With over 25 million active social media users online spending an average of 9 hours online per day, social media has become one of the essential mediums to communicate with your customers. 1 Ornico’s SA Social Media Report 2021 states that 47% of people discover new brands through social media, ranking second versus the primary medium of Ads on TV with 53.6%. The Ornico report also shows that social media is a driver of both brand awareness and sales and provides consumers insights to deliver a tangible ROI.
Given this data, social media investment is the single most cost-effective medium to reach your target market. For SME’s that are in the early stages of building their business, and haven’t hit critical mass, here are some tips to optimise social media.
- Up weight your knowledge of the platforms. Go to Digital in South Africa: All the Statistics You Need in 2021 — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights) to better understand the reach of each platform in South Africa.
- Choose the platforms you would like to be on. For B2B, it is suggested to go with LinkedIn combined with Facebook as this combines credibility and a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. For B2C businesses, look at your brand, and evaluate which platforms would combine reach and effectiveness. This usually is Facebook and one other like Instagram or Twitter, but other platforms like Pinterest and TikTok can be effective, depending on your target market. To start with, choose two platforms, get comfortable with them, and then you can expand into other platforms.
- Identify the username that you would like and check if it is available on all the platforms. While you may actively use two, it is a good idea to reserve names on other platforms. For example, Affinity Collective was not available on all platforms, so we used Affinity Collective Africa for uniformity on 3 core platforms.
- Once you’ve chosen your platforms, you can use Canva (www.canva.com) to create your artwork. There are other options, but this is one of the most cost-effective and easiest platforms to use. If you subscribe to the full package, you will have access to stock photos and full functionality. You can then size your logo correctly (in a square format), create correctly sized banners for each page, as well as artwork for posts. Remember to place your logo on the image so that you create a visual identity.
- Maximise traffic by having Follow buttons on your website.
- Then start creating content (writing combined with artwork) with content pillars that showcase your company purpose, brand, CSI initiatives, competitions, and the services or products you are selling.
- Target posting at least four times a month for B2B and at least twice a week for B2C.
- Post at the right time. Optimal online engagement is early in the morning or after 8 pm for most brands.
- Leverage your network. When you first start your pages, ask your friends and family to follow your pages and like your posts. Your platform’s equity is often correlated to the number of followers you have as well as posting frequency.
- Where possible, share to groups (on LinkedIn or Facebook) to get organic reach, but make sure you stick to their group guidelines. This will help drive reach.
Our biggest tip is to start. Don’t worry about it being perfect. As a small, growing business, you will make mistakes, but you will also learn on the way and improve.
Affinity Collective’s purpose is to help companies, brands, and business professionals realise their full potential. Because of this, we are passionate about helping SME’s establish their business and grow. Through our Blogs, we hope to give SME’s that are starting enough information that they grow into a thriving business.