11th House marketing

Social Media Marketing for South African Small Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide

13 November 2023

As a small business owner, you might be questioning the value of investing time in social media. After all, with the demands of running your business, why add one more task to your plate?

Here’s the thing: social media is no longer optional; it’s an essential component of marketing that can significantly expand your business reach.

According to Statista, the current number of active social media users has surpassed 4.59 billion, and this figure is expected to surge to nearly six billion by 2027. This emphasises the critical role of maintaining a social media presence for small businesses. In our last blog, we delved into digital marketing strategies for small businesses in South Africa – a good read to help you establish a robust digital footprint for your business.

Now, let’s explore how South African businesses can leverage social media marketing for maximum benefits.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the promotion of a brand, product, or service on a social media platform like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or YouTube. It can include text, images, videos, and more. Moreover, organic social media marketing is totally free, making it a cost-effective way for businesses with small budgets to reach a wider audience and generate more leads. 

Now that we understand what social media marketing entails, let’s delve into the specific benefits of digital marketing in the context of South Africa.

8 benefits of social media marketing for small businesses in South Africa

I bet many people told you that it’s important for small businesses to show up on social media. But do you know why social media is such a powerful tool for growth? If not, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight benefits.

1) Social Media Marketing Increases Brand Awareness 

People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. But social media is an affordable way to reach a large audience, stand out from your competitors, get noticed, and target the right people with your advertising. By posting consistently on social media, you can get your brand in front of potential customers every day.

With over 4.26 billion people worldwide using social media, it’s almost guaranteed that your target customers are already scrolling daily. By consistently posting on social media, you can reach individuals who may have never come across your business otherwise. Once these individuals decide to follow you, you gain a free channel to market directly to them. They receive interesting content, and you get a cost-effective way to embed your brand into their day-to-day lives—making it a win-win for everyone.

2) A Social Media Presence Builds Credibility

In today’s business landscape, having a social media presence is almost an expectation from customers. They’ve grown accustomed to it.

Now, we’re not suggesting you need to be present on every platform—that would likely be a waste of time, energy, and resources. However, not having any presence on social media might raise concerns for potential customers. They could interpret it as a yellow flag, wondering if your business has shut down or never existed in the first place.

Even a minimal effort in setting up a social media profile can contribute to building credibility. However, it’s crucial to note that the more consistently you post, the more trust you’ll establish. Engaging with DMs and comments on your profiles is another effective way to reinforce that trust.

3) Social Media Boosts Your Content Marketing Efforts

Many businesses find it challenging to create content for social media. But there’s a little secret: you don’t need to create all new content for social media. Social media is a great place to promote all of the high-quality content you’re already creating. For example, you can post links to blog posts and e-books you’ve recently published, convert existing content into new formats (such as creating a carousel post for Instagram based on a blog post), and encourage your followers to visit your website and follow you on other social media channels.

4) Social Media Marketing Drives More Website Traffic

Social media marketing—both organic and paid—can help drive more people to your website, which can result in more sales for your business. It takes time and effort, but it is worth it in the long run.    

Here are some ways you can use your social channels to drive traffic:

  • Use social proof to drive purchase decisions.
  • Link to your website or other pieces of existing content (like e-books).
  • Make posts shareable to increase visibility and drive more clicks.
  • Include referral links in your bio.

Implementing these strategies can contribute significantly to a steady increase in website traffic over time.

Make sure your content is worth it for your audience.

5) Social Media Helps You Build a Community

In the modern business landscape, customers crave community, and social media provides the perfect platform to cultivate one. Brands have a significant opportunity to capitalise on this desire for community. According to a Spotify study, 62% of Gen Z and millennials believe that brands have the power to create communities based on common interests and passions.

Now, how exactly do you go about it? Let’s take a cue from a brand that’s already succeeding—Bolt South Africa. They managed to reshape perceptions among South Africans through influencer marketing. Their influencer campaigns effectively spread the word about their brand to transit enthusiasts across South Africa. These like-minded individuals played a crucial role in rebranding Bolt South Africa and establishing positive connections with the people of South Africa.

6) Social Media Keeps Your Business Top-of-Mind 

The average person spends roughly 2.5 hours on social media every day. The question is, as they scroll through their feeds, does your brand catch their attention?

Enter the “rule of 7.” While not an exact science, this theory suggests that a person typically won’t make a purchase until they’ve encountered a product or service around seven times. Social media provides a convenient avenue for you to achieve this. By consistently appearing in the spaces where your target audience hangs out, you ensure your business remains fresh in their minds, gradually guiding them toward the finish line—making a purchase.

7) Social Media Keeps Improved customer engagement

Social media allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level. You can answer their questions, respond to their feedback, and offer support. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Social media is an integral part of people’s daily lives, which means that businesses can easily connect with their customers without them having to go out of their way. One way you can encourage customer engagement is to create a hashtag that your followers can use when they talk about your products or services online.

