Social media has become part of our daily lives with billions of people using them daily. These platforms have given people the ability to connect while also giving businesses a chance to grow. This business element is creating the concept of social media marketing in Kenya.

Access to these platforms with billions of users is a lucrative concept for businesses with the majority of them already doing marketing campaigns in them.

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Social media marketing is also promoting equality by giving equal opportunities to both small and big businesses. Traditionally, a small business couldn’t compete in marketing with the larger ones due to the amount of capital required.

Unlike other traditional media advertisements which are costly, you can do marketing on social media for free. The only requirement is to have adequate followers on your pages.

Anyone can create a social media page across various existing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. However, to increase turnover from social media marketing, you must stand out from your competitors.

Let’s look at some of the benefits and challenges facing social media marketing.

Advantages of using social media marketing

Cheap/affordable– compared to other advertising methods such as the Radio and billboards advertisements channels, social media marketing is the most affordable option making it easier for small businesses to market themselves.

Access to a huge pool of potential customers– With billions of people using social media, it creates an endless opportunity for businesses as long as they use the correct marketing strategy.

Efficient for follow-up with customers– since the marketing is done from your social media account, customers can easily reach out to you to make inquiries and to give feedback. The personal touch in social media marketing makes it appealing to potential customers.

Disadvantages of social media marketing

Presence of online fraudsters– The nature of the online environment is creating a space for fraudsters to operate. This could be in form of either partners or customers. Hence, you need to take utmost care when your business is transacting online.  Strive to use safe and official communication and payment channels.

Negative reviews– The ability of people to review your products and services is both an advantage and a disadvantage. In the context of negative reviews, your business could suffer especially when you don’t have a chance of defense. Having many negative reviews on your page will deter potential customers from doing business with you.

Below are some tips for a successful social media marketing strategy.

  • Come up with a marketing plan
  • Create a blog/website for your business
  • Create a social media page on different platforms
  • Post-high-quality content
  • Engage your followers
  • Host contests and giveaways regularly
  • Ask your clients to tag your business page
  • Introduce an affiliate/referral program
  • Be consistent
  • Be patient

Step 1: Marketing Plan

Marketing is a key element in running a successful business. The plan should always undergo adequate planning and proper timing.

Below are some of the factors to consider when coming up with a marketing plan.

  • Target market
  • Your marketing budget
  • Available social media platforms to use
  • The target returns from the marketing strategy
  • Length of the marketing campaign
  • Product and services to market

Step 2: Create a Blog/Website for Your Business

Website is becoming a key business tool for most entrepreneurs. This is because of the growth and uptake of the internet. The number of online users is growing by the day making this a key niche to market your business.

Anyone who is running a business needs to invest in a blog. A blog provides all the information about your business to any potential customers. Having a business blog also makes your business seem authentic.

You can also link your blog page to all your social media platforms. Having an SEO-optimized blog gives your business a chance of ranking highly when one searches for your industry-related services in the local area.

Step 3: Creating Social Media Pages

Although there are many social platforms, your target market determines the most appropriate platform for your business.

1. Facebook

This is the most used social media platform by all age groups and also the fastest growing. There are various ways to utilize Facebook as a seller.

Start by creating a Facebook business page to promote awareness of your business brand. Ensure you post regularly for your page to be recommended to other Facebook users.

With time, you can create a Facebook group, where you talk about your business with interested users.

Another marketing strategy is to join local Facebook buy and sell groups. In case you have a marketing budget, you can choose to run paid Facebook ads.

2. Instagram

Many Instagram users fall in the millennial category. Instagram supports businesses, by allowing them to create a business account. Instagram also provides an analytic feature to allow you to manage your performance statistics.

Recently, Instagram also introduced a shop section on their platform. This is very beneficial to small businesses since they can join the Instagram marketplace.   

The main factor that contributes to success on Instagram is posting high-quality content and using industry-specific hashtags and catchy captions. The industry-specific hashtags allow you to reach become easily noticeable by people interested in your niche. Posting catchy videos on Instagram can greatly help in increasing your account following.

In case you have set aside a budget for advertising; you might want to consider Instagram ads or influencer marketing. Your paid Instagram ads are shown to the specific demographic that you choose to target. However, running them does not guarantee that you will make any sales from the ads.

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Influencer marketing involves getting a mention by an influential user to promote the business. The influencer charges you for featuring your business on their feed for a specific number of hours. The charges for influencer marketing depend on the number of followers that the influencer has.

Remember to update your business location and contact information on your account. This will be beneficial for the customers who would like to visit your physical shop, in case you have one.

