying and studying your target audience
- Creating and distributing effective content for your audience
- Content effectiveness and social media advertising strategy analysis
- Growing your presence through different methods such as collaborations, fundraisers, community services, events, giveaways.
Let’s understand how you can manage your social media channels step by step.
Social Media Audit
Auditing your social media channels once in a while is a great idea. It will give you an analysis of your ongoing social media strategies. Doing this will help you understand what exactly is working out for you and which areas need improvements.
Social media audit mainly focuses on:
- Follower Growth
- Engagement Rate
- Return on Investment Strategies
- Content strategies and their effectiveness
- Ad strategies and their effectiveness
- Traffic Sources
- People’s view towards your business
- Business response rate
- Target Audience: their interests, demographics, interactions with your business, and behaviours.
There are a variety of tools that can help you with auditing your social media channels effectively. Data generated from various sources can be compared with each other to clearly understand the pros and cons of your strategies.
Understanding your Social Media Channels
There are more than 100 social media channels currently present in the world, and they are pretty popular too, in their own way (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub). With a variety of options to choose from, it may confuse you as to which social media platform you should be choosing to represent your business.
To begin with, you should understand these popular social media platforms in South Africa.
- WhatsApp: Chat and media sharing application. You can separately download the Whatsapp Business app or Whatsapp Business API, depending on the size of your business.
- Facebook: Social gathering, chat, multimedia sharing – a perfect platform for influencers and businesses. Has its own in-built ad platform that helps with better reach towards your target audience and making the brand presence.
- Instagram: A multimedia sharing social media platform. Ideal for online shops that especially deal with creative products, or travel agencies that want to show their lucrative packages. Of course, Instagram capabilities go way beyond all this.
- LinkedIn: A social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn is ideal for making B2B relationships and influence the right people in your industry.
- Twitter: A real-time social media platform that acts more like a news and update platform for users. It’s also a platform used for expressing, influencing, and social trends.
Understanding your Target Audience
The audience is constantly evolving and their choices are dynamic. If somebody likes something, does not mean they will like it forever. The same logic can be applied to the customer-business relation as well. It’s not always possible to impress your old customers. Furthermore, old customers are going to go away, new customers will arrive. It’s a constantly revolving cycle. But, is your business evolving along with them?
This is why you should conduct occasional audience researches. This will help you to make better customer relationships, create better content, attract more customers to your business, and improve conversions.
Many marketers use a tactic called ‘Buyer’s Persona’ to conduct the target audience research. A buyer’s persona is basically your business’s ideal customer. In 2021, defining a buyer persona has become so dynamic, thanks to the abundance availability of data. Socialbakers provides more insights on how you can build a buyer’s persona on social media.
Social Media Management Tools
Social media management tools make social media management in South Africa easy. With them, you do not constantly have to check your social media manually, interact, or making the necessary changes. Improve the efficiency and productivity of your social media management with the best tools given below:
As a small or medium business, however, you may not require as many tools to manage your social media fronts. Consider not spending on them if you do not truly require them.
Sprout is a very popular social media management tool that comes in 3 paid versions. However, you can still try their 30-day free trial to experience how it works.
Sprout is a combination of a variety of social media management tools. You can schedule social media content, monitor your channels, and get insights into how your platform(s) are doing.
Hootsuite is one of the most famous social media management tools in South Africa and globally. It comes with a free plan as well, which makes it a great tool for small businesses as well. However, the features in the free plan will be very limited – especially in the terms of generating detailed reports.
Even then, Hootsuite is really great for your social media management in South Africa. You can manage Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Foursquare. Schedule posts, monitor your social media performance, run social media ads, and get customised and insightful analytics. If you think it helps your business, their basic subscription plan starts from US$29.
Our personal favourite, Zoho Social is a tool made for small to medium-sized businesses and agencies. If you want to take your business on social media but don’t know which tool to go with, Zoho Social is your option. It comes in both free and paid plans.
You can easily manage and schedule content through Zoho’s social media calendar, monitor communications, mute and block accounts and more. Zoho also shows you basic statistics and performance insights. Zoho’s premium plans are affordable and unlock most of the features it has to offer. They are small business-friendly so make sure you check out their plans. Their basic plan starts from R150.
If you want to market and grow your business, you will require quality content to promote yourself. The content strategy revolves around three major factors:
- The type of business
- Social media platform you are representing on
- Your target audience
Research and awareness around these three factors are essential. If you are just starting out, you will have to understand and experiment with the content. See what resonates well with your audience and gets a better engagement rate. In that way, you can filter out the content strategies that don’t work out for you and improve the ones that do.
You can use a variety of social media content management tools like Zoho to schedule and deliver your content on time. Researches have shown that posting daily is likely to increase engagement and your reach on social media.
Communication with your target audience and followers is equally important in social media management. Why? Because it helps you with personalising your brand and business better for your target audience.
Besides, social media channels can also be used as leverage for providing customer service. Customer service is very important to keep your brand image healthy and your customers happy. More and more people are using social media platforms to contact businesses as it is a quick and efficient way to do so.
Regular communications with your followers, listening to their issues, and responding to all kinds of comments shows that your business cares. This keeps your brand image intact or even improves it if it is done consistently and properly.
Monitoring your Social Media Performance
So, you have implemented an effective strategy. But is it practically working or not? How would you know? This is where monitoring of your social media channels become essential. You should monitor the social media ads, the performance of the content you are delivering, monitoring engagement, and more.
Social media management tools can help you better with monitoring. However, many experts would advise you to get a social media specialist for such tasks. Digital Lime Green offers an affordable and cost-effective solution to social media management in South Africa that covers everything we have mentioned above.
Social media management is no child’s play. However, once you understand the basic process, you start to see things clearly. Many large-scale industries have special social media teams to manage their social accounts. However, as a small business, you do not have to worry about it.
On a small scale, it is relatively easier to manage your social media fronts. But, if you need expert assistance, you can always contact us with your queries and we will do our best to resolve them. Digital Lime Green is a Cape Town-based digital marketing and web design agency. To explore our social media management package, click here.
We wish you all the best in managing your social media fronts!