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The Hidden in Plain Sight Truth About Social Media Marketing

Writing this article has proved to be one of the most difficult things I’ve done mainly because I knew I had to provide some sort of value to you anyone who reads it. I don’t even have to mention the fact that I am the very first South African contributor to this great movement The Spirited Hub; which just added even more to the pressure.

I also had to try not being insensitive about some of the things I have written about, in this first edition of my articles but also try to be as honest as possible. So as a Social Media Marketing guru in the making I’ve taken into consideration the one thing I’ve noticed most entrepreneurs and business owners seem to so believe and I don’t think it’s as true as they may believe to be.

That is in the fact that social media marketing is ‘cheap.’ I personally believe that is not even one bit close to being true especially today, as it has become a really powerful platform to grow any brand. So how did it get determined that it is cheap? Well I guess it’s because you can literally tweet a 100 times in a day at no cost, but here is the truth that I haven’t seen any marketer honestly talk about. Social media marketing is not cheap, now pay attention and I will show you why I say it is not cheap.

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1. Time

We all at some point have heard or said the phrase “time is money” and as a business
owner, this is very true. You can never regain lost time and every minute of the day is precious. Social media marketing becomes expensive in the sense of time because once you begin
implementing you have to dedicate a lot of time on it mainly because of the ‘social’ part of it.

Your customers have to feel like a part of your business and feel important. That is not going to happen through social media if you do not engage with your customers. And guess what? When your social media sites are very active, you also have to engage very actively. While this will prove to be good for sales, if you run your business alone it becomes a problem because you don’t get ample time to handle other core aspects of your business that will make your business a successful one.

2. Providing value

We all know that social media marketing is very dependent on the content you use and quality content is king. I once had a conversation with a fellow photographer about social media marketing and that was before having the knowledge I have today. Thinking back at the conversation, I noticed how confused we were about the word “quality” in this context. As a professional photographer he seemed to believe the quality content meant high resolution, great composition shots and other photography language factors. Man oh man, we were both confused because I agreed so much with him. Technology has made it possible for just about anyone to take great quality photos which add no value at all to anyone looking at the photo.

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So how would a photographer in this example provide value for his social media audience? I only now noticed that the value was in the emotional connection one could create with a viewer, as soon as someone felt something from looking at my photo, it would lead to them asking about my photography services, it was no longer about the quality but the creativity and emotional connection they made with my work that made them want to have a photo shoot with me. So creating value and telling your story should be a priority; finding that for your business or brand will prove to be an expensive process, I’ll tell you more on the next point.

3. Content

Again, I say content is king. So you now know how you can tell your story and provide value for your audience. Now the most expensive part of social media marketing presents itself which is in building the content, while this may be cheaper for most creative entrepreneurs like a photographer for example, if you’re a fashion designer then it will be expensive because selling your spring line for example, you will need people to see it, so you will have to hire a photographer or a video guy, a studio and models (you’ve seen advertisements by the big retailers). Not one of these people will come cheap but hey, you do need them to sell your products.

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That’s not even the end of it, text is very important, so if you’re not a very creative writer, you might have to hire an a copy writer which requires more money. The last thing people want to see is constant sales pitches when they are on your Facebook page for example. So you do need an entertaining element when you market on social media even with text. This applies to any kind of business, if you’re boring you will lose potential customers.

The Hidden In Plain Sight Truth About Social Media Marketing

So you see? Social media marketing is not necessarily cheap, now that you have all the mentioned above you can start uploading your content for free but at some point you will have to start using paid advertising to reach more targeted potential customers. Paid advertising is very effective provided you have ‘quality content’ to use with it. So on my next article I will focus on paid advertising and data analysis so that you can effectively implement paid advertising for your social media campaigns.

Oh by the way, this is a secret so do not share this article “lol.”


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Tshepo Mavimbela is a serial entrepreneur and founder of iRebel Media House a digital marketing agency in South Africa, he is Social Media Marketing Strategist, Co-founder of The Social Club SA, Social Media Marketing Coach and Speaker and Co-owner of recording studios Trap Kitchen. Start Up enthusiast with a dream for exponential entrepreneurial growth in Africa and eradicating poverty.

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ARTICLES

Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.

Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.

Source Beauty and disruption

The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.

By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.

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Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:

Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”

Egyptian e-commerce
Founder of Source Beauty, Lydia Schoonderbeek

In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.

The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.

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The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.

According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.

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