3. Twitter

You need first to get a Twitter account before you can start marketing on the platform. After getting an account, ensure to connect and follow other Twitter users with a similar interest in your business.

Ensure you tweet and re-tweet relevant content that will catch people’s attention. Using industry-specific hashtags can go a long way toward increasing your Twitter account’s following.

Twitter also allows placing ads at a cost. Hence, you could this capability if you have a budget to push your business.

4. LinkedIn

Marketing on LinkedIn is favorable for B2B companies and businesses offering professional services. Start by creating a LinkedIn profile for your business and reach out to potential business clients.

Joining industry-related LinkedIn groups will help you network with other players in your industry.

5. YouTube

YouTube is an online platform where people share videos. Creating a YouTube account helps supplement your social media pages. Creating ‘how-to’ instructive videos on your YouTube channel can help increase your subscriber base since you educate people on your industry content.

Although it might take time before you gain a huge subscriber base on YouTube, keep going and keep updating content on YouTube.

6. TikTok

TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform, especially with the young generation. It mostly deals with short, eye-catching videos. If you want to keep your Tiktok followers engaged, you must produce high-quality videos.

You can also engage the influential TikTok users to market your product at a cost.

Step 4: Posting High-Quality Content

The quality over quantity principle applies even in social media marketing. You want to post very high-quality content that keeps your followers engaged and wanting more. Ensure that your images are high quality and that your captions and hashtags are relevant.

You want your followers to linger over your post instead of just scrolling over it. To achieve this, utilize the available free online editing tools that can help you produce high-quality images and videos such as Canva. Just ensure that the content that you post bears an identical resemblance to the actual product.

Below are some of the formats you can choose to advertise your business products/services.

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Memes
  • Blog posts
  • Paid ads
  • Polls

Step 5: Constant Followers Engagement

Although your main aim is to advertise your business, do not overdo it by posting very many promotional posts. Adding a bit of personal touch in your captions allow your customers to connect better with your brand.

Customers want to feel that there is someone on the other side of the business and posting light and funny captions greatly helps with humanizing your social media page. Make use of additional features like stories, Instagram polls, and WhatsApp stories to connect with your customers.

Since many customers will make inquiries on your social media page, ensure you give timely responses to enhance customer satisfaction. Timely responses paint a good public image for your business, which is what you should strive to achieve.

There is also the after-sale service that arises after customers purchase your goods and services.

Step 6 : Hosting Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a key marketing approach to engage your customers by giving them free/cheaper merchandise and services. Everybody loves a discount. Hence, by doing so, you help in growing the relationship between the customers and the business.

The nature of contests and giveaways depends on the nature of the business. They can be in the form of creative design contests or giving a discount for the earliest buyers.

Most times, you will ask your followers to mention a certain phrase in the comments section to qualify for the giveaway. You can also ask them to tag someone who they feel deserves to win the giveaway.

Although the prizes you choose to award your customers are up to you, they need to be worthy enough to attract many participants.

Step 7: Ask Clients to Tag Your Business Page

This is an effective business strategy you can use by utilizing your loyal and regular clients. By asking them to tag the business on their social pages, you can reach even more users.

If possible, you can request to use their pictures of them with the product on your page. This strategy will attract their followers to your social media page.

Step 8: Introducing an Affiliate/Referral Program

An affiliate program is a strategy enabling a customer to earn a commission whenever they successfully refer a new customer to the business.

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This is called affiliate marketing and is fast gaining popularity with most businesses having the program. It is a strategic approach to market your business to other users.

The promise of financial gain makes this approach very lucrative to marketers. To succeed in this approach, ensure to have competitive commissions for the marketers.

Step 9: Consistency

Consistency is the key element for successful social media marketing. This entails having regular engagements with your customers. Create a schedule that will guide your posting times. You should also post around the same time every time.

Having a consistent timeline keeps your followers since they are aware of your schedule. When starting, it is advisable to post at least 3 times a week. Posting regularly keeps the business fresh in the minds of your potential customers.

Remember to post about upcoming events in advance. 1-2 weeks before the event should give your followers enough time to prepare for the event

Step 10: Patience

It takes time before social media marketing can start to have a real effect on the business. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is a large social media account. Gaining adequate followers takes time and dedication.

Remember to get back to your customers and listen to their concerns to avoid bad publicity.

As you slowly ease into social media marketing, try to figure out what works best for your business, and focus on that. Since there is no one-size-fits-all social media strategy, you need to take your time and analyze your results from the different social media platforms.

I hope that the above steps will guide you to develop a successful social media marketing strategy.

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