8) Social Media Can Improve the Customer Experience

Last but certainly not least, social media plays a pivotal role in improving the customer experience by:

  1. Making You Easier to Reach: The more channels your customers have to contact you, the better.
  2. Enabling Education: It provides a platform to educate your target audience about your offerings.
  3. Facilitating Quick Responses:  It offers an efficient way for your employees to answer questions without the time constraints of a phone call, leading to improved response times.

Improve Your Online Presence with 11th House Digital Marketing.

How to develop a social media marketing strategy 

What is a social media strategy?

A social media strategy describes your goals, the actions you take to reach them, and the results you track to see how well you’re doing. Create a simple, specific, and measurable plan so you can see what’s working and what’s not.

What are the benefits of having a social media strategy? 

Running a successful social media campaign or achieving high engagement on a post is certainly an accomplishment. However, the real challenge in social media marketing lies in consistency. Can you comprehend why that particular campaign or post succeeded? More importantly, can you easily replicate it?

One-off successes are achievable, but it is difficult to replicate them without understanding why they succeeded. By tracking your results and analysing your data, you can identify the factors that are contributing to your success. Once you know what is working, you can replicate it and achieve more consistent results.

What is the difference between social media marketing strategy and social media content strategy

While content marketing and social media marketing are closely linked, there’s a difference between them.

A marketing strategy is the place to start if you want to direct and enhance your social media activities. It involves some key elements such as audience research, persona building, choosing the social media platform, and much more.

What are the steps in building a successful social media strategy in South Africa? 

Now that you understand the basics of a social media strategy, let’s get to the specific steps you need to take to create one. We’ll also highlight where to integrate your content strategy and engagement strategy into your overall social media activities to ensure all bases are covered.

Here are seven steps to creating a successful social media strategy which includes:

  1. Set SMART goals for your business
    What do you want to achieve with your social media presence? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads and sales? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
  1.  Research your audience
    Who are you trying to reach with your social media marketing? What are their demographics, interests, and pain points? The better you understand your audience, the more relevant and engaging your content will be.
  2. Research your competitors
    What are your competitors doing well on social media? What could they be doing better? By understanding your competitors’ strategies, you can identify opportunities to differentiate your brand and stand out from the crowd.
  1. Choose your social platforms
    Not all social media platforms are created equal. Some platforms are better suited for certain industries and audiences than others. When choosing which platforms to focus on, consider your target audience and the type of content you want to create.

    Here is the most popular channels 
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn 
  • X (Twitter) 
  • TikTok 
  • YouTube 
  • Pinterest
  1. Plan your content
    What kind of content will you post on social media? How often will you post? Creating a content calendar can help you to stay organised and ensure that you are posting consistently. Seek assistance from 11th House Marketing for effective social media marketing planning.
  1. Manage and engage your community
    Social media is all about building relationships. Respond to comments and questions, and participate in conversations. The more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are to become loyal customers.
  2. Grow your following
    There are two main ways to grow your following on social media: organically and through paid advertising. Organic growth takes time and effort, but it is the most sustainable way to build a following. Paid advertising can help you to reach a wider audience quickly, but it is important to use it strategically.

Building a successful social media strategy involves a combination of strategic goal-setting, audience understanding, competitor analysis, platform selection, content planning, community management, and audience growth. Each step contributes to a robust and effective social media presence for your business in South Africa.

How to measure the results of your social media marketing campaigns 

Measuring the effectiveness of your social media efforts is essential for ensuring that you are getting the most out of your investment. Here are some of the best do-it-yourself practices for measuring the results of your social media marketing campaigns:

  1. Online traffic: Track the number of visitors to your website from social media using a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics. This will help you to see how much traffic your social media marketing efforts are driving to your website.
  2. Return on investment: ROI can be difficult to measure for social media marketing, but there are a few ways to do it. One way is to track the number of customers who clicked on a social media link to visit your website and then made a purchase. Another way is to track the number of leads generated from social media and the conversion rate of those leads.
  3. Sales lead generation: To track the source of your sales leads, use a CRM system to track how each lead found out about your business. This will help you to see how many leads are coming from social media and which social media platforms are most effective at generating leads.
  4. Customer service: To calculate the cost per issue resolved, track the amount of time spent resolving each issue and then divide that number by the number of issues resolved. You can then compare this number to the cost of providing customer service through other channels, such as phone and email.

It is important to note that social media marketing is a long-term investment. It takes time and patience to see results. However, by consistently measuring your results and adjusting your strategy based on what is working best, you can ensure that your social media marketing efforts are effective in achieving your business goals. 

We hope you’ve found our monthly blog informative and insightful. To stay updated with the latest digital marketing content and trends in South Africa, feel free to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram

Thank you for being part of our digital marketing journey.




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