So you have a business and everyone knows about it from television or posters, and even word of mouth. That’s great, but you could do so much more with social media platforms.
Every company in Zambia is striving to get a market share in this economy, here’s why social media is the solution to help you achieve that, compared to most typical means of communication:
Phone numbers: unless it’s toll free or super easy, you may get call asking about your products or services but half the time these numbers to call are so hidden or not even available for customers on a website, for example, by some businesses. They would rather post on your Facebook wall, tweet to you or ask you to show them your products on Whatsapp. It also is pointless if the phone goes unanswered because someone went to ‘lunch’.
Emails: If not responded to, these can leave your existing or potential client frustrated and ignorant about what you do/provide/sell. They may take their business elsewhere and you lose out, simply because you didn’t respond to their emails in time. Sometimes emails may also be received in the spam folder, rather than inbox, meaning the account manager may not see it quickly enough. Also hosting emails on a website is much more expensive than running a social media account because all you need is a data bundle. These data bundles are now coming in packaged formats for unlimited usage at a minimal price e.g. Airtel’s and MTN’s social bundles.
Letters: Unless it’s sent by express mail, this form of communication could take years to get a message across. It’s hard to imagine the time taken to write the query in probably highly formal vocabulary, as is the norm for business letters, and then post it, and wait for a response. With social media, there almost seems to be no rules with having to be too formal or be grammatically correct, and you can set the tone for responses which can be immediate. However, abusive language is not acceptable from either parties.
How Social Media Helps
Your single response to a single query on social media will be open for all your pages’ fans and potential clients to read, so they won’t have to ask you the same questions over and over again. Call it killing a lot of birds with one tweet!
You may need to hire social media managers, which is less inexpensive than a full on call centre. Granted you still need a few people to pick up calls, but it will not be as much call traffic as before as most people use more social media platforms like Facebook to communicate. we’ve seen this from the huge interactions that happen on mobile operators’ social media pages. Here’s a graph compiled by HubSpot on what tactics are important for engagement and hopefully sales:
You’ll be able to establish your brand through the use of ratings by the consumers themselves on your social media pages, and you can also show potential investors of your business ventures these statistics to prove to them the level of interest people have in your product/service. It cuts down on the work of having to go out into the field to carry out surveys, where people fill out questionnaires, giving you more manual work in collecting that data to come up with a total figure.
Using social media to market yourselves is also great because using social media marketing and management tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite, you can see how well you’re doing, how much hype there is around your product and how people respond to it on social media.
Social media also helps you run certain campaigns that will increase customer engagement and brand awareness to push your product/service out there.
You also need to understand that Zambians love to air their views on social media. Give them a platform to do that about your product. You get a chance to explain yourselves, promoting transparency, and you get feedback you need to improve on your product/service(s).
Here is a global snapshot as recently as January, of social media users by We Are Social , so you can see how wide you can spread:
You may think it is a waste of time to be on Facebook but this is 2015! Almost everyone is on it. If you feel like you don’t have the time to manage it, hire someone else. There a lot of social media savvy youths out there who are willing to spend the whole day on Facebook and get paid for it.
Get that social media account started today!