Namibia: Harnessing Social Media Marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING is the most effective way to reach a large audience with a very small budget.

One is able to target people according to their age, hobbies, sport interests, political ideology, place of work and where they live.

There has never been such a revolutionary piece of technology in marketing since the arrival of the internet and social media networks.

It has been more than a decade since Namibia has joined other countries in the utilisation of the internet and social media, but it seems we are far from understanding how and when to use it.

Most businesses treat social media as a static platform with limited characteristics, which it is not.

Unlike a building or a car, one should think of social media as a beautiful sunflower that responds to sunlight, water and minerals in the soil: The more you water it, the more it grows, and the more beautiful it looks.

But you have to know when to water it, how much water to give it, and where to plant it.

Many businesses are doing it wrong.

They design attractive artwork, which is good, but do you think people spend time on social media to look at artwork?

Social media users tend to skip and completely ignore advertisements.

The best way to position your business on social media is to make organic content available that does not look like advertising in the eyes of the consumer.

It's imperative that your advertisement looks like normal user content to get more traction and engagement.

People like to buy, but dislike being sold products.

Everyone has been to a furniture or other store where the salesman doesn't give you room to breathe.

And some hawkers try to force consumers to buy things.

Very annoying, isn't it?

Straightforward advertising and sponsored advertisements containing artwork have the same effect to a great degree: Content is king, so we have to craft content that delivers value to the consumer - either through fun activities, appealing images of models and social media influencers, or educational content, storytelling and tips.

There are two fundamental reasons why people spend time on social media.

Some women visit social media to look at other people's lives and compare themselves to other beautiful and attractive women.

Some men spend time on social media to look at beautiful women and send them direct messages in the hope of taking them on dates, or making them their girlfriends.

Men are driven by visuals.

Other factors also contribute to social media usage, such as boredom and loneliness - especially when it comes to Instagram and Facebook.

Don't bore people with your artwork that only seems to impress other graphics designers.

Tell your story.

People like to be inspired.

They trust authentic businesses and brands that share a story through videos and pictures of real people.

Stay away as far as possible from using images you downloaded from the internet if you don't want your content to be ignored.

Your content must blend in with the rest of the content available on that particular platform.

* Tyenimolo Leonard is the chief executive officer and founder of Common Sense Advertising.

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