With the access to the internet ever increasing in Zimbabwe, the possibilities of where you are going to find users at the end of the day are somewhat limited at the moment to the big three: Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. There are essentially social networks that have sprouted due to the ever increasing need for users to stay connected with each other and follow news & events.
Out of this springs the possibilities of brands using these very same platforms to reach out to those same customers on the above mentioned platforms.
Why should I get on social media you may ask? Not only will I ask back “why not ?” but here are 10 of the top reasons why you should call your HR manager and get recruiting an online digital manager.
1. That’s where your customers are
3 million cannot be wrong. Where else in Zimbabwe do you find such a large following congregated in the same place? All with the same need: CONTENT! Your customers have taken to social media like a house on wildfire and research has shown that a time spend of over three hours per day is used to “indulge”.
It’s high time you took note of where the customers are as it is easier for you to go to them than for them to hunt you down!
2. Ease of sharing your content
Mark Zuckerberg has invested a large part of the last few years to develop a product that is simple to use and user-friendly. I wait for the day that I can run up to him, tap him on the shoulder and tell him that it worked. “Conventional” media has its limitation and social media has come and torn the rule book with the creation of the “like” and “share” buttons.
It’s now just a click away for a customer to refer your brand to their friends and family online, with no need for them to do cartwheels or somersaults.
3. Increase channels for customers to discover your brand
The cost effectiveness that social media has brought to brands is kinda a no-brainer as to why anyone should be getting social. Within a few minutes one can easily have a Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and a YouTube channel all set to deploy content to their followers. Of-course just presence on these platforms is not enough!
This diversification allows for a wider casting of the net to bring in customers through different channels. Not everyone partakes in content the way that Facebook serves it.
4. Advantage over competitors (First Movers advantage)
Let’s admit it, very few brands have latched onto the opportunity and if you take a minute or two you will realise (joyfully) that your competitor is yet to catch onto this craze yet. Getting out there first allows you to establish your brand as the authority in your field and solidify market share online, now tell me which brand manager would turn away such an offer
5. Manage conversation about your brand
Something we need to acknowledge is that people are talking. Chances are high that your customers are talking about your brand or the services that you offer and what better way for you to manage brand perception than to have them having this discussion on your platform? This gives you the opportunity to address any misconceptions, feedback and customer queries in an orderly and timely manner.
6. Research and development through feedback
Due to the dialogue nature of social media what better place to get feedback and do some research and development that will allow you to fine tune your brand offering to your customers? In our experience with top brands locally customers are more than willing to share any grievances that they may be having and also give suggestions on how the service can be improved.
7. Cost effectiveness
Social media can easily be done for free (yes, I just used the ‘F-word’) or relatively little cost in comparison to other marketing channels that are currently being employed by brands. Social networks are more interested in you coming onto their platform and providing content to allow their users to consume, hence they have a very low barrier to entry. The only other avenue that allows you such an opportunity is First Street in Harare, but then again the streets of Harare can only take so many preachers at a time!
8. Constantly be in the eye balls of your customers
When you get social, having a social media strategy implemented correctly, the possibilities of having your content continually viewed by your desired audience are higher. No guarantees are given with offline media as to who will see your message, and rightfully so. You can just broadly target your messages by narrowing to specific publications, but social media give you the possibility to pin point the demography down to the colour of underpants that one is wearing on that day (ok, not yet, but we long for the day).
The added advantage of online is the ability to instantly get analytics giving you data that can be used to refine future campaigns.
9. Create connections/brand ambassadors
With the assembling of people all in one place, social media affords you the opportunity to strike solid relations with brand ambassadors who will gladly sing your praises and recommend your brand to their friends and family online. These people are like diamonds (hard to find – well if you don’t live in Chiadzwa in 2006 that is) and having someone else advocate your cause is the holy grail of social media.
10. Great platform to run campaigns and promotions
With the tools that are currently available online one can seamlessly run campaigns that will target their relevant audience and easily reach promotion objectives (drive traffic to your store, increase brand awareness or even increase sales). Social media is inherently a platform for users to share content and if you want to get your promotion well recognised, I suggest your next campaign be integrated with an online component to allow this to take place.
So there you have it. Our reasons why you should be getting online even sooner than you expected.
Do you still have doubts? Questions that you may need answered before you can take the leap? Or do you have other reasons why a brand should consider getting online NOW, then do share in the comments section below, we’d love to know and discuss.