Experts estimate that there are no fewer than 17 million Facebook subscribers throughout Nigeria. This social media powerhouse continues to make waves and as the number of Internet connections increase, the amount of users will exponentially grow. This is very important from a business standpoint, for such a forum is an excellent way to contact potential customers. The key is appreciating how to leverage such online visibility while still maintaining day-to-day operations. Why are so many Nigerian businesses turning to this source of revenue and what practices have they been employing along the way?
Why Choose Facebook and Why Now?
Although social media has existing in one for or another since the dawn of the Internet, the revolution of mobile devices has opened up an entirely new market. Users can now access their favourite pages while out and about; keeping up to date with the latest trends while communicating with friends. Not only has Facebook become the largest social network in the world, but its user-friendly nature appeals to all age groups and demographics.
Many analysts believe that more than half of the global population will possess some type of social media profile by the year 2020. This observation has not gone unnoticed by businesses, as they are beginning to appreciate the power that such portals represent. This is particularly relevant when speaking to the new generation of shoppers (often referred to as the millennial market group). These individuals proactively look for the best online products and they rely upon social media reviews in order to make sound decisions. Businesses without a presence are missing out on a potentially massive target audience.
Another factor which continues to appeal to online firms of all sizes is that unlike many other forms of digital advertising, the majority of tools offered by Facebook are free. This ensures a higher return on investment; very important for Nigerian businesses forced to operate within limited financial constraints. It should finally be mentioned that a mere two per cent of shoppers make a purchase when initially visiting a website. This essentially signifies that the decision-making process of the other 98 per cent can be swayed by utilising Facebook as a targeted advertising method. Now that the importance of social media has been made clear, what tactics are Nigerian businesses employing to successfully establish their presence?
Examining the Best Advertising Tactics
It needs to be stressed that Facebook advertising techniques are markedly different when compared to traditional approaches. This is largely a result of the fact that users expect a more friendly and personalised approach. So, mass methods are generally not recommended. This is why Nigerian businesses are employing Google Analytics and similar analyses to appreciate the purchasing habits of their demographics. Some metrics that are often taken into account include:
- The average age of the customer.
- What devices most commonly access a social media page.
- Spending habits in terms of average price.
- How frequently purchases are made.
- The most popular pages and posts.
Understanding these variables will inevitably lead to more focused marketing campaigns. This benefit is not to be taken lightly, as targeted approaches are able to produce results in shorter periods of time.
Client engagement is another core tenet of a successful Facebook marketing strategy. In other words, businesses need to remember the concept of “social” within social media. Customer reviews should be answered in a timely fashion. This includes negative feedback as well, as such opinions will allow a business to better understand what works and what may need a bit of adjustment. Representatives who address negative reviews are also illustrating that the company cares about all of its customers; not simply those who are happy with their past purchases. This form of publicity will appeal to an appreciative audience; leading to higher conversion rates in the future.
Advertising on Facebook should not be limited to a static business profile alone. One of the most profound ways in which social media can influence one’s online presence is through the process of linking between different pages. There are two reasons for this observation. First and foremost, it will be easier for customers to find a business when performing a basic online search. Also, engines such as Google will place higher rankings on those companies which are associated with a broader presence. This increases visibility and naturally, such a presence will equate to a more robust ROI.
Facebook can prove to be an invaluable advertising tool if it is utilised in the correct manner. The Nigerian consumer base continues to migrate into the world of social media and it is important for businesses to keep abreast of the latest trends. Word of mouth is indeed important in terms of exposure and ultimate success.