Facebook Marketing for South Africa

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Many South African businesses are sometimes bewildered and/or intimidated by the seemingly complex world of Facebook, and using this platform to boost exposure, client interaction and even sales.

With the majority of South Africans having less access to decent internet speeds, the rules for facebook marketing differ from those implemented in the US and Europe, Though the basics stay the same.

Reach

Firstly lets get down to pure global numbers that facebook attracts, this should give you a good idea of the reach & influence a facebook marketing strategy could have.

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These numbers show the immense reach that facebook has, and with it’s rapid growth a lot of international companies have put the majority of their marketing budget purely into facebook and other social media platforms.

How you can implement facebook as a marketing tool

To get started on facebook is very simple, firstly you have to create a “page”, a facebook “page” is the preferred business platform, some companies use personal profiles or “groups”,although these each have their functions, being a part of your business is not one.

Here is a brief explanation of each:

Personal Profile:

A personal profile is what will be created when you first sign into facebook, it is designed to be for you as a person and has limits when used for a business.

Groups:

Groups are designed for small groups of people that are all constantly interacting and sharing plans (eg: book clubs, lift clubs etc…) NOT ideal for a business as not everyone of your “fans” will want to interact with every post, if they are notified every time you post anything they will quickly become annoyed and this is a very negative brand representation.

Pages:

A page is the perfect platform for any Business, organization or cause. A page allows potential “fans” to quickly and easily “like” your Brand, Once someone has “liked” your page they are open to all your content and future posts.

Page Created

Once you have created your “page” and filled in all your details and inserted a profile picture and timeline cover, Your page will be ready to go, start by inviting all of your friends to like your page and you will already have a market base to start sharing your content, make sure your content is interesting and allows for interaction.

If you do not get a good response for your direct friends then you can consider facebook advertising, This is a method where as you pay per click, very similar to Google Adwords It is a reasonably cheap investment for a potentially high return, A very good way to give your page that initial boost to get the ball rolling and if its providing a good return there may never be a reason to stop.

Good Content

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of facebook marketing is providing interesting content consistently.

The things that you post on your facebook page should always be related to your company or your industry, dont share just for the sake of sharing.

The different ways in wich you can share content on facebook are Images, Links, status’, questions and events, All of these have different advantages depending what kind of interaction/response you are looking for, here is a brief explanation of each post type:

Image/Photo:

Pretty much self explanatory , an image is a nice way to share a visual representation of content, It can also be paired with a status to create a merge of interesting literature and imagery.

Links:

Links are used to share directly off of your website or any website in that fact, Just post the URL link in the status bar and after the Article populates you can remove the text link and replace it with your own caption.

Status:

A status is a simple text message to your fans, keep it short, punchy and interesting!

Questions:

Facebook questions are great to find out what your fans are thinking, the only downfall with these is that they dont show up on mobile devices, which in South Africa could be up to 90% of your fan base, So questions are still not ideal for the South African market.

Events:

An Event is just that! If your company is hosting or attending an event you can create an online version of it so that fans can find out about it and RSVP all on facebook!

Here are a few more interesting facts about facebook